The installation instructions don't cover this. I'm trying to install Tor Bundle for the first time and the setup prompts me for an installation location, defaulted to a folder on my desktop. This doesn't seem right and I don't want to proceed without confirming.

enter image description here

But if I change it to c:\Program Files\Tor Browser or c:\Program Files (x86)\Tor Browser and try to proceed, I get this error:

enter image description here

Perhaps this is due to UAC? I'm not prompted. I don't know if running the install As Administrator is the right thing to do either.

  • It's quite easy. Run the setup as an administrator before you change the installation directory to, say, C:\Program Files (x86)\ You won't find the error. ![Right Click > Run as administrator](i.sstatic.net/JRFJc.png)
    – GhostOfAbe
    May 2, 2018 at 4:30
  • 1
    On windows 10, if you do this, it seems you then get an error unless you also then always run the program as an admin from thereon. Just found this out the hard way myself (October 2019)
    – Some_Guy
    Oct 16, 2019 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


I guess the term installation is a bit confusing here. Because mainly users think that files are written to some places inside C:, registry is changed etc. The Tor Browser Bundle is so-called portable software. This means the software is installed into a directory as a whole and a relevant files for running the software live inside this directory. Tor Browser Bundle doesn't change registry nor writes it to some system directory. Therefore you can install (or, better, unpack) the software to any directory you want and run it from there. The Tor developers chose Desktop, because it exists on every Windows installation and is easily accessible, I guess. So it is safe to install it there, but you also can choose any other directory which belongs to your username (or if you are an administrator probably to any directory inside your system).

  • 1
    I have had Tor installed on my Desktop - it uses 176 MB, and I assume this would be part of the reason for my computer running slowly recently. The reply above addresses that its ok to install Tor in any of the user's directories, but not why the errors for installing in the c:\program files or c:\program files (x86) occur. I would really appreciate some knowledge around this.
    – AwesomeAsh
    Aug 16, 2017 at 4:01
  • 1
    Permission errors, editing things in C:`, C:\Program Files`, etc requires privileges that normal users don't have (making changes normally requires a user to use a UAC prompt to elevate to administrator privleges). Since Tor Browser does not need and should not be given administrator privileges, it shouldn't be installed in those locations.
    – cacahuatl
    Aug 16, 2017 at 4:43
  • 1
    I got around the permission problems by installing Tor on the desktop, then moving it into Program Files. If you do that, the folder keeps using the Desktop permissions, despite being located in Program Files.
    – Brilliand
    Apr 12, 2020 at 2:21

You must log in to answer this question.

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