How to Use Tor Browser for Android

Quite a while back, I had written a post entitled Accessing Tor on Android Devices, but at present, that post is more or less outdated.

While you can still use Orbot, there’s now an app called Tor Browser for Android (Alpha), which is available on Google Play, as well as sites like this one: Tor Browser for Android .APK | Raw APK.

One of the major differences between the new version and the Orbot/Orfox combination is that you don’t need the separate proxy app (Orbot) to connect to Tor anymore.

You simply open the app, and you’ll see an onion icon with a “Connect” button, which will connect you to the Tor network. Screenshot was disabled on the app, but it looks somewhat similar to this:

Tell it to connect, and you’ll get a notification that the app is connecting to the Tor network. It will let you know how much progress it’s made on the bootstrapping process with a small meter. Again, this isn’t the most up-to-date screenshot, but it’s the closest I’ve got:

If you swipe to the left, you can see Tor logs during this process. Once it finishes bootstrapping, you should see this:

Afterward, you’re free to browse .onion sites (or the clearnet, of course) anonymously.

Initially when I tried this app, it crashed continuously (every time I opened it, in fact). I’m pleased to say that that’s no longer the case! I’m assuming that the developers fixed something, although I can’t say specifically what that is. (Can’t even view the changelog on GitHub…why?!)

In any case, the user-end part seems quite simple and self-explanatory. I tested it by going to the site http://3hbedm3irbcgr6yanknkeizk7bjetlw5tlulooz73w2w3dgeptm7zeid.onion.

That site looks like this:

Does anyone have a trick for memorizing v3 onions? Please feel free to share it in the comments, like I always say.

As on other versions of Tor, you can change to a new identity with Tor Browser for Android. Pull down your notifications, and tap “Tor Browser.” There should be a menu option that says “NEW IDENTITY.” Hit that, and it should say “You’ve switched to a new Tor identity!” (i.e. it changed your Torified IP address)

These are the basics of it, although obviously, under the hood, it’s much more complex.

If you like, I can delve into this subject further, of course. I haven’t tried out the iOS versions of Tor much, and would like to!

Who wants to let me borrow their iPhone for a minute?

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Have you heard of the dark web? Simply put, it's the "hidden internet" built on networks like Tor. "Secrets of the Dark" chronicles my dark web experiences, but is also aimed at demythologizing it and teaching about it. Want to reproduce one of the "horror stories"? Contact me at

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