Running Tor on Windows

  1. First, you need to install the Tor proxy service to your system. Unfortunately, torproject.org no longer publishes a standalone Tor binary for Windows, so the recommended way to get it is with the Tor Browser Bundle. You can download it here.

    Tor download

    Download Tor for Windows

  2. Once it is downloaded, go ahead and run the installer. If you want to install the program outside of your user directory, you will have to right click and select Run as Administrator.

  3. Once you have selected a language, you should see a menu like this:

    Tor install wizard

    Note Tor destination folder when installing

  4. It does not matter where you set the destination folder; however, you need to make note of it for later. Go ahead and finish the installation.

  5. Now you want to set up Tor to run as a service: to run in the background and keep itself running so you don’t have to worry about it again. To do so, you need to open your Command Prompt as an administrator.

    • In Windows 10, you can simply type cmd in the Windows search bar, right click on the first result, and select Run as Administrator.

  6. Once it opens, you can run the following commands, inserting your destination folder (from above) in place of <PATH TO>:

    sc create tor start=auto binPath="<PATH TO>\Browser\TorBrowser\Tor\tor.exe -nt-service"
    sc start tor
    

    Note

    If you get the error “Access denied,” please ensure you are running the command prompt in Administrator mode. You can tell because the prompt will show C:\Users\YOUR-USERNAME> if you are NOT in admin mode, and it will show C:\WINDOWS\system32 if you ARE in admin mode.

    Note

    If you get the error “The specified service already exists,” complete the following steps:

    1. Run the command:

    sc delete tor
    
    1. Uninstall the Tor Browser, following these steps.

    2. Begin this guide again from the beginning.

  7. When you run this, it should look something like this:

    Tor windows terminal

    Replace highlighted section with noted destination folder

  8. That’s it! Your Windows computer is now setup to natively use Tor.