Opera is a popular browser that is known to support all platforms. I mean, I have been using it since Java days. They are also known to innovate and are always ahead of the game. The latest iteration of Opera desktop browser comes jampacked with goodies like crytpo wallets, ad-blocker, and free VPN. That’s dope seeing the later could cost you a small fortune these days. Opera has tons of tips and tricks up its sleeve and we are going to explore all of them in this article.
Opera Browser Tips and Tricks
The reason we went looking for a new browser was Chrome, our favorite browser, was getting slow and sluggish. Too many ads and no native way to block them is another issue. Browsers like Opera and even Brave are privacy-focused apps that are changing the game. Even if you are not ready to leave Chrome behind, I would suggest you check out alternate browsers like Opera and see what they have to offer. And now for those Opera tips and tricks that we promised.
1. Weather Report
The first thing you will notice is the weather widget in the top left corner of the screen. It is small but easily visible however in a non-obtrusive way. You can click on the three-dot menu icon to change location to where you live.
Hover over the weather widget to find more options. The weather data is pulled from AccuWeather site. There is a link to the same with your city so you can check the forecast and other details.
2. Quick Snapshot
Right in the address bar is a camera icon. Click on it to take a quick snapshot of the entire browser or just the area you want.
You will be greeted with a pop-up allowing you to crop the area upon clicking on the camera icon. Just use your mouse to select an area or capture full screen.
You will now see an image editing toolbar with a number of handy features like blur, highlight, annotate, choose colors, add text, and more.
3. Customize Homepage
The homepage is customizable which reminds me of Microsoft Edge browser except that you will find more options here. You can toggle on/off wallpaper, weather, dark mode, news, and speed dial. By default, Opera will not block ads or trackers but these can be enabled quickly.
I like that you can choose to display your desktop wallpaper in the browser too or choose one from the gallery. I use an app for rotating desktop wallpapers and now that will work on Opera automagically.
4. Free VPN
Time to bring out the big guns. This is one of the salient features of Opera browser and one of the primary reasons why I have it on my laptop. A free VPN that’s decent enough for most work. Of course, it cannot be compared with the likes of Nord and Opera is definitely not TOR browser, but it is still awesome. I can access geo-restricted content easily and it helps me in my day-to-day work that involves testing apps and services.
You can quickly access it from the homepage as we showed in the point above. Click on the option to open VPN settings and enable it. You can choose to disable it for search engines if you want. Click on the VPN icon visible in the address bar to change your location to America, Europe, or Asia. Again, I don’t recommend it for critical or sensitive stuff but good enough for streaming or light research. Otherwise, nothing beats TOR.
5. Block Ads and Trackers
Opera wants to protect you from ads and trackers but on the other hand, want to show news and other stuff in-browser. Strange but okay. You can disable the news part and enable ads and tracker blocker in the settings.
There is an option to manage sites and links that you can whitelist meaning they will be exempted from such rules. Once enabled, you don’t have to do anything.
Also Read: How to Secure Google Chrome Browser
6. Save Previous Tabs
Another useful Opera browser tip. This used to happen with me all the time until I started using an extension to manage my tabs in Chrome. How many times did you lose all open tabs because you clicked the close button accidentally (double click anyone) or your browser crashed unexpectedly?
Select ‘Retain tabs from previous session’ option in the settings to make sure this never happens again. The next time your browser crashes, open Opera again and it will reopen all previous tabs automatically.
7. Battery Saver Feature
While browsing the web consumes less battery than say, watching media files or streaming Netflix, it is still resource-intensive. Opera is the only browser I know that comes with a battery saver feature. You will see a battery icon next to the address bar where you can quickly toggle it on/off.
I recommend choosing Save battery automatically option if you are using a laptop, otherwise, this feature is pretty much useless for desktop users.
A lesser-known but incredibly useful feature is the Workspace option. There is a button in the sidebar that you can use to seamlessly and quickly change workspace on the fly. For example, I have settings and homepage open in the first workspace.
I have our blog open in the second workspace. This allows you to keep your personal and professional lives separate without having to open multiple browser windows.
9. Save Everything With Flow
I have explored a similar feature on Edge browser called Collections. Flow is your personal space where you can save links, text, take notes, and much more on the fly. You will have to enable it manually from the Settings though.
Once enabled, you will notice the Flow icon shaped like an arrow pointing right only when you open a site next to the address bar. What’s more? You can also share links, images, and pretty much anything between devices (computer and mobile too) using Flow. Just scan the QR code Opera displays using your smartphone to connect and sync. No more using Bluetooth or other apps to share data.
10. Connect Everything
The sidebar is hard to notice with all those options packed. Let’s see what we got here. There are a couple of social media apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and some useful shortcuts like Settings, Flow, bookmarks, etc. Click on the bottom of the sidebar to reveal settings where you can enable/disable even more shortcuts like Telegram, Twitter, downloads, and history.
Do you need more workspace? You can now create as many as you want right from the sidebar. There is also a way to add shortcuts to specific extensions. The sidebar provides incredible utility and boosts productivity to a whole new level. Some of the features that we discussed earlier can all be accessed and managed from the sidebar.
11. Crypto Wallet
Last but not the least, Opera browser has embraced cryptocurrency with open arms. It comes with a built-in wallet where you can store a number of different tokens and coins like Bitcoin, Tron, and others. You will notice a wallet icon in the sidebar after enabling crypto feature in the settings.
Once again, you will need to scan the QR code on your Opera app on smartphone to connect and sync the two. That’s it. You can now use the wallet to store and transfer various cryptocurrencies on the web.
Opera Browser Tips and Tricks
Here is a bonus trick. Press Ctrl+Space on your keyboard to search for text in all open tabs in the Opera window at the same time. No other browser allows this. You can search text in the same tab but not across. Another one? Select any text or link on the page to add it to My Flow.
Opera has done an excellent job and it shows. The browser comes with so many advanced features and some of them are unique to the Opera browser. A free VPN service built right inside the browser is unheard of and frankly, pretty generous. Same goes for the sidebar that can be customized endlessly.
Opera has adopted a progressive mindset by adopting crypto and blockchain ecosystem. That is the future tech that we have all been waiting for and it is here. Those who adopt it first and start working on it will win big later. And you can install any and all Chrome extensions on Opera because it runs on the same open-source Chromium platform. What else do you need?