Opera browser step by step beginners guide

OPERA LOGO

The Opera web browser is a chromium-based cross-platform web browser developed by Opera.  According to Wikipedia, it was first released the year 1995 making it one of the oldest internet browsers for personal computers.  Opera browser was developed for personal computers and later opera mini which is used in mobile phones was introduced. Opera mini is used in smaller devices to optimize speed and reduce web page loading time.

In this guide, we are going to discuss all the major settings for a beginner to confidently use the Opera browser. The guide is specifically meant for users of computers and Windows 10 operating systems. The setting for the opera browser may be similar to its lightweight version of opera mini.

Difference between opera and opera mini.

  1. Opera is used for personal computers while opera mini is for mobile devices.
  2. Opera mini compresses the content before it is rendered to the phone while opera rendered the page the way it is from the server.
  3. Opera mini can be used in areas with slow internet compared to the Opera browser.
  4. Opera browser requires more resources to open a web page.

How to download and install the Opera web browser

To install the Opera browser you can use an offline installer or you can install directly from the Opera website online installer. When using an online installer it will download either 32 or 64bit depending on your computer operating system. For offline installation ensure you download the correct type depending on your system

Installing the Opera web browser from the online installer

To install from the online installer use your favorite search engine and search for Opera browser and click on the Opera website which redirects to the Opera browser download page. Click on Download Opera to start the download and installation process. 

Opera download page

Ensure you have a fast internet connection for fast downloading. Wait for the Opera browser setup to download, and click on the small .exe file to start the installation. Follow the prompt until full installation.

Install the Opera browser using the offline installer

If you intend to install the Opera browser later when you don’t depend on the internet you can use the Opera browser offline installer. When you open the webpage to download choose the browser depending on the type of operating system you are using from Windows, Linux, Mac, etc. Click on the link below to start downloading.

Full Opera web browser offline installer download

How to uninstall or delete the Opera web browser

To uninstall the Opera browser from Windows 10 open settings and click on Apps and features. You can also access the same from the control panel and then open Programs and Features.  

Scroll until you find Opera from among other installed applications. Click on it and select uninstall option to start the uninstallation process. 

How to Update to the latest version of Opera 

When you install from an online installer  Opera browser will install the latest version of the web browser. However, if you have an old version or you want to check for the latest version you can do an update. To update open the Opera setting and click on Opera help. It will open the window below. Click on update your browser to start the process.

Updating opera

After the update, you will need to restart the browser to finish the update.

How to use Opera to search or access webpages

When you launch Opera browser for the first time it will ask to be set as the default browser or primary browser. By default, the homepage of the Opera browser offers some common web pages that you can access with a click such as Facebook.

To search for the content open the browser and add the URL or keyword in the address bar. For keywords, it will use the Google search engine to return your query.

Using opera browser to search web

Using tabs

A tab is a web browser feature that helps to open more than one web page on the same browser. You can open independent web pages in different tabs. 

Click on the + sign on top of the address bar to open a new tab. 

Another way is right click on the current tab and then select a new tab. The shortcut key used for the new tab in opera is Ctrl + T.

Other tab options include

  1. Move tab to the workspace: it is used to group tabs using the different workspaces. Related tabs can be moved to one workspace.
  2. Reload all tabs: it refreshes all current tabs.
  3. Duplicate tab: it opens another tab to the right with the same content
Using tabs in opera
  1. Pin tab: it pins the selected tab to the left side of the browser.
  2. Mute tab: if the web page has a video or audio running in the background it mutes the sound.
  3. Reopen the last closed tabs:  it opens all recently closed tabs.
  4. Close tabs: there are 3 options for closing the tab. You can close the current tab and all other tabs except the current one or all tabs to the right of the current one.

Workspace in opera browser.

They are used to organize different tabs that the user has open. You can have all related tabs in one workspace. Opera allows for the creation of a new workspace by assigning it a name and icon. You can also assign a shortcut to each workspace to make for ease of access.

creating workspace in opera and grouping tabs

Making changes to Opera browser settings

Opera browser has many more settings that users can make to ensure the browser operates at its optimum level. Below we discuss some of the basic settings that you should know.

How to make Opera the default browser

If Opera is not set as the default browser every time you open it will prompt you to do so. To make it default click settings and then click Basic. Scroll down until you find the default browser. Click on make default to effect the changes.

making opera default browser

If it is already set as default it will indicate. When one browser in your device is set to default all others are removed from default. Only one can be a default internet browser at a time.

Changing the home page in the Opera browser

The browser home page is the first page that opens whenever you open the web browser. By default, every internet browser set its company’s main page as the default home page. 

