I would like to set the Tor browser as my default browser in Windows 7, but the setting in options/advanced is not working or will not hold. How do I fix this?


I successfully configured Tor Browser 5.0.1 as default browser in Windows 8.

Note that you cannot open Firefox and Tor Browser in parallel when using this solution. Probably both browsers use the same marker for the -osint flag, so that you have to close one browser completely before starting the other one.

1. Don't check default browser.

First disable "Always check if Tor Browser is your default browser", because the dialog would still show up on every start, even if you follow this instructions.

2. Create registry entries for Tor Browser

We need to enable Tor Browser to be shown in the "Set your default programs" window. Therefore create a file torbrowser.reg with following content. Replace C:\Users\MyUser\AppData\Local\Tor Browser by your installation path (back slashes must be escaped with back slashes).

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Infamous capabilities:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tor Browser\Capabilities]
"ApplicationDescription"="Tor Browser - Anonymity Online"
"ApplicationIcon"="C:\\Users\\MyUser\\AppData\\Local\\Tor Browser\\Browser\\firefox.exe,0"
"ApplicationName"="Tor Browser"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tor Browser\Capabilities\FileAssociations]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tor Browser\Capabilities\URLAssociations]

; Register to Default Programs

"Tor Browser"="Software\\Tor Browser\\Capabilities"

; TorBrowserURL HANDLER:

@="Tor Browser Document"
"FriendlyTypeName"="Tor Browser Document"



@="\"C:\\Users\\MyUser\\AppData\\Local\\Tor Browser\\Browser\\firefox.exe\" -osint -url \"%1\""

Save and double click the file, to add registry entries for Tor Browser.

3. Set Tor Browser as default browser

Go to the Windows Control Panel and open the Default Programs option. Select Tor Browser and click to set it as default program for all associated formats.

4. Update your bookmarks

If you try the above, you'll see the "Tor Browser is already running" message, when other applications try to open a website while the browser is already open. To prevent that you have to always start Tor Browser with the -osint option. For example my shortcut in the task bar calls "C:\Users\MyUser\AppData\Local\Tor Browser\Browser\firefox.exe" -osint.

5. Profit

You successfully configured Tor Browser as your default browser.

  • Mr. Strempfer, Your instructions on how to set TOR as the default browser worked perfectley with my Windows 10 x64 installation. Thank you very much. – user13584 Jul 10 '16 at 20:11

Tor Browser can't be the Windows default browser because it doesn't tell the operating system that it is installed: it is just a series of executable files on your desktop so far as Windows is concerned. You can't even use Tor Browser to open HTML document on your hard drive because it uses several executables at once.

  • Maybe that changed in one of the newer releases. Now you only need to start the firefox.exe in the Tor Browser folder. Also, I found a way to register it in Windows. – Christian Strempfer Aug 23 '15 at 12:48

Try to set it in the standard programs menu of windows. You can read a detailed howto for windows 7 here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/43506/how-to-change-the-default-web-browser-in-windows/

  • 1
    Did as suggested, Tor was not available there! If it would be there and selected, can that be undone? – user63888 Sep 16 '14 at 11:51
  • it only can be like overwritten. say you have set firefox as standard, you can just overwrite it with setting chrome or IE as standard. – DerTorSteher Sep 16 '14 at 13:14
  • It was the first time I clicked my way to that standard program section and the right pane was empty. What are the steps to set Tor as default browser? – user63888 Sep 17 '14 at 13:18

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