I am rather new to Tor and not sure if it is something I missed, or that I have done wrong. Almost every single onion site (90% of them) I try to access shows the error message "Unable to connect".

I tried using the Tor check, and it says that I'm using it. If anyone could help me that would be great! thank you

  • I am having a lot of trouble locating my source for this but a lot of TOR services don't play well with Windows 10 (as in deny access) due to security concerns. Try connecting via linux, I had the same issues. – Slava Knyazev Apr 21 '16 at 0:24
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    Can you access facebookcorewwwi.onion? Some Onion sites come and go. Depending where you get your links to Ontion Sites they might have been disappeared by now. – Jens Kubieziel Apr 21 '16 at 6:20

First make sure your clock, date, and timezone are set correctly. Also check the log for any issues.

Many sites has gone down, and are not online anymore that are linked to all over the place.

Then try some of the sites that are hosted by big providers with the most amount of uptime.

Some examples are:

If these sites work, then I'd say that the other sites you are trying are simply not online.

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    "First make sure your clock, date, and timezone are set correctly." Any particular reason for this? How is client's timezone important for this? – viggy Jun 17 '15 at 5:25
  • There is NO chance I am going to enter my Facebook password into a site that isn't Facebook! (Not that Facebook itself is safe, but ...) – WGroleau Aug 30 '15 at 2:39
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    It is facebook, so using that onion url makes it end-to-end encrypted. blog.torproject.org/blog/… – IAmNoone Aug 30 '15 at 6:42
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    Certain authentication measures rely on the system time being in sync with the server time within a margin of error. If your system clock was reset you might be locked out of certain encrypted connections. Kerberos and many other protocols use this. Example: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time-based_One-time_Password_Algorithm – ndm13 May 1 '16 at 17:20
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    @StigAtleSteffensen Yo're right! Thanks. I'm also beginning in this Tor World and I'm reading newbie articles etc., but none of the onion sites these articles refer to exist, so is there an .onion directory of websites or something? Thanks for the clarification. – Metafaniel Jun 6 '17 at 16:41

If the above doesn't work, here are the longshots:

  • Try using a different computer. It could be a configuration error. While most issues stem from the clock/date/timezone as mentioned above, it could be something unforeseen. Never hurts to check. Try a library.
    • If that fixes it, double-check your requirements and try posting your log. There might be something you missed last time around.
  • Change your identity. This seems like an obvious step, but just covering the bases. Exit node blacklisting is rare, but possible, and there might be other factors in the path that are preventing your connection.
  • Use a proxy over clearnet. To make sure that the service isn't actually down, try plugging it into one of the many proxies out there. One of the more famous is onion.to, but you have options if you search.
  • Set up bridges and pluggable transports. This shouldn't be necessary if you can connect to some services already, but it's worth a shot. It'll take some configuring, but if it works, it works. There's a Tor-provided guide here.
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but almost every single onion site

If you can connect to one .onion address, then there is no reason on your end why you could not connect to all of them.

The Hidden Service itself could be down or overwhelmed. (Or moved on to a new .onion address)

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Possibly you are using TorBrowser and using https:// to connect. You will either have to remove the 's' or allow the "invalid" certificate. I welcome better explanation than this and I wouldn't recommend this at all for anything that matters. You'd be better off going to the library and using those machines.

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  • The question shows no sign that the person had issues with HTTPS. Even if removing the s or ignoring invalid certificates is a bad advice security-wise. – Jens Kubieziel Apr 21 '16 at 6:23
  • Crazy advice, kurt :/ – Owl Jan 27 '19 at 9:22
  • Jens, most onion sites don't use https because SSL certs are highly unique and can be used to identify the sites real-world location. Therefore it's actually good advice, going to https tor sites usually does not work with a few rare exceptions like facebook. – Some Linux Nerd May 11 '19 at 20:44

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