What i have done:

  1. Downloaded the tor expert bundle zip file
  2. extracted the zip file toC:\tor\
  3. Add the C:\tor\Tor to the Path system environment variable
  4. Added C:\tor\Tor\tor.exe to the LOCAL SERVICE group with the Full Control privileges
  5. Add C:\tor\ directroy to the SERVICE group with the Full Control privileges
  6. Created the torrc file in C:\tor\Data\Tor\torrc
  7. Created the C:\tor\Data\DataDir directory
  8. Used tor --service install -options -f C:\tor\Data\Tor\torrc to make tor service

The contents of the torrc file

DataDirectory C:\tor\Data\DatadDir
ControlPort 9051
HashedControlPassword 16:09...

What i get

PS C:\Windows\system32> tor --service install -options -f C:\tor\Data\Tor\torrc
Running on a Post-Win2K OS, so we'll assume that the LocalService account exists.
Done with CreateService.
Service installed successfully
Service failed to start : An exception occurred in the service when handling the control request.

This is what i get when trying to manually start the service.


I tried the tor-win32 zip file from https://dist.torproject.org/torbrowser/7.5.1/ and the same error displayed again. Anyway when i run the command tor --service install the service is installed and started successfully. So i guess there is a problem with the torrc file.

  • 2
    Did you resolve the issue?
    – Kamil
    Jul 9, 2018 at 19:49
  • post your full torrc file, please - without passwords, cookies e.t.c... It's impossible to guess it all by the data you provided
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Sep 17, 2021 at 20:01
  • 1
    @AlexeyVesnin Hi, The question is asked 3 and a half years ago:). I'm a Linux user now and don't know even if the question is still relevant. Now that i'm here I recommend windows users to use NSSM to run an executable as a windows service
    – pouya
    Sep 17, 2021 at 20:31
  • 1
    Glad to hear that :) Actually, tor runs very well as a Windows service, so there should be no problem for the task you've tried to perform: windows 7,8 and 10 are running Tor service just fine out of the box
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Sep 18, 2021 at 6:55
  • @pouya It's now over one year later and I can confirm this is still relevant. Getting the same issue, don't have a solution yet..
    – C4d
    Dec 12, 2022 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


Verify that none of the paths provided are relative or contain environment variables, because neither is handled properly. Also, I also had problems with paths because I used UNIX-style path separators on my Windows machine. --verify-config yelled at me what the paths provided were relative when they were not – because they explicitly started with the drive letter and root directory specification. I had to fix all of the above issues before the Tor service could run properly.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .