Tor browser has received an update to fix an ongoing vulnerability but there occurred a weird issue. Virus & threat protection in Windows triggers Tor.exe file as malware Trojan:Win32/Malgent!MTB. Many users report on Reddit and different tech forums that they can not connect or run Tor browser because Microsoft Defender detects this as a threat after updating it. The update changed the version to Tor Browser 12.5.5.
Once the Virus & threat protection declares Tor.exe as a threat of Severe type and asks you to quarantine the file. VirusTotal also finds that the update file for Tor browser has Trojan. As a result, you can not connect to Tor and run the browser. The company has not admitted to the threat users are desperately waiting for. See: Fix Windows Defender Engine Unavailable Error (Solved!). Now walk through the methods:
Virus & threat protection detects Tor.exe as malware in Windows
Here is how to fix Virus & threat protection detects Tor.exe as malware in Windows:
Use the Previous version of the browser
Since the Tor browser is not working after installing the latest security update, it is unusable for you. The cause is Microsoft Defender has flagged Tor.exe as malware even of severe category. At the same time, the browser’s older versions are still working fine and you can install them to use. After the issue is officially fixed you install the latest version later.
- Press Windows + R.
- Type appwiz.cpl and hit Enter.
- On the Programs and Features window, find Tor Browser and right-click on it.
- Select Uninstall.
- Complete the process following the onscreen instructions and restart your system.
- Then go to www.torproject.org (the archive page).
- Download and install an old version.
Install a third-party antimalware program
Microsoft Defender alarms about Tor.exe being malware but several user reports that with a third-party antimalware program, the browser is still working well and there is no issue. When a 3rd party antivirus is installed it automatically turns off Virus & threat protection and enables itself. So install this type of app such as Bitdefender, Malwarebytes or other from the internet.
Try uninstalling and reinstalling the browser
However, this is not a proven solution but you can give it a try to fix Virus & threat protection detects Tor.exe as malware. Uninstall Tor browser through the settings app and download it from its official website to install it:
- Click on Start and select Settings.
- Select Apps from the left pane.
- Click on Installed apps in the right panel.
- Find Tor Browser and click on three dots icon.
- Select Uninstall and complete the process.
- Once completely removed, go to the official website of Tor Browser and download the setup.
- Double-click on the .exe file and install the browser.
Temporarily turn off Virus & threat protection
Although this is risky you can use this method temporarily for the time being. If you are working on any necessary task then disable the Virus & threat protection until you complete it and then enable the tool.
- Press the Windows key and type security.
- Hit Enter to launch Windows Security app.
- From the left side, select Virus & threat protection.
- On the next page, click on the Manage settings link.
- Turn off Real-time protection using the toggle.
- When User account control prompts, click on Yes.
- Once you have completed the necessary task, again enable Real-time protection.
Officially Tor Browser hasn’t acknowledged the bug where Microsoft Defender flags Tor.exe as Trojan. As any update comes further we will inform you here.