Running Tor on Mac OS X

These are advanced installation instructions for running Tor in a command line. The recommended way to use Tor is to simply download the Tor Browser and you are done.

Even though Tor Browser comes with a regular Tor, it will only run as long as you keep Tor Browser open. The following instructions will set up Tor without graphical interface or a browser. Many people prefer this over TBB when they host onion services or relay traffic for other Tor users.

Step One: Install a package manager

There are two package manager on OS X: Homebrew and Macports. You can use the package manager of your choice.

To install Homebrew follow the instructions on

To install Macports follow the instructions on

Step Two: Install Tor

If you are using Homebrew in a Terminal window, run:

brew install tor

You will find a sample Tor configuration file at /usr/local/etc/tor/torrc.sample. Remove the .sample extension to make it effective.

If you are using Macports in a Terminal window, run:

sudo port install tor

You will find a sample Tor configuration file at /opt/local/etc/tor/torrc.sample. Remove the .sample extension to make it effective.

Step Three: Configure your application to use Tor

To use SOCKS directly (for instant messaging, Jabber, IRC, etc), you can point your application directly at Tor (localhost port 9050), but see this FAQ entry for why this may be dangerous. For applications that support neither SOCKS nor HTTP, take a look at socat.

For information on how to Torify other applications, check out the Torify HOWTO.

If you have a personal firewall that limits your computer's ability to connect to itself, be sure to allow connections from your local applications to local port 9050. If your firewall blocks outgoing connections, punch a hole so it can connect to at least TCP ports 80 and 443, and then see this FAQ entry.

If it's still not working, look at this FAQ entry for hints.

Once it's working, learn more about what Tor does and does not offer.

Configure Tor as a relay

The Tor network relies on volunteers to donate bandwidth. If you want to help make the Tor network faster, please consider running a relay.

How to uninstall Tor

Change your application proxy settings back to their original values. If you just want to stop using Tor, you can end at this point.

If you want to completely remove Tor, type into a Terminal window:

sudo port uninstall tor