A new version of Opera browser, Opera 51.0 Stable, is out. The new version features performance and usability improvements such as the handy "back to top" action or an automated backup of all browser preferences.
Opera 51 is available through the browser's automatic update functionality and as a direct download option on the Opera website.
You can run a check for updates at any time in Opera by opening opera://about. The browser runs a manual check when the page opens to download and install updates found during the process.
Opera Software claims that the new version of the web browser is 38% faster than the latest version of Mozilla Firefox. This is thanks to Opera being compiled with Clang on Windows now. While your mileage may vary, Opera users may notice speed improvements in the new Opera 51.0.
One handy new feature in Opera 51.0 is the new "click tab to scroll to top" option. Some websites use endless scrolling pages to display content. This is the case on Facebook or Twitter, and many other sites on the Internet. While that means that users don't have to click on "next" to open the next page of content, it can be somewhat burdensome to get back to the top.
While you can hit Pos1 on the keyboard to go back to the top, Opera users may left-click on the tab as well now to jump straight to the beginning of the page. Even better, another left-click jumps back to the position you came from.
Another tab-related change is the new tabs menu which you find attached to the window controls. It lists recently closed tabs and all open tabs of the active browser window so that you can switch to any tab with another click or re-open closed tabs using the menu.
Opera 51.0 includes a change that affects pinned tabs in the browser. These tabs will be loaded on any start of the web browser regardless of the startup option that you have selected. So, even if you have selected Opera to open the start page, pinned tabs will be opened as well.
Video pop-out is a relatively new feature in the Opera browser. You may use it to pop-out any video on web pages so that it plays in its window. Opera 51 improves the feature with the new "back to tab" option which restores the video on the original page.
Opera requires that site prompt the browser to activate Flash and it is up to the user to allow Flash to run or disallow the request. Users who want Flash to run on all sites without going through that process may enable Flash by default in Opera.
Go to opera://settings and change the default preference "Ask first before allowing sites to run Flash (recommended)" to "allow sites to run Flash. You may disable Flash there as well and add exceptions for sites you trust.
Generally speaking, it is not recommended to allow sites to run Flash without user interaction as Flash is a security risk.
Opera backs up profile preferences whenever they are read successfully. If the browser cannot load the latest configuration data, it will use the backup instead. This is an automated process and helps in cases of preference corruption.
Opera engineers worked on the browser's reset functionality. It is now a matter of selecting, Settings > Browser > Reset browser settings to initiate the process.
Resetting your browser will revert any custom search engines to the default ones, remove pinned tabs, disable extensions and will clear temporary data such as cookies. Your bookmarks, history and saved passwords will remain in place with the refreshed browser.
This is a much easier process than the previous one. Users had to save the preferences in a separate file to delete the browser afterward.
The Opera browser supports wallpapers that you can set. The new browser version can pick up the current desktop wallpaper so that it is easier to add it to Opera.
To do so, open a new tab, click on the configuration icon on the page, and select the desktop wallpaper under wallpapers.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.