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Running Tor on Mac

Install Homebrew

  1. If you do not have Homebrew installed, follow the installation instructions here. TLDR: Open the Terminal and paste the following line:

    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"


    On new (M1) Macs, you might need to be root for this in which case add sudo at the front of the command, with a space before /bin/bash

  2. You will be prompted for your system password before installation; proceed with entering your password. You may be asked more than once.

    Homebrew installation
  3. You will be notified which directories Homebrew is going to create, hit RETURN:

    Homebrew installation

    Homebrew creates the directories and downloads any other files it needs e.g. “Command Line Tool for Xcode” and “Homebrew”.

    Wait a few minutes while it downloads and installs what it needs.


Surprisingly, Homebrew uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous usage data. You can deselect the option to share usage data by opting out.

Install Tor


If you have the Tor Browser open, close it and quit the application.

  1. In the command line, install Tor:

    brew install tor
  2. Then run Tor with:

    brew services start tor

This will start Tor and ensure that it is always running, even after a restart. See the Tor Project docs for more details.

Enable Tor System-wide

  1. Now enable apache service:

    sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.apache.httpd.plist
  2. Enable proxy autoconfig file (This will download the Start9 standard proxy config file. You can use your own if you prefer):

    sudo curl --output /Library/WebServer/Documents/proxy.pac
  3. Go to system preferences:

    System Preferences
  4. Click on Network:

    Select Network
  5. In this example, we’ll select WiFi on the left panel. If you’re using Ethernet, click that instead. Next click “Advanced”:

    Click Advanced
  6. Select “Proxies”:

    Select Proxys
  7. Select “Automatic Proxy Configuration”, add this URL: http://localhost/proxy.pac then click “OK”

    Select Automatic proxy config and enter URL
  8. Finally, click “Apply”

    Apply proxy

Done! You have now enabled system-wide Tor potential.

If you’d like to setup Firefox to use Tor you can follow this guide.