I'd like to use tor as a proxy for curl requests in php. I've downloaded the Expert Bundle and extracted the contents, which is a bit confusing since the description of that download says:

Contains just Tor and nothing else. You'll need to configure Tor and all of your applications manually. This installer must be run as Administrator.

but there's no installer, it's just a zip-archive. Anyway if I run Tor/tor.exe in it then it starts as a process, and then I can use it with php curl by doing:

curl_setopt($ch, $CURLOPT_PROXY ,

This works and I can get a new IP by restarting the tor-process.

However I want more control than this. For instance I've tried creating a "torrc"-file and specify a different port for example, but it doesn't seem to read the file no matter where I put it. Where is it supposed to be placed anyway? Also, I try running different commands like the ones on here with the tor-executable but nothing works.

C:\Users\Oscar\Downloads\tor-win32-tor-\Tor>tor -h

I get no kind of feedback. Only difference is that this wont tart the tor-process. What am I doing wrong?

1 Answer 1


The confusing set of instructions is likely an artefact from previous versions. The Expert Bundle doesn't get as much attention from developers as would be hoped...

With regards to the lack of output, there's a similar thread, here: Tor expert bundle on Windows - no installation instructions

The lack of output is likely due to the same bug mentioned in the above thread. As a workaround you can try adding | more to the end of your commands.

You can place the torrc file anywhere you like and specify the location using the -f option when invoking the process. (At least this way you can force it to use a specific location, rather than assume it's correctly reading it from what you think the default location is.)

To check you're editing the file correctly, have a look at the sample torrc file linked from the FAQ.

  • plus one as this is a very helpful answer !
    – user22415
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 14:55
  • i have waisted about 2 days trying to get tor read the torrc file and the answer above is really helpful but not completly
    – ahmed mani
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 11:26

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