Tor browser is acting funny. First, when I toggle tor browser on my lexar jump drive it goes to a shortcut stating "Start TOR browser". then when I ask for a new identity TOR crashes or gives me the message "TOR browser will close all windows and tabs. All website sessions will be lost. Restart now to reset your identity?"
TOR has NEVER asked me this before. Plus TOR opened with Duck Duck Go as the search engine. Am I compromised? (Also ran EXTERMINATE IT, Malwarebytes, and Spybot to ensure I'm not infected.)

3 Answers 3


The behaviour you're seeing is normal. There's nothing to worry about*.

"Start Tor browser" is the general Tor start-up script. (The file is named start-tor-browser, and at least on Linux is a bog-standard shell script. If you're worried about it, you can actually just read the script to see what it does.) When you run the script, Tor starts.

There is a difference between New Identity and New Circuit.

New Identity will effectively restart the entire Tor Browser application from scratch, meaning it has to shut down the browser. It's not crashing. It's performing a graceful restart. This operation is scoped to the whole browser.

New Circuit, on the other hand, will create a new identity only for the tab that has focus. The other tabs aren't affected, and the entire browser doesn't need to be shut down. This operation is scoped to a specific tab.

At the time the OP posted the question (May 2015), it's possible the default search provider had just been updated to DuckDuckGo. It has since been changed again to Disconnect (Nov 2015).

*(That said, for piece of mind, I'd suggest deleting/re-installing, as another answer suggests.)


You could be compromised, or not. You should uninstall what you have, and start from a new install of the Tor browser and see if that fixes any of your problems.

  • This is a bad answer, it will not help if the rest of his computer is infected with something.
    – IAmNoone
    Nov 18, 2015 at 20:48

90% that you are : Tor Browser Bundle is just a Firefox portable + Tor distro, and your browser seems to encounter a "toolbar problem"

  • The browser bundle is a standalone tor with standalone firefox, it's not a 'tor distro' the way you mention. Tails is a separate full OS that includes tor and firefox amongst other things, and is not related to the tor browser bundle. Also, the 'toolbar problem' you mention has no explanation what so ever.
    – IAmNoone
    Nov 18, 2015 at 20:49
  • I mean the Tor-itself-distro, not OS bundle, of course. The 'toolbar problem' is a kind of trouble, when either from a not-so-friendly website, or from an installer script, that has found your particular browser instance installed - you're receiving an unwanted/undesired toolbar, or addon. And the phrase "Plus TOR opened with Duck Duck Go as the search engine." - as far as I can understand, the browser settings were not 'resetted to factory defaults', but modified. So - something was added, I suppose
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Nov 19, 2015 at 1:28

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