I guess I have a lot of reading to do, but as someone who is not a computer specialist, I often don't understand the instructions. My main issue is how to use Tor if you have another browser installed on your computer.

How do I get my email to open its links in Tor and not safari?

Am I supposed to uninstall other browsers once I downloaded Tor?

Is there a "what should I do now" page for ordinary people using Tor for the first time?

  • what is your main reason for wanting to use tor?
    – puser
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 15:27

4 Answers 4


Those are lot of questions fired in one single post please ask some questions separately for you to get perfect answers. If I just stuff all these answers in a single paragraph then you will not read nor you will understand even if tried to due to complexity .(lack of rep forces me to keep this which should be there as a comment to your question)

So my humble request is to first check in the search bar for you questions if not answered then ask them separately.

Here I will be answering only the main questions to get you started . After you have installed the tor browser your need to configure it properly.In order to use it to open blocked /censored content.

For simple browsing you can directly open the tor browser(through the browser bundle which opens up by connecting to tor automatically) but if you want to open mail clients like Gmail you might or might not be able to open it because Gmail allows login only through Cache enabled browsers but in this case your browser will have max disabled settings in order to browse anonymously to a great extent.

And coming to get rid of other browsers my suggestion would be no. In case you have not configured properly or cannot open some site which Is open generally (not blocked) then your other browsers will come handy. So please always make one browser as backup.

As last resort for you still not following the above follow this page


That depends on what your goal is.

Browsing the web via Tor is a lot slower than browsing it normally. Also, there are websites which block access from Tor to avoid abuse. When you decide to use only Tor from now on, you will no longer be able to use these websites.

Whether or not to completely abstain from browsing the web without Tor is a decision you have to make depending on your personal privacy requirements. Maybe you want nobody to be able to know anything about your internet activity. In that case you would uninstall all other browsers and use only the Tor browser from now on. Or maybe you just want to circumvent a block or surveillance on a handfull of websites, in which case you would only use Tor for these and browse the rest of the web normally. Only you know how much privacy you need, so I can not tell you what to do in this regard.

  • I appreciate all the responses. I'm still figuring out Tor, particularly to what degree I should commit to it. It's a browser that's not really plug and play in that you have to tweak it to align with other aspects of your computer use. Thanks, all, for the advice.
    – mlamas
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 21:57

I would say NO, and if you want to dedicate a computer to Tor browsing, use tails. Preserve the other browsers because:

  • You still want to check other sites containing personal information without using the same session and over Tor. (Using Tor with major sites are annoying, i.e. unsolvable recaptchas, security of cookies, or just being totally blocked.)
  • You will want to Alt+Tab away when someone is trying to look at your screen and seeing 'Tor Browser' (i.e.: In a Library.).
  • Use Tor browser for anonymous things and normal browser for everyday life things.
  • I have no problems using Tor Browser with any other(s) at the same time i.e. Iceweasel (GNU/Linux), Firefox (Windows), Firefox-Portable (Windows), Chrome (Windows) and Safari (Windows).

If it were not for the fact that you (a) have said explicitly that you're not a specialist and that often the instructions are not clear, and (b) that you intend to use your email via Tor, I wouldn't be saying what I'm about to. It might come across as patronising, which is not my intention.

You should ensure, at least, that you understand what Tor will do for you, and what it won't. With that in mind, it's worth reading the warnings given here; in particular, look at the warnings under "Do not mix modes of anonymity" and the described mode(3) "user with no anonymity using Tor".

  • will carefully absorb these warnings and, over time, develop my expertise. thanks!
    – mlamas
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 21:59

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