Does anyone knows how to fix Torbutton: Unexpected error on new identity?

When I get the tor browser running and trying to get new identity by clicking on green Torbutton on the top left corner, this popup window shows up:

[JavaScript Application]

Torbutton: Unexpected error on new identity: [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80520015 (NS_ERROR_FILE_ACCESS_DENIED) [nsIPrefService.savePrefFile]" nsresult: "0x80520015 (NS_ERROR_FILE_ACCESS_DENIED)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://torbutton/content/torbutton.js :: torbutton_do_new_identity :: line 1202" data: no]

OBS: Tor Browser for Windows Version 7.0.11 - Windows 7

1 Answer 1


The clue is in the error: NS_ERROR_FILE_ACCESS_DENIED

Tor Browser doesn't have write access to wherever it has been extracted to, Tor Button (during the New Identity process) asks Firefox to sync it's preferences to disk, specifically on the referenced file on line "1202" it makes the call: m_tb_prefs.savePrefFile(null);

To fix this error, ensure that you install Tor Browser to a folder that the user who is running Tor Browser owns and has write access to, e.g. your "Desktop" folder.

  • the Tor Browser has been installed to "Desktop" folder with full read/writer access, etc. unfortunately, the problem has not been solved.
    – M. Lee
    Dec 28, 2017 at 20:55
  • Interesting, do you have anything like Windows 10 Protected Folders enabled?
    – cacahuatl
    Dec 28, 2017 at 22:55
  • Tor Browser for Windows Version 7.0.11 - running on Windows 7
    – M. Lee
    Dec 29, 2017 at 1:04
  • I have Tor Browser 7.0.11, installed on the desktop on a Windows 10 system and haven't seen this issue. Is it possible it's related to anti-virus in any way? It's common on Windows and often causes unforseen consequences. I stand by the core of the issue, I.E. write access is denied, but I'm willing to accept (which seems to be the case) that I'm wrong about the cause.
    – cacahuatl
    Dec 29, 2017 at 5:50

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