I am an irregular user of Tor but like to have it at hand and use it from time to time. Up until recently, I would update frequently and it all worked smoothly. However, today is the first time I try launching it after upgrading to macOS Sierra and I am bumping into an error for the first time.

Instead of connecting like it used to, the "Tor Status" window stays in place for a while and eventually delivers an error message saying "Tor Launcher. Could not connect to Tor control port".

I upgraded to the most recent version of Tor Browser (6.0.2), created an exception in my Firewall and even deactivated my firewall for a bit, but all to no avail. Is this something someone else has bumped into? All the messages I found seemed linked to other parameters that do not apply to me. Could it be Sierra? Could it be some other functionality that blows ports? Any ideas?

Thanks a lot in advance!

  • This kind of inconveniences are expected when using a very early beta OS. Report the situation to the Tor team. Jul 31, 2016 at 9:54
  • 1
    Thanks for the comment, Rui. I was fearing it could be as simple as that... However, I see no link on the Tor website to report such issues. Am I missing something? EDIT: I guess the tor-talk mailing list is the closest thing ([email protected])
    – user13820
    Aug 1, 2016 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


If you're having trouble saving the changes to the prefs.js file, might be a permissions issue. Did you try updating the pref.js file using terminal:

sudo nano ~/Library/Application Support/TorBrowser-Data/Browser/*.default/prefs.js


user_pref("extensions.torlauncher.control_port_use_socket", false);

and Crtl-O to save, Ctrl-X to exit

(new user so not enough reputation to add as comment to Gbla Kbla's answer so have repeated details here)


After official release i've met the same problem too. As described here, temporary fix is: add line

user_pref("extensions.torlauncher.control_port_use_socket", false);

in ~/Library/Application Support/TorBrowser-Data/Browser/*.default/prefs.js

  • Thanks for the reply, Gbla Kbla. Unfortuntely, this didn't quite work for me. I did add the line but to no avail. When I launch TorBrowser, a window says "Waiting for TorBrowser to start" and invariably an error message says "Could not connect to Tor control port". When I check the prefs.js file, the extra line has disappeared. PS: I am now running macOS Sierra 10.12.1 public beta 3 and TorBrowser 6.5a3 (though I also tried with the 6.0.5 stable release).
    – user13820
    Oct 10, 2016 at 9:31
  • Anyone? Any help appreciated.
    – user13820
    Oct 22, 2016 at 12:03

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