What is Opera Browser Assistant and how to disable it?

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 12, 2020

If you have a version of the Opera web browser installed on your devices there is a chance that Opera Browser Assistant is running. Additionally, you may also notice, at least on Windows, that Opera Browser Assistant is an entry in the startup settings of the operating system which means that it is launched whenever Windows starts.

Windows users may open the Task Manager to verify that. Use the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc to open the Task Manager. If you use Windows 10 and see only the minimal (useless) version, select more details. Once done, switch to the Startup tab to see all startup items.

There you may find listed Opera Browser Assistant.

opera browser assistant

Switch to the Processes tab to see if one or multiple Opera Browser Assistant (32-bit) processes are running as well.

opera browser assistant process

If you verify the file, which you find in C:\Users\***USERNAME***\AppData\Local\Programs\Opera\assistant, you will notice that it is signed by Opera Software AS. Note that Opera Beta and Opera Developer may also come with the assistant program and that they use different folders by default.

So, why is Opera Browser Assistant starting with the operating system and what it is used for? I could not find any official information about the feature of the Opera web browser but if you monitor its execution, you may notice that it adds an Opera icon to the system tray when started.

It appears to be some sort of fast-loader for the browser; it is unclear, however, if other functionality is baked into the process as well, e.g. updating, or if System Tray functionality is all there is to it. The System Tray functionality is limited to starting the Opera web browser with a left-click or right-click. The only other option is to close the System Tray application.

Users have talked about the "feature" for some time. There is a post about it on the official Opera forum that dates back to May 2019.

How to remove Opera Browser Assistant?

The easy option is to disable the program from starting up with the system; this can be done in the Task Manager by right-clicking on Opera Browser Assistant in the Startup tab and selecting the Disable option from the context menu.

disable opera browser assistant

The status should switch to Disabled indicating that the program won't be started anymore on system start.

The second option that you have is to delete the Opera Browser Assistant files as well on the system. You can use a program like Autostarts to remove the startup entry from the system as well or keep it disabled.

It is possible however that an update or a new installation of the Opera browser on the system will restore the files or change the startup type to Enabled again. It is necessary to monitor this carefully to avoid this.

Closing Words

Opera Software, and any other software company, should prompt users whenever changes such as adding a program to the autostart need to be made. Most users probably have no use for Opera Browser Assistant, especially since there is barely any info about its functionality.

Now You: What is your take on this? (via Techdows)

What is Opera Browser Assistant and how to disable it?
Article Name
What is Opera Browser Assistant and how to disable it?
If you have a version of the Opera web browser installed on your devices there is a chance that Opera Browser Assistant is running.
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  1. Dude said on December 16, 2021 at 11:13 am

    For the Windows version there is a post on the Opera forum on how to cleanly remove Opera Browser Assistant. Opera Browser Assistant is an additional package you can skip during install if you know how. If you use this method it does not come back if you do updates.

  2. Pullo K. said on September 14, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for this post. I installed Opera just to try it after many years. I got annoyed of the little pop-ups the Opera tray icon opened every now and then. I tried to disable Opera from startup, but that didn’t help. As it seems, disabling this useless icon and pop-up is so hard that I decided to uninstall Opera. I have got Vivaldi for many years and have never missed Opera since