How to disable Windows Tor Browser 9.0 update check?

I have traversed Stack Exchange and found no valid methods.

Includes the following invalid articles:


Please help, thank you!

  • after i installed newest version of tor, ran okay....Then the next day, when i turned on computer and opened tor, got updates, and lack of access to onion pages...the retarded answers people provide does not give me a solution: i uninstall tor, then access to onion pages is complete; close tor and open later, get hit with updates that once again block my ability to accesss onion pages...Dont give me that lame excuse, its my anti-virus program....it worked fine until update to tor. 9.5 and subsequent updates
    – brian
    Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 3:22
  • Just because Tor Browser was the last thing to change, doesn't mean it's causing the problem. For example your anti virus may not have updated its virus definitions to whitelist the latest Tor Browser versions.
    – Steve
    Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 5:16

2 Answers 2


In the Tor Browser profile directory (the directory where you normally could find the prefs.js file had it been there - but it doesn't need to actually pre-exist) create a file named user.js with the following contents:

user_pref("app.update.auto", false);
user_pref("app.update.idletime", 5555555);
user_pref("app.update.interval", 777555777);
user_pref("extensions.update.autoUpdateDefault", false);
user_pref("extensions.update.enabled", false);

The easy answer is that you don't. The Tor Manual says:

Tor Browser must be kept updated at all times. If you continue to use an outdated version of the software, you may be vulnerable to serious security flaws that compromise your privacy and anonymity.

Tor Browser will prompt you to update the software once a new version has been released: the Torbutton icon will display a yellow triangle, and you may see a written update indicator when Tor Browser opens. You can update either automatically or manually.

So the functionality to stop checking for updates is not in Tor Browser.

With that said, if you go to "about:config" and search for "update", there are a lot of things you can change and maybe you can find your own hack to do this, though I doubt it because of Tor Browser's focus on anonymity and privacy.

  • Experience shows that often times Tor Browser updates are insignificant and frivolous, more like hinting at the possibility of The Project wanting to keep a close eye on its patrons through update pings rather than bringing them some obscure "security" through constant updates. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 21:00

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