Controlling browser behavior

This guide was last updated for Opera 12.00

Besides changing how webpages display and the look and feel of the browser itself, you can also change how the browser behaves, for example, you can change the settings for security, built-in preferences, BitTorrent, and updates.

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

Change security settings

While Opera's default security settings protect you for general browsing, you may wish to protect your browsing habits and personal information even more. For more information on changing security settings, see the Guide to security and privacy in Opera, which shows you how to make the most of Opera's settings for security.

Change built-in preferences in opera:config

The preference menus provide options for the most commonly used preference settings. If you want more control over preferences, you can use the built-in preference editor. To use this, type opera:config into the address field, and press Enter. When you use this editor, you may need to know which files Opera uses for bookmarks, cache, mail, settings and so on. To find out which files Opera uses, select Help > About Opera and view the list of file locations (paths).

For more information about what the opera:config settings mean and what they do, see the Opera's Settings File Explained tutorial.

Use BitTorrent

Opera comes with built-in support for the BitTorrent protocol. BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file-distribution protocol that lets you download large files without putting too much strain on one single server, because the download is distributed. BitTorrent is enabled by default, but it may be disabled, even system-wide.

When you start a torrent download, you can access BitTorrent preferences from the dialog displayed. You can specify how much bandwidth should be allowed for downloading and uploading respectively. If you find that BitTorrent takes up too much of your available network capacity, you can adjust these settings.

Use a third-party BitTorrect client

You can choose to use a third-party BitTorrent client without disabling Opera's BitTorrent client. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Select Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Downloads.
  2. Uncheck “Hide file types opened with Opera”.
  3. Type “torrent” in the Quick find field.
  4. Double-click the line that looks like this: application/x-bittorrent torrent.
  5. In the resulting dialog, select either your system's default BitTorrent client (Open with default application), or define a preferred client (Open with other application).
  6. Note: This will not disable Opera's BitTorrent client, but it will associate Torrent files with your preferred BitTorrent client. If you want to completely disable Opera's BitTorrent client, see the steps below.

Disable Opera's BitTorrent client

If you decide that you need to disable Opera's BitTorrent client, follow the steps below:

  1. Follow this link opera:config#BitTorrent|Enable.
  2. Uncheck “Enable” at the top of the page and select “Save”. The BitTorrent client is disabled.

For more details about BitTorrent, see Opera Help - BitTorrent.

Keep up-to-date with Opera

By default, Opera automatically checks for updates, and notifies you if new versions of the browser become available. It will also check to see if there have been any site-specific fixes that it can apply automatically. If needed, you can disable this automatic checking using opera:config; see Opera's Settings File Explained for details on how to do this. Note that site-specific fixes are applied separately for each user. If you do disable automatic checking, you can still manually check for updates using Help > Check for Updates.

Auto update

From Opera 10 onwards, you can also set Opera to update itself automatically when new releases become available. To automatically install updates, select Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Security and in the “Opera update level” section, check “Automatically install updates”. If you want to automatically download snapshot build releases of Opera, go to the opera:config settings page and enable “Download All Snapshots”. For more information on using opera:config, see the Opera's Settings File Explained tutorial.

Other ways to control browser behavior

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