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Tor Browser not working: Quick Fix

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  • 4 min read

Tor is your browser of choice if you’re looking to browse the internet anonymously and pretty much your only choice if you’re looking to browse the dark web. However, working with multiple technologies at once doesn’t come simple, and the browser is prone to occasional bugs and glitches.

In this article, we’re looking at the Tor browser not working as it should and giving you some fixes to solve the problem. 

Check your System’s time

One of the most popular reasons for a browser not working as intended is the system time being different than what the site you’re connecting to expects based on the currently selected time zone. If your system’s time and date settings aren’t correct, it can cause problems with any browser, let alone Tor. 

Read our detailed guide on how to change your system's date and time here.

Also read: NordVPN not working: 10 Fixes

Check for Tor instances

Another thing you should do is check to see if you’ve got another instance of Tor running on your PC. You can’t run more than one instance of the browser at once, so if you have one running in the background, try closing it or switching instances. 

Close Firefox

Tor uses Firefox source code at its heart, meaning if you’re running the two browsers side by side, chances are one or the other will run into some issues. I’ve you’ve got Firefox installed and running on your machine, close it and try running Tor again. 

Run an antivirus scan

Another possible cause for Tor malfunctioning could be a virus or malware on your system blocking Tor from accessing the services it needs. Try running an antivirus or anti-malware scan to see if that’s the case and if it is, take appropriate action before running Tor again. 

On the contrary, you can also try disabling your antivirus or antimalware service, as more often than not, intrusive third-party services can cause Tor to malfunction. 

Reinstall Tor

Reinstalling a program often clears up any problems you might face, and Tor is no exception. If you’re having issues with the browser, try reinstalling it to a different location (preferably on another partition) to see if that helps your cause. 

Restart Windows Explorer

Restarting the file explorer can often fix any issues with information now showing up correctly. All you have to do is open the task manager, find the explorer.exe process and restart it using the button in the bottom right. 

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Once File Explorer has restarted, try re-accessing the folder, and you should see the thumbnails just fine. 

Also read: How to change Tor Browser language?

Delete Tor configurations 

Corrupt or damaged Tor configurations are also quite problematic. You can delete the parent.lock file to get rid of these and start fresh. All you have to do is head over to Tor Browser\Browser\TorBrowser\Data\Browser\ and delete the parent.lock file. Once you’re done, restart your browser, and it should work fine. 

Issue a new identity

The Tor browser assigns you a new IP every time you log into a new session. If the current IP isn’t working for you, you can issue a new one by clicking the onion icon in the top right. 

Check your internet connection

If nothing else works, Tor is being blocked on your ISP’s end. Since ISPs often track your internet activity and Tor doesn’t allow the same, chances are using the browser might set off some flags on your ISP’s end, causing the block. 

Also read: Tor vs VPN: Which one is better?


Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: