Make Opera your own — customize it

This guide was last updated for Opera 12.00

The Opera browser is highly customizable, so you can change a lot of the settings to suit you. This section shows some of the more common ways you can customize Opera.

The topics in this section are listed below. Select the arrow to view each topic, or select the Expand All button to view all topics at once.

Change the browser language

The Opera browser is available in many languages. The browser downloads as an international version with languages pre-installed. If your language is not offered, you may be able to add a language file manually if you use either a Windows or Unix platform.

Change the language in the browser

To change the browser language to one of the pre-installed languages, follow these steps:

  1. Select Settings > Preferences > General.
  2. In the Language section, choose the language from the drop-down list. If it is not listed, see the steps for installing a language manually below.
  3. Manage your language selections by clicking Details. Use Move up and Move down to set the order of your language preferences.
  4. Select OK. The elements of the browser change to the language of your choice. Opera will also request versions of webpages in the language you prefer, if these are available in more than one language.

If browsing our website — — look for the language selector at the bottom-left of the window.

Install a language manually

Language files are compatible with Windows and Linux versions of Opera.

The Mac version is available as a single, international build with all languages pre-installed. This version supports all the official Mac OS languages. To manage language preferences, go to the Mac system preferences.

To download and install a language file manually for Windows or Linux, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the language files list and find the relevant language file. Note that some localized versions have English help files. If the language you want to use is not listed, we regret that you cannot install the desired language for the moment. We are adding to our language files over time.
  2. Download the relevant language file from the list and save it. You could also use your own language file if it is in the appropriate format.
  3. In Opera, select Settings > Preferences > General.
  4. In the Language section, select Details.
  5. In the User interface language field, click Choose and select the language file you saved.
  6. Use Move up and Move down to set the order of your language preferences.
  7. Select OK.

Set Opera as the default browser

You can set Opera as your default browser so that Opera automatically opens when you request any information from the Internet. Choose your operating system below to display the steps to follow.


The second time you run Opera, it displays a dialog asking if you want Opera to be your default browser. Select OK to confirm.

If you have cancelled this dialog previously, follow these steps to set Opera as the default browser:

  1. Go to Preferences > Advanced > Programs.
  2. Check the Check if Opera is default browser on startup option.
  3. The next time you start Opera, answer Yes when the dialog asks you if you want Opera to be the default browser on your computer.


For the two major desktop environments, the easiest ways of changing the default system web browser to Opera are:


  1. In Gnome's system menu, select Preferences > Preferred Applications.
  2. On the web browser tab, replace the name of the current default browser with Opera.
  3. Important: Leave the “%s” in the browser name field so that files are launched by other applications directly.


  1. Open KDE's control center.
  2. Go to KDE Components > File Associations.
  3. Add Opera as the default application for the file types you want to launch directly in the browser, for example text/html.


By default, you will be notified if there is an available update for the browser. You can also set the browser to update itself automatically when new releases become available, or not to check for updates at all. To set this, select Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Security and select an option in the Auto-update field.

Notify me about available updates

Import bookmarks and other data

You can import bookmarks (favorites), contacts, and email from other programs like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Outlook Express and older versions of Opera.

To import bookmarks:

  1. Add or choose an active folder in the Opera panel (F4) where you want your imported bookmarks to display.
  2. Select Settings > Import and export..
  3. Select an import option from the list.
  4. Browse to find the folder that contains the bookmarks.
  5. Select OK to confirm.

Add features with extensions

Extensions allow you to add features and functionality directly into the browser itself, to really make the browser your own. Choose from a range of extensions from the catalog. These include extensions to translate webpages, keep you informed about the weather, or Facebook updates.

To install an extension, from the menu, select Extensions > Get extensions. Select an extension and click Install.

For more details, see the introductory video or Opera Help — Extensions.

You can also add extensions to your Speed Dial. Select the Speed Dial button, shown by a "+" symbol, and either select a suggested extension, or click View all Extensions to select one from the catalog. For more details, see Access favorite sites quickly with Speed Dial.

If you are a developer, find all the information you need to develop and publish extensions on our developer site Dev Opera.

Customize Speed Dial

You can tailor Speed Dial to suit your needs by changing the layout, background and more, as explained below:

Change the Speed Dial background
  1. Display Speed Dial and select the Configure button at the top-right of the window.
  2. Check Custom background image.
  3. Choose how you want to display the background image from Best fit, Center, Stretch, or Tile.
  4. Select Choose and locate the image you want to use.
  5. Select OK.
Change the Speed Dial layout
  1. Display Speed Dial and select the Configure button at the top-right of the window.
  2. In the Number of columns field, select the layout that you want. The Automatic setting will fit the number of dials and columns you have to the window size.
  3. Select OK.
Hide the "+" Speed Dial button
If you want to save space and remove the Speed Dial button, marked with a plus symbol, select the Configure button at the top-right of the window and uncheck Hide [+] Speed Dial button. To add a new entry once this is removed, right-click in a blank part of the Speed Dial and select Add New Dial.

Change the search engine in the search field
Display the drop-down menu from the search field and select Manage Search Engines. Select the search engine or website you want to use, click Edit, then Details. Check the option Use as Speed Dial search engine, then click OK. If the search engine or website is not listed, see Add your own search site and keyword below.

Show or hide Speed Dial
If you want a blank page to automatically display in a new tab rather than Speed Dial, you can delete all the individual entries, hide the "+" Speed Dial button as outlined above, and remove the search field in Manage Search Engines. Alternatively, type opera:config in the address field, find the option for Speed Dial State and change the number to 3. You may need to restart the browser for changes to take effect.

An alternative way of displaying the Speed Dial Configure dialog is to right-click in a blank part of the Speed Dial.

Choose exit tasks

You can set different tasks to be performed automatically when you exit, or close, Opera. The more common tasks are outlined below.

Save all the tabs from this session
Select Settings > Preferences > General > Startup > Continue from last time.
Display a confirmation dialog before exit
Select Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Browsing > Confirm exit.
Delete stored documents
Select Settings > Preferences > Advanced > History > Empty on exit.
Delete stored cookies
Select Settings >Preferences > Advanced > Cookies > Delete new cookies when exiting Opera.

Add your own search site and keyword

Opera has a default list of search engines ready to use, but you can also add a search site that you prefer and give it a keyword so you can use it right in the address field. To add a new search engine, see the video or follow the steps below:

  1. Display the website you want to use.
  2. Right-click or focus the cursor in the search field for that site.
  3. Select Create search.
  4. Type a unique keyword for this site and select OK.

Alternatively, you can go to Settings > Preferences > Search, select the Add button and fill in the site details.

You can even create your own keywords to use directly in the address field for your favorite blogs or parts of a website, such as YouTube or IMDb. For example, if you want to create a keyword to a blog in My Opera, here's how to do it:

  1. Display the blog site:
  2. Right-click the search field in the webpage and select Create Search.
  3. In the URL field, replace everything after with %s (the percentage symbol and "s" means search in Opera). Make sure you keep the backslash, too.
  4. Type a keyword for it, such as "mo" (for My Opera) and click OK.

Now to use this, just type "mo" in your address field, followed by a search term, such as "chooseopera". It searches the blog for you, directly from the address field.

Personalize Opera even more

When you have mastered the basic features of the Opera browser, find out how much more you can change settings to really personalize it so that it fits you like a glove in the Personalize Opera guide.

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