Opera 51 Stable is out

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 7, 2018

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 51: what is new

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.

Changes to Preferences

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.

Other changes in Opera 51

  • Opera 51 is based on Chromium 64.
  • Middle-paste on Linux opens next to open tab instead of on the right.
  • Import bookmarks option added to bookmarks manager.
  • All bookmarks renamed to Other bookmarks.
  • Option to save all tabs / selected tabs to Speed Dial.
  • New EULA in the installer.

You can check out the full changelog of Opera 51 here. Read the release announcement for additional details as well. You find download links at the bottom of the page.

Related articles

Opera 50 Stable is out


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Opera 51 Stable is out
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.
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  1. Brenda Blessed said on February 11, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Opera provides a free Virtual Private Network (VPN) and ad blocker that must be enabled under – Settings (button in the top left-hand corner) => Privacy & security – because they are not enabled by default. Google and Facebook are the biggest invaders of privacy. They need to be taught a lesson by as many users as possible blocking their ads and running via a VPN. It’s not so strange that this is not mentioned in this article given this site’s reliance on Google ads.

    1. Clairvaux said on February 11, 2018 at 9:03 pm

      This very unfair to Martin, who covers script blockers and assorted add-ons in depth, despite the fact he needs ads to earn a living. I know of computer forums which rely on ads, where just mentioning ad blockers in comments will get you banned.

  2. ShintoPlasm said on February 8, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    This release has some really annoying bugs, which the devs are aware of. I’d avoid updating just yet, if you can.

    1. Mick Marsupial said on March 6, 2018 at 10:51 am

      How? I’m struggling to find how to shut off Opera Auto Update in 51. I arrived at 51 by an auto update from ?48? that I didn’t know was going to happen, so I’d like to be asked next time…

  3. InGSoC said on February 8, 2018 at 5:29 am


    as for privacy issues use opera://flags, then choose Reduce default ‘referer’ header granularity. and activate.

    Also set Strict site isolation and Top document isolation to activate.

    Other Controlmechanism is using uBlockOrigin and set Privacypoints.

    3rd Idea is to use Policy Control Extension to get real Access to Javascript and other important

    Features on a websiteorientated Base.

    Guess that’s enough for a “normal User” to protect from unwanted Information, seen by Servers.

    Greets, InGSoC.

    1. Sebas said on February 8, 2018 at 7:51 am

      Useful info, thanks for sharing.

    2. Klaas Vaak said on February 8, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Good suggestions. But what do you mean by
      using uBlockOrigin and set Privacypoints ?

      1. InGSoC said on February 8, 2018 at 11:42 am

        Rightclick on the uBlockOrigin Symbol, choose Options and u are on the Optionspage.

        There are the Sections to choose, second is Privacy/Privatsphäre.

        There are 4 Possibilities to activate,see?

        (U can get uBlock Origin through the official Opera AddonsPage and install it.)


      2. Klaas Vaak said on February 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm

        OK thanks, I was aware of that page, I just thought “Privacypoints” was something different from those 4 possibilities. Sorry to have troubled you :-(

  4. Curtis K said on February 8, 2018 at 3:07 am

    Uninstall Flash that is NOT hard. Meanwhile it’s going to die in 2020.

  5. rickmv said on February 7, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    From Opera Privacy Statement

    What data do we collect?

    The information we collect may include: personal data, for example your name, email, IP-address, location; and non-personal technical data, for example who manufactured your device, your screen’s resolution, your mobile operator’s region and code.

    We may share your data:

    To government bodies and law enforcement agencies to comply with the law, for example in judicial proceedings, by court order or other legal process
    To third parties (including professional advisors) to enforce or defend our legal rights, including our terms and conditions
    To a third-party purchaser or seller (including professional advisors) in connection with a corporate event such as a merger, business acquisition or insolvency situation
    As described elsewhere in this statement

    1. Klaas Vaak said on February 8, 2018 at 6:27 am

      So ?

      1. rickmv said on February 8, 2018 at 10:44 pm

        No need to jump. Sit in the lap of Q360.

    2. ShintoPlasm said on February 7, 2018 at 9:49 pm

      A bit disingenuous to copy/paste incomplete bits from their general policy. Also, they specifically say that the nature of the data collected varies between products.



      And the product-specific policies at the bottom of that page.