To change the home page in Opera browser.

Click on the settings and browsers

You will be presented with the interface below.

making changes to opera homepage

It gives options to set speed dial web pages that you want to appear on your first page. 

How to clear, view and manage the cache and cookies on Opera

Cache stores data that is frequently being requested by users on the browser to increase web page loading time. Cookies store user data that can be used to track how the user is using the internet and web pages visited and preferences. By default, many internet browsers save both cookies and cache. 

User can delete or make other settings on how both cookies and cache data is used. Websites can use cookies data to track which pages users visit and for how long among many others details. 

Clearing and setting cache and cookies data on Opera browser

Click open the settings 

Open Privacy and security.

Click on clear browsing data.

clearing browsing data, cache and cookies

To clear and manage data to delete click to open. You will be presented with all cookies data and you can delete one or all data.

Managing Opera extensions

Web browser extensions add more functionality to the browser. They are compatible with the specific browsers that they were developed for. Opera web store offers many extensions for different categories that you can download and install. 

How to manage installed extensions

To open the extension setting right click on the sidebar on the left side of the browser and click on the sidebar setting. Scroll down and click on Extensions. 

You can deactivate any extension, view details, and activate or remove it completely.

You can also access the Opera store where you can still download more extensions for use.

Customize Opera Wallpaper

A wallpaper personalizes how the web browser looks and feels. To access themes and wallpaper on the Opera browser, open the setting and click on basic

customize opera wallpaper and themes

Click on your preferred theme to make it current. You can also download more from the Opera Wallpaper store.

How to manage history data on the Opera browser

Internet web browsers keep records of all web pages visited in what is called browsing history. This data can be used to access a web page faster in the future.

To access history click on the sidebar the history icon represented by a clock. You can use the shortcut CTRL+H. The window below will be presented.

managing history data in opera browser

You can view the list of all history data which is arranged by date and time click on any to open the page. 

How to clear history on Opera browser

To delete one history record you click on the X icon on the respective history page. To delete all click on clear browsing data. You can also delete history for a specific date by filtering history by date.

clearing and deleting history

Managing bookmarks Opera

Bookmarks save the page that users want to revisit later. They create a shortcut to the favorite web page for the user. They help access pages faster without the need of typing the URL or search the page on a search engine. The Opera bookmarks are denoted by the love icon on the sidebar. 

To access the bookmarks click on the love icon on the sidebar. It will open the window below.

managing bookmarks

How to save bookmarks

There are several ways to add or save a bookmark in Opera. To save a new bookmark open the preferred web page. Click on the love icon (🤍) at the end of the address bar to bookmark the tab. Again you can use the bookmark page to add a new page. The shortcut to creating a bookmark page is CTRL+D. If the current page is already bookmarked the icon changes to red.

How to view  bookmarked web pages

To view and use saved bookmarks, open bookmarked page and you can access all bookmarked pages. If the bookmark bar is activated then it shows below the address bar.

How to delete a bookmark

Bookmarks can be deleted from the bookmark page when you click on move to the bin for the selected bookmark. To edit the bookmark click edit on the bookmark icon. 

How to import and export  bookmark in opera

You can move bookmark data from one web browser to another. Bookmark import is used to move from another browser to Opera, while export moves data from the Opera browser to another browser or the device. 

This function can be mostly applicable when you change the default browser and you want to move the bookmark to the current default internet browser. 

Importing bookmarks

To import you can use HTML files, CSV files, or from other browsers.  While on the bookmark page window on the left side click on import and export. 

Importing bookmarks

It opens an option to import and export, select import choose the browser you are importing from, and what data to import. Select the source and click import.

Exporting bookmark in opera browser

If you need to move your current bookmarks from your Opera browser to another you can export them and save the file as an HTML file that can be imported later.

Managing downloads in the Opera browser

When you use any browser you may want to download files from different pages and save them to your local drive. By default, files are saved into the download folder in the Windows 10 operating system. To change the default saving folder open the settings then click on basic. Scroll all basic settings then click on advanced to get more options. Scroll on advanced until you find Downloads.

changing download folder in opera

Click on change to select a different folder to save your downloads. If you want to be selecting a location every time you download activate “Ask where to save each file before downloading”.

How to go to Opera private mode

Private mode is also called incognito browsing. Opera browser uses the term Private mode. It allows users to browse without saving most of the data such as cookies and history. To open in private mode first open the browser the normal way then right-click on its icon in the taskbar and click on the new private window

opera browser private mode

To open using the shortcut use CTRL+SHIFT+N