Having trouble uninstalling Tor Browser? While this privacy-oriented browser has a ton of useful applications, there are good reasons to not have it just sitting on your device when you don’t need it.
This guide will cover everything you need to know to uninstall this browser from Mac, Android, and Windows. As well as what you can do to make sure no trace of the browser’s existence is left behind.
How to remove Tor from Windows
Usually, the correct way to remove a piece of software from Windows is to open the Control Panel, go to the Programs and Resources section, and then remove the software from there. However, if you’ve tried that with Tor, you won’t find the software in your list of installed programs. What’s up with that?
The explanation is simple. By default, Tor Browser is installed as a portable application. Meaning that it operates entirely from the folder to which it was extracted. If you downloaded the browser from TorProject.org, this portable version is what you got. The “installer” provided by the website just extracts the files to your target folder.
Portable software has several advantages. They leave fewer traces on the device being used, they require no administrative privileges to install or run, and they can be kept and used from external storage without having to install anything on the host PC.
And how do you uninstall portable software from Windows? Simple, you just delete the folder. Here’s how you can find and delete Tor Browser.
Step #1 – Locate the Tor Browser folder:
By default, this is located on your desktop. If it isn’t, right-click on your Tor Browser shortcut, then click on “open file location”.
Step #2 – Delete the folder:
Make sure to delete the entire “Tor Browser” folder, not just the shortcut or the .exe file. If you get an error saying that you can’t delete the folder because files are in use, try closing Tor Browser, or rebooting your PC.
Step #3 – Empty your trash:
Deleted files don’t vanish from Windows right away, they go to your Trash. Navigate back to your desktop, right-click on the Trash, and click on “empty trash”.
That’s it, you’re done. There should be no trace of the Tor Browser left. But if you’re paranoid, you will want to run a cleaning tool like CCleaner to get rid of any registry entries and temporary files left behind. Tor Browser isn’t supposed to leave anything behind, but better safe than sorry, right?
How to remove Tor Browser from Mac
The macOS version of Tor Browser is a little more difficult to uninstall. But the process still boils down to finding and deleting the right folders. Just like the Windows version, Tor Browser for Mac was designed with privacy in mind, and as such the browser leaves as little traces on the host system as possible.
Here’s how you can remove the browser from your Mac device.
Step #1 – Locate the Tor Browser Application
Start by locating the Tor Browser application on your Mac. The default location is the Applications folder. If it’s not there, you can locate it using the search bar on the top right corner of your Finder. Look for a folder called “Tor Browser”.
Step #2 – Move the Application to Trash
The easiest way is to click on the Tor Browser application and drag it to the Trash bin located at the end of your dock. Alternatively, you can right-click on the application and select “Move to Trash.”
Step #3 – Navigate to the Application Support Folder
The next step is to go to your Application Support folder to delete the rest of your Tor Browser data. This folder is hidden in newer versions of macOS. To access it, you’ll need to open the Finder, click on the “Go” menu at the top of the window, and then click on “Go to Folder”.
A window will pop up. There, you need to type ~/Library/Application Support/ and click “Go.”
Step #4 – Delete the TorBrowser-Data Folder
In the Application Support folder, find the TorBrowser-Data folder. Once you locate it, delete it.
If you can’t find the folder, check the folder where you installed Tor Browser. The TorBrowser-Data folder will be created there if you installed the browser outside of your Applications folder. Once you find it, delete it.
Step #5 – Empty Your Trash
Finally, to remove all traces of the browser, empty your Trash. Right-click on the Trash bin in your dock and select “Empty Trash.”
And there you have it. Once your Trash is empty, there should be no traces of Tor Browser left on your macOS device.
How to Remove Tor Browser from Android
An official version of Tor Browser was released on Android devices in 2019. Removing it is as easy as uninstalling any other Android app. Here’s how you can do it.
Step #1 – Locate the Tor Browser App:
It should be easy to find on your home screen or your app drawer.
Step #2 – Uninstall the App:
Long press on the icon to reveal additional options. Select “Uninstall” or “App info.” If you select App Info, you will find an uninstall button inside. Tap on it and wait for the process to conclude.
Step #3 – Clear Leftover Data:
Android apps have a habit of leaving files behind. Tools like SD Maid, Files by Google, and CCleaner can all find and remove those for you.
After everything is done, it’s a good idea to reboot your phone. This will make sure no traces are left behind. Rebooting the phone will flush the cache, refresh the memory, and overall help make sure all traces are cleared out.
Rebooting your phone is just a good thing to do overall. Doing it once a week can do wonders for the performance and longevity of the device.
Protecting Your Data: Viable Tor Browser Alternatives
If you don’t want to keep Tor Browser installed on your device but still want privacy, what are your options?
That depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re concerned about people finding Tor Browser on your device, the easiest solution is to keep Tor on an external drive. Both Windows and Mac give you the option to run Tor Browser from external storage. You can bump up your security by password-protecting that thumb drive using a tool like VeraCrypt or Cryptomator.
However, Tor does have its disadvantages, chief among them being slow browsing speeds. If fast and convenient browsing is what you want, then using a good privacy browser is the way to go.
There are many privacy browsers in the market today. But in terms of security, one of the best options to replace Tor Browser is Apex Browser. Apex gives users access to proxies to help mask their IP address. It also blocks attempts at tracking the user and collecting private data, while also allowing users to choose between fully ready-to-use online identities to present to websites.
Thanks to that, you can protect your privacy without compromising your browsing experience or browsing speed. And it makes multi-accounting much easier as well.