10 Tips to speed up Opera 9

Opera is already a very fast browser, but if you would have the choice between fast and faster than fast, what would you choose? I decided to compile a list of tips for Opera that speed up the browser even further.

Many of the settings can be changed by simply going to Tools > Preferences in Opera but some can only be used by accessing not so obvious ways like ini files.

Please note that everything that I'm describing here worked fine on my computer. It speeds up Opera and increases my browsing experience tremendously. While most tips will work for any users no matter their connection to the Internet some tips might only increase performance for broadband users.

Disable Name Completion and local network look up

Whenever you enter a single word into the address field Opera will look in your bookmarks for that name and try to find a local network with the name as well. Server Name Completion tries to append prefixes and suffixes to the name automatically. While this feature may be great for some users, it uses time and cpu and should be turned off for faster browsing.

Click on Tools > Preferences, select the Advanced Tab and choose Network from the left menu. Click on Server Name Completion and disable Look for local network machine and try name completion.

Increase the time cached images are used before checking for new versions

Opera downloads images to its cache to load them faster (from your hard drive) the next time you visit the website. By default Opera checks every 5 hours if a new version of that image has appeared on the website. If you increase this time you increase your overall performance.



Go to Tools > Preferences and click on the Advanced Tab. Choose History from the left menu and select Every 24 hours or even every week for image checks. You can always refresh the cache manually by typing F5 while visiting the website.

Remove unneeded and duplicate plugins

Type opera:plugins in the address bar, this should display a list of plugins that are currently installed. Take a closer look and see if you find plugins that you never need. For instance if you never use Realplayer streams in Opera you should deactivate it.

To deactivate them open the file plugin-ignore.ini located in your Opera main directory and add the file name of the plugin that you want to disable to it.

Another problem are duplicate plugins that are caused by loading the plugins from Firefox as well. This happens of course only if Firefox is installed on the same system. You can disable this easily by typing opera:config in the address bar. Navigate to User Prefs > Plugin Path and delete the Firefox reference there.

Rebuild your profile if you have upgraded Opera (a lot)

This is only for users who upgrade Opera a lot. I have been using Opera since version 6 and always upgraded from the old version to a new one. This can mess up the ini files, especially the opera6.ini file which is still used in all versions of Opera which can lead to all sorts of problems (slow page loading, high cpu usage)caused by obsolete or incorrect entries in that ini file.

The easiest approach would be to backup the file opera6.ini in your profiles folder of your Opera installation and delete it afterwards. Please note that Opera has to be closed before you do this. Restart Opera afterwards and it should automatically create a new opera6.ini file without all those old entries.

You will lose custom settings though and tweaks that you have made are gone too. It is however not a big problem to enter them again using the Preferences for the personal information and about:config for the latter.

Read also:  Opera Browser's new design revealed

Disable Turbo mode

While this may sound a little bit strange at first to disable turbo mode and present it as a tip to speed up Opera it becomes clear soon. Turbo mode means that Opera pre-draws any image which means that you see part of it although it is not fully loaded. This uses CPU and memory and could increase overall performance especially on slower computers. It should not be noticeable on fast computers though.

Type about:config and enter Turbo into the search field. Disable Turbo Mode and click on save.

Increase the number of total connections

If you happen to load many tabs at once and like to read websites more or less simultaneously you may want to increase the maximum number of connections. This should have a drastic impact on loading times if you use a broadband connection. It should not make a big difference for users with slow connections, such as 256K connections or less.

Type about:config and enter connections into the search field. Change the value of Max Connections Total from 20 to another value, I suggest 32 or 64 connections. The Max Connections per Server setting should remain as it is. You might even want to test a lower setting, for instance 4 connections there.

Reduce the amount of visited pages in history

Opera keeps track of the last 500 visited websites. The benefit is that Opera displays all urls that fit the string that you enter in the address bar. You can then scroll down and load the website without entering the url fully. This can however impact the time Opera needs to start up.

A temporary fix would be to clear the history manually, a better solution to reduce the amount of websites that Opera stores.

Click on Tools > Preferences and then on the advanced tab. Select History from the left menu and either click on Clear next to Addresses if you want to test if this solution really speeds up loading times or reduce the number of stored addresses in the history right away. I never use that feature and set it to 0. You might reduce it to 100 for instance.

Change Expiry Settings

Some Webmasters want you to load their website anew every time you visit it to display new ad banners for instance. This has the effect that Opera will not use the files stored in cache to load the website but request the complete website again from the server increasing load times.

We are however able to ignore the expires meta tag from websites by changing two settings in the Opera configuration.

Write opera:config in the address bar, hit enter. Search for expiry and change the settings for Check Expiry History and Check Expiry Load to 1.

Save Images Faster

This is probably more a usability tip than a performance tip but I think it is still nice enough to be included. Instead of saving images by right-clicking on them and selecting Save Image you can simply press CTRL and left-click the image. The download window appears and you can save it then immediately.

