New Release: Tor Browser 13.5

by duncan | June 20, 2024

Tor Browser 13.5 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and our distribution directory.

Regular readers of our release posts will know that for the past two years we've been gradually increasing our capacity to not only maintain, but bring tangible improvements to Tor Browser for Android. In that respect, Tor Browser 13.5 feels like a milestone: in addition to the dozens of bug fixes and minor improvements noted in the changelog below, this release features major changes to Android's connection experience in preparation for the future addition of Connection Assist, including full access to Settings before connecting and a new, permanent home for Tor logs.

For desktop, we're continuing our efforts to improve the user experience of Tor Browser's fingerprinting protections. Following the changes we introduced to new window sizes in Tor Browser 13.0 for Desktop, this release features welcome design changes to letterboxing, including new options to remember your last used window size and adjust the alignment of the letterbox in General Settings. Bridge users will also discover a myriad of improvements to bridge settings, including a complete redesign of bridge cards with improved sharing features, and a new section designed to help you find more bridges elsewhere. Lastly, the design of onion site errors has received a visual refresh aimed at making them consistent with the other kinds of Network Errors you can find in Tor Browser.

What's new for Android?

New connection experience

We've completely replaced Tor Browser for Android's connection screens with a new, "native" implementation. This is a welcome and necessary first step in our longer-term efforts to bring Connection Assist – a feature which can circumvent censorship of the Tor network automatically – to Android in a future major release. However, while we await Connection Assist's arrival, Tor Browser's new connection screens already offer a series of small improvements for Android users.

In order to establish a firm foundation on which we can expand Android's connection features in future, these screens have also been made more consistent with desktop. Ultimately, it's our hope that a user who can successfully circumvent censorship on desktop will be able to pick Android up without needing to relearn how it works.

In addition to a visual refresh, you can now enable the option to connect automatically (based on your last used connection settings) when the app is launched. Plus, you can also access the full settings menu before connecting to Tor – either by tapping the settings icon, or via the new button to "Configure connection" – where you can find the new Tor logs too (more on that below!).

A permanent home for Tor logs

As many of you may know, Tor Browser maintains a log of Tor's background activity to help troubleshoot issues when they occur. Tor logs don't contain any sensitive information about your browsing activity, but simply reveal what Tor is trying to do behind the scenes – for example, these logs typically include a record of Tor's bootstrapping progress, plus any warnings or errors as they occur.

Should a user run into a problem and contact support, we may request a copy of your Tor logs to help them diagnose the issue. However, in previous versions of Tor Browser for Android, Tor logs could only be found by swiping to the side during the connection sequence. This meant that once Tor Browser had established a successful connection, users were unable to return to this screen to view and copy their Tor logs.

To address this issue, we've rebuilt and relocated Tor logs to a new section within Settings called "Connection Settings" – which is exactly where you can find Tor logs on desktop too. Given that the settings menu can now be accessed regardless of your connection status, this means that you can retrieve your Tor logs at any point while using Tor Browser. And finally, there's a handy button you can use to copy all logs without needing to fiddle around with selecting text.

What's new for desktop?

Introducing Betterboxing

"What are those gray bars?" is a question we get so frequently from new users, that it has its own entry on our support website. And the answer is: the letterbox!

To recap, letterboxing was introduced in Tor Browser 9.0 to allow users to resize their browser window without fear of being fingerprinted by rounding the inner content window (sometimes referred to as the "viewport") down to the nearest hundred pixels. This technique works by grouping the window sizes of most users into a series of common "buckets", protecting individual users within those buckets from being singled-out based on their window or screen size.

Although the existing implementation of letterboxing works excellently to protect you from fingerprinting, its visual design would often be misinterpreted by new users either as a bug with the browser or rendering issue with the website they're browsing. Based on the user feedback we've collected online, in our user research activities and during training sessions we've identified the following issues:

  1. The design doesn't look very deliberate, hence users who misinterpret the letterbox as browser breakage instead. In response we've given the visual design of the letterbox a little polish – however the elements we've introduced have been kept deliberately subtle so as to avoid distracting you from the content you're actually trying to view.

  2. Letterboxing as a feature isn't acknowledged anywhere in Settings, because in the past, there were no additional options to configure. Beginning in this release, you can now find a new letterboxing section in General Settings, including the options to remember your last known window size and choose whether you prefer the letterbox to be aligned to the top or middle of your browser window.

Pro tip: if, like me, you find yourself manually resizing Tor Browser to hide the margins letterboxing has introduced – you can now double-click within the letterbox margin to snap Tor Browser down to its next window size.

Even better bridge settings

Bridge users will notice a series of refinements coming to Connection Settings in this release, aimed at helping censored users find working bridges and improve the management of multiple bridges when added.

Bridge cards, first launched in Tor browser 11.5, are now displayed in a single, more compact card rather than the previous stacks of cards. To help you remember where your bridges came from, the new bridge cards also come pre-labelled with the source of your bridges, be they built in, requested from Tor, or added by you. Finally, when you have three or fewer bridge cards added, you can now share all of them at once instead of the previously fiddlesome process of sharing one at a time.

