Tor Browser is now optimized for Apple Silicon, thanks to a new update rolling out this week. With the newest release of Tor Bowser 12.0, the Mac version of the Firefox-based browser is now a Universal app, meaning it can run natively on Macs with Apple Silicon or Intel chips using the same binary.

The update was announced in a blog post this week. For those unfamiliar, Tor Browser is based on Firefox and offers more privacy and anonymity with advanced encryption. The app also allows users to access .onion domain names, which are only available via the Onion network. Tor Browser, while somewhat niche, is open source and has become a crucial tool for people looking to “experience real private browsing without tracking, surveillance, or censorship.”

Tor Browser 12.0 adds a number of different enhancements, including multilocale support on desktop, upgrades to the Android app, and more. For Apple users, however, the most notable change is the addition of native Apple Silicon support, a task that the Tor Project team says “was no small task.”

In the past, the Tor Browser on Macs with Apple Silicon would run using Rosetta translation. This update, however, turns the app into a Universal Binary so the same version of the app can run natively on both Apple Silicon and Intel machines. A universal binary can run natively on both because it contains executable code for Intel and Apple Silicon architectures.

This was no small task, but we’re happy to say that Tor Browser 12.0 now supports Apple Silicon natively. Like Mozilla’s approach for Firefox, we’ve opted for a Universal Binary too – meaning both x86-64 (i.e. Intel compatible) and ARM64 (i.e. Apple Silicon compatible) builds are bundled together with the correct version chosen automatically when run.

Tor Browser can be downloaded from the Tor Project website. It’s recommended to download directly from here to ensure you download the correct and legitimate version of the Tor Browser.

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Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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