I opened up Tor, and was told that my browser was outdated. I downloaded the new version and copied over the original. Now I receive this very vague error: (See screenshot.)

The application "TorBrowser" can't be opened.

I've reinstalled, rebooted, checked sys prefs to allow for execution of any app, etc.

enter image description here

  • Can you start the Tor Browser from the terminal and see what the (Tor-specific) logs say? If there are no logs output, try passing the -v flag. (The problem could be something to do with permissions.) Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 13:51
  • Were you logged in as a different user when you copied the new version over the old one?
    – Jobiwan
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 16:38
  • I cannot contribute to other possible scenarios, but there's my take on the issue. Had this very same problem, but then I started to look up on absolutely unrelated (or so I thought) old familiar thing what I had years ago - it was issue about more than one system group having same Primary Group ID. I changed them to values I had before by means of Directory Editor (inside of Directory Utility) and then later by pure coincidence (I was not doing group ID rearranging by any relation to this problem) I discovered that TorBrowser opened just fine. Problem was gone! Remember one thing though - do
    – user11916
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 21:40
  • Another OSX user affected by this issue. 1. Right mouse (context) launch in Applications produces "The application "TorBrowser" can't be opened." FAIL. 2. sudo open /Applications/TorBrowser.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox Produces the "Can't launch because TorBrowser is from unidentified developer" FAIL. 3. Installing TorBrowser to local user (~/Applications) folder and right mouse launch successfully launched app. SUCCESS. Agree with other posters this is probably a group permissions error. This issue needs to be drawn to package maintainer's attention: requiring obscure installation/launch proced
    – rodneyt
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 13:35

3 Answers 3


I had the same problem. You can open it with the following in the terminal: open /Applications/TorBrowser.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox

  • This worked but I had to run via sudo for anyone else having this issue. Is there a way to resolve this permanently? Should I inform the Tor team? If so how do I collect the logs while reproducing the issue since I can only repro the issue by double clicking the app icon? Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 5:35

Put the TorBrowser.app into your /Users/xxxx/Applications folder and it should work fine. This will be easier than messing with the Group ID.


You can open Torbrowser without sudo (running a web browser as root is a bad idea), but you have to invoke it explicitly:

cd /Applications/TorBrowser.app/Contents/MacOS

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