When Tor Browser's built-in options don't cut it, you can also find a new "Find more bridges" section which points the way to additional channels where censored users may retrieve bridges – including Telegram, the "Get Bridges" website, and via email. The existing ability to "Request a bridge" has been moved here too, allowing users to retrieve bridges from Tor Browser's built-in bridge bot without needing to connect to Tor first.

Simplified onion site errors

Unless you're perfect, you've probably misspelled a website's address at some point and landed on an error screen instead. The user-friendly messages you receive when you run into an issue like this are known as Network Errors, or neterrors for short, and were introduced to Firefox all the way back in version 1.5.

For the last few years onion site errors have appeared different from other types of neterrors in Tor Browser. Although the design decisions behind this change were well intentioned, they sometimes led to confusion about the source of the issue. In response, we've simplified the design of our onion site errors and made the user experience consistent with other types of neterrors you may encounter while you surf the onionverse.

Release notes

Due to Firefox ending support for older versions of Windows and macOS, Tor Browser 13.5 will be the final major version of Tor Browser to support Windows 8.1 and older, and macOS 10.14 and older.

Keeping Tor Browser up to date is critical to maintaining your privacy, security and anonymity. However following Tor Browser 14.0's release in Q4 this year, users of these platforms will no longer receive important updates. Therefore we strongly encourage affected users to update their systems to supported versions of Windows and macOS before the next release, and users running older versions of Windows and macOS will begin seeing messages to this effect in Tor Browser.

Contributors <3

Thanks to all of the teams across Tor, and the wider community, who contributed to this release. In particular we'd like to extend our gratitude to the following volunteers who have contributed their expertise, labour, and time to this release:

If you would like to contribute to a future release, please see our guide for new contributors to get started. Lastly, if you find a bug or have a suggestion for how we could improve this release, we'd love to hear your feedback.

Full changelog

The full changelog since Tor Browser 13.0.16 can be viewed on the accompanying blog post.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Incredibly long bugfix list in the announce mail. :sweat_smile:

I particularly like that the bridgelines are now easier to distribute. I have all my hidden bridges in there and now I no longer have to search on the hard drive for the text files where I saved them.
aaand Tor Browser deb builds


Betterboxing looks sweet as hell, never been a fan of rounded corners in general but here it’s surprisingly nice. And double clicking on the margins to have it resize automatically is pure genius, very nice indeed. Will it make to Firefox too? It would be criminal not having this as the default letterboxing experience.
Bridges settings pane looks good as well. :+1:


That’s our hope, however there are a few issues that we should smooth out first (nothing major, just visual stuff) :slight_smile:

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You fail to mention why Tor Browser will no longer support older versions of Windows.
That may be relevant information for some people?
I am certainly more interested in the (technical) details of this change, than the stuff above it.

At the very least some kind of explanation should have been provided. Since it is clearly going to be a huge issue for anyone, who did not update or switch for all these years.

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I agree—there will be more information about the upcoming support deadlines for these platforms coming out soon, including an article on our support portal. In the meantime I’ve just edited the release post to provide more context, but the longer version is:

Microsoft ended support for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 in January of 2023, and Apple typically provides support for the previous three versions of macOS. In turn, Mozilla moved support for these versions to the Extended Support Release (ESR) version of Firefox last year.

Tor Browser 13 is currently based on Firefox ESR 115, which will be the final ESR to support these platforms. This means we will no longer be able to support these platforms after we update Tor Browser to ESR 128 around Q4 this year.

Your next question may be: given that there are still Tor Browser users relying on these platforms, can’t the Tor Project support these platforms unilaterally? The short answer is no, but for a more in-depth discussion please see this thread about Windows specifically:

Ultimately, the same rational applies to macOS too.


hah … where’s my tor hoodie? !!

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There is this note on Tor Browser manual:

Note: Support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 will be discontinued after the release of Tor Browser 14, scheduled for the end of 2024. Users on these operating systems are strongly advised to upgrade to maintain access to the most recent updates and security features provided by Tor Browser.


For anyone else on the old-OS train and need some extra convincinng, here’s a concrete example of how supporting legacy platforms using creative shims can really ruin your security and privacy guarantees:

It is an incredibly frustrating truth that upgrading your operating system these days (and software in general) comes with the benefits of improved security properties and critical bug fixes, while also introducing unwanted bloat, features, and telemetry. So if you are on Windows 7, I totally get why you would not want to update the something newer with no perceived upside and lots of obvious downside. Windows 7 was hot shit back in the day after all. But this is the reality we are forced to work in.

If you really care about your privacy and security, you should try switching to an operating system which cares about this stuff as much as you do instead of installing shit from advertising companies who also happen to make software on the side.

Linux these days is leagues ahead of where it was during the Windows 7 era, but most importantly if things break you have the power to fix it. Most distros these days have a bootable iso so you can try it out ahead of time, see if you like their default environment and whether there are any hardware incompatibilities.


What an amazing update! Keep up the work. Love it!

Hopefully the team will have the time and resources for an official iOS version any time soon :heart:

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