TOR (The Onion Router) is a Web browser developed by Tor Project Inc. It was initially developed by and for the United States Navy to protect U.S. government communication. It works just like any other Web browser, except it’s more secure in terms of privacy for both organizations and individual users. While most browsers connect you directly to the Internet, Tor protects you by connecting your device through a series of virtual tunnels, which prevents third parties from analyzing your activities and collecting personal data. But you may want to uninstall it from your system. Before we do, let’s explore some of the reasons why you may want to uninstall Tor.
While it’s legal to use in most countries, Tor is pretty slow for an Internet browser due to all those tunnels necessary to keep your IP Address safe. But for the privacy you gain using Tor, you sacrifice time – it takes a while for the browser to load.
On top of that, Tor isn’t completely safe when used solely for online protection. And if that was your singular purpose for installing it, you might want to reconsider.
Lastly, Tor may be causing errors and disrupting your operating system if it’s not updated to the latest version. In all cases, you may want to learn how to uninstall it.
Uninstalling Tor on Windows 10 is fairly easy. Below are all the steps you need for uninstallation.
Before uninstalling Tor, you want to make sure there aren’t any tasks running that are related to it. To do that, click CTRL, SHIFT, and Esc simultaneously to open Task Manager.
Navigate to the bar at the top and click on Processes. If there are running tasks, you’ll find a drop-down menu for them under the name Tor browser. If there aren’t any open tasks for Tor, you shouldn’t find the browser’s name anywhere.
But if you do, select all running tasks and click, End Task.
If Tor’s shortcut is on your desktop, all you have to do is right click it. Then click Open File Location to start the uninstallation process.
But if you can’t find the shortcut on your desktop, then open your Windows File Explorer and navigate to the search bar. Type Tor and wait for the search to finish, then go to the file location.
Now that you’re inside the file location, it’s time to start the uninstallation process. To do so, navigate to the Tor folder and right-click it, then choose Delete.
The browser will likely get deleted in an instant, but that doesn’t mean the process is officially over. You still need to make sure that all the files are gone from the Windows Registry, which brings us to the next step.
You’ll have to manually remove the Tor browser and all its files from the Registry to ensure there are no remnants. However, you need to be careful since any file deleted by accident might be necessary for the operation of your device.
If you’re not confident about using the Windows Registry for this step, there’s nothing wrong with using a third-party installer like Revo.
But if you’d like to try cleaning the registry yourself,
- First open the Start Menu in your Windows operating system.
- Then type Regedit into the search bar and click Run it.
- Then click on the registry icon (it’ll be the blue cubes stacked one on top of the other).
- After clicking on the icon, a menu will pop up. Choose Run as Administrator located right under Open.
- (If you want to create a backup point, now would be a good time to do it. All you have to do is click File on the top left, then click on Export. Then, save the file somewhere you’ll be able to find it. Now if anything goes wrong, you’ll have a backup point for the Registry.)
- Next, once you’re in the Registry, click Ctrl and F simultaneously. A search bar will appear; type Tor and click Enter.
- Now, all the files related to Tor will appear. Select them all to delete them.
- And now you’re done. If there are files you’re not sure of, it’s better to leave them be to avoid losing anything important to the operation of your system.
If the previous steps didn’t work for any reason, then you may need to carry out a full system restore. This is basically returning your operating system to a time before Tor was installed; think of it like a time machine.
This method also works for versions of Windows that are older than Windows 10 for any situation where you can’t use the Windows Registry to uninstall the Tor browser.
NOTE: A System Restore may cause you to lose some files, so it’s best to create a backup of all your important folders and save them anywhere off your machine before proceeding.
Here are the steps you need for a System Restore:
- Open the search bar from the Windows taskbar and type System Restore.
- Click the System Restore icon.
- Select a date before you installed Tor Browser, then click Next.
- Then just follow the on-screen instructions for the restoration and restart your laptop.
Removing Tor from a MacBook is easier than ever. Although the process is a bit different from Windows, it’s still simple. All you have to do is visit the application folder and remove the browser. You may have to type in some commands, but it’s nothing too challenging.
Here are the basic steps:
- Close the Tor browser and make sure it’s stopped for the uninstallation to start.
- To make sure it’s stopped, navigate to the Dock Panel and find the Tor icon. Right-click it, and press on Quit.
- Launch the Finder app and go to Applications.
- Find the Tor browser icon and right-click it, then select Move to Trash.
- Return to Finder and click Shift, Command, and G at the same time.
- When the window pops up, type: ~/Library and click Return.
- Type in the following commands and click Return:
Saved Application State/org.mozilla.tor browser.savedState
Saved Application State/org.torproject.torbrowser.savedState
- Delete all the files, empty the trash and you’re all set.