  6. Clairvaux said on February 7, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    “Click tab to scroll to top” : clever. We need more like these. Notably in Firefox…

  7. Anonymous said on February 7, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Isn’t Opera owned by a company that has close ties with the Chinese government now ? I wish there would be a thorough investigation somewhere. (Let’s not blur the question with whataboutism related to American companies and US government, most of us already know where to stand regarding Google, Apple, Microsoft and stuff, but most of us are barely aware of matters regarding Chinese companies and government)

    1. Kubrick said on February 7, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      It is true that opera is owned by the chinese but the browser company is still bound by the privacy laws of norway and poland.

      1. Klaas Vaak said on February 8, 2018 at 6:27 am

        Poland is a nice little obedient lapdog of the US. Having said that, I always find it amusing how people get worked up about Chinese software, as if the Chinese government is nefarious than the US government.

      2. Anonymous said on February 9, 2018 at 10:20 am

        @Klaas It uses its authority way more to make private companies do its bidding.

      3. Clairvaux said on February 8, 2018 at 2:10 pm

        Being a nice obedient lapdog of the US is a good thing. Being a nice obedient lapdog of Russia or China is a bad thing.

      4. Anonymous said on February 8, 2018 at 9:10 pm

        Sounds like someone doesn’t know how to parse text.

    2. John Fenderson said on February 7, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      It’s not fully “whataboutism”, I think.

      In terms of worry about governmental surveillance, as a US citizen, surveillance by the US government concerns me more than surveillance by China. China has little capability to harm me, personally. The US government has a great deal of ability to do the same.

      That said, my worry about direct surveillance by the government is not as great as my worry about surveillance by corporations anyway (particularly since, in the US, there’s not a great deal of difference between the two).

      1. Anonymous said on February 8, 2018 at 5:38 am

        I didn’t mention or limit the concern to surveillance though, it’s a matter of geopolitics. Browsers are the most critical pieces of software, I certainly wouldn’t use a Chinese or Russian browser for instance, as companies from these countries see their behaviour directly affected by geopolitical concerns.

    3. TechGuy said on February 7, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      Opera was bought by Qihoo 360, a chinese company who have some shady products, like anti-virus who calls chinese servers all the time. (https://www.engadget.com/2016/07/18/opera-browser-sold-to-a-chinese-consortium-for-600-million/)

      1. Anonymous said on February 8, 2018 at 5:43 am

        Hint at the level of cooperation Qihoo 360 has with Chinese government regarding cybersecurity: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-security-qihoo-360/qihoo-360-chairman-cites-national-interest-in-shanghai-backdoor-listing-idUSKBN1D61CC

  8. Richard F. said on February 7, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Works well… but still lacks the “confirm before close all” feature (it`s not a feature, just 2-3 lines of code that Opera devs refuses totally to add, spending thousands of lines to explain why they don`t care what a vast majority of users want).

  9. akg said on February 7, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    on my old machine opera runs very smoothly while ff after quantum update is very resource hungry. one feature i would like is to add a custom search engine like startpage.

    1. Klaas Vaak said on February 8, 2018 at 6:24 am

      That has long been possible. Settings > Browser > Manage search engines, you can then add your own search engines in the section “Other search engines”.

  10. TianlanSha said on February 7, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    I would use it, because it’s faster than Chrome, but Chrome is more compatible with websites. I’ve had issues with a couple of them when giving Opera a chance, one of which is Spotify Web Player, which is a big deal.

    I’m currently using Firefox on both my phone and my computer, but if that fails for whatever reason, Chrome is my next stop (sadly).

    1. poe said on February 8, 2018 at 4:56 am

      Strange.. Opera is using the same engine as Chrome so it should not be a problem.
      The problem is with Firefox, I’m getting more and more error on sites which are fine if opened in Chrome/Opera.

      1. Anonymous said on February 13, 2018 at 6:53 pm

        I never run into such problems with Firefox. Are you guys in the US perhaps, or maybe another English speaking country ?

      2. TianlanSha said on February 8, 2018 at 3:35 pm

        Maybe they use the same engine, but for some reason Spotify Web Player loads fine on Chrome (and Firefox for that matter), while on Opera, it tells me that I have to install Flash Player, but the website is made in HTML5, which makes no sense. So in order to bypass this error in Opera, you have to install some extension from their store about Spotify.

      3. ShintoPlasm said on February 8, 2018 at 5:32 pm

        In the rare cases of Opera compatibility issues, I use a user agent switching extension (there’s a few in Opera store).

    2. John Fenderson said on February 7, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      Sadly, the days of websites saying “best when viewed with x browser” — something we’d successfully fixed — is returning.

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