Delay mail and rss connections at startup

Opera prioritizes mail and rss accounts during start up. This could mean that you could experience lots of disk activity during start up which may slow down Opera significantly. It is possible to delay each account individually to prevent that Opera slows down during start up.

Locate your accounts.ini file which should be in the Opera mail folder. Every account should have an entry Initial Poll Delay=X where X should be set to at least 60 (seconds) and the rss feed to something like 120 or more.

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Responses to 10 Tips to speed up Opera 9

  1. Tobey March 29, 2007 at 8:00 pm #

    Nice one, thanks.

  2. Lou April 20, 2007 at 9:18 pm #

    thanks for the tips. it's really helpful

  3. ??? August 25, 2007 at 3:41 am #

    Where is the other 8 tips? I see only 2...

  4. ~!~? August 29, 2007 at 9:53 pm #

    Ummm only 2 tips

  5. pbrouty August 30, 2007 at 10:53 am #

    maybe you have to pay for the other 2.

  6. pbrouty August 30, 2007 at 10:54 am #

    other 8

  7. kashyap September 1, 2007 at 3:26 pm #

    Thanks for those tips

  8. Rammi September 14, 2007 at 8:02 pm #

    Where's the others????

  9. downboy September 19, 2007 at 6:05 am #

    This is just crap. You give only two tips. If I change IE or FF's useragent string, do I get the rest? Lame as hell. Shame on you. :(

  10. samuel September 22, 2007 at 11:20 pm #

    ya this is crap
    juste search google : "make firefox faster"
    and do the same things for Opera.
    it will work .
    just type: “about:config� in the adress bar

    and then find "performance" in the list and rise the numbers to 32 or more.

    it will work like in firefox as seen here:

    http://forevergeek.com/open_source/make_firefox_faster.php

  11. rachid elachhab October 17, 2007 at 6:30 pm #

    it is not good .....opera is opera no change no options........>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>nothing my friend
    forgive me for this
    where r 10 configurations, i only see 2??????????????????????????????????????

  12. Martin November 3, 2007 at 11:37 am #

    I merged the articles, thanks Artur for your help.

  13. mike January 26, 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    Tx for 10 useful info and thus tip. Rather than whining about shortchange, help the guy out by donating with 'missing 8'.

  14. Jack May 12, 2008 at 5:26 pm #

    Superb. Very useful. Thank you.

  15. Ethan M June 24, 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    Don't forget to check out these Opera performance enhancement tips as well:

    http://operawiki.info/OperaPerformance

  16. moserw July 17, 2008 at 8:07 pm #

    Thanks for sharing useful tips. Tried them out on my Opera and its definitely faster now. Much appreciated.

  17. Best Webhost August 1, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    I implemented the suggested Opera hacks and I am seeing Opera running like a lightning. Thanks for the tip.

  18. mgforce August 29, 2008 at 6:08 am #

    Great article.. Some really useful tips..

    btw someone copied ur article verbatim here

    http://my.opera.com/higio/blog/2008/06/29/10-tips-to-speed-up-opera-9

  19. ajay September 28, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    damn good, BUT,
    I got to repeat these steps after a few weeks, what the hell makes them reset to default.

  20. igor December 20, 2008 at 1:14 am #

    nice one
    thanks m8

  21. vishnu December 22, 2008 at 7:41 am #

    hey i incress to much speed in opera

    i sugest u dont use fire fox

    if u using then i tell u after few month your firefox take delay to start up time

    this is my personal expireance

  22. EaglesFanPhila December 25, 2008 at 3:56 am #

    Worked for me as well. I love you computer geeks.

  23. Merlin January 18, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    Very useful and Thank you for sharing this tips for all people in the net.THX

  24. mrdprince April 6, 2009 at 4:12 am #

    Thanks a whole lot!!!!Great tips and have already instituted at least half of them. Just more reasons to love Opera.

  25. Squinty May 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    Works! =)
    Thanks for the tips. Didn't use it all but it 100% works with me!

  26. jsaf May 28, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    thix do3s not WoRK!!!!!!

  27. Mick September 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm #

    Archive for the 'Opera' Category

    Muy buenos consejos, muchas gracias Martin

  28. vimal November 2, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    thanks for such wonderful tips.its working lot........its superb...

  29. Anonymous November 14, 2009 at 4:11 am #

    This post is totally ripped off from here:http://my.opera.com/higio/blog/2008/06/29/10-tips-to-speed-up-opera-9 Shameful

    • Martin November 14, 2009 at 11:05 am #

      Have you looked at the dates? No? Maybe you should before throwing around accusations.

  30. Rob December 6, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Comments on any site always suck, always have sucked, and always will suck.

  31. _taz January 28, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    web browsers speed are based on the speed of your network ....
    settings such as this will not work....
    if you want to experience fast net...
    try upgrading your old computer?....
    =D

  32. N.R. April 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    Nice Tips its very useull
    Thanks NR

  33. Jay September 3, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    Will these tips work for the latest versions of Opera (10.*)as well?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Martin September 4, 2010 at 12:01 am #

      Yes most should work just fine in Opera 10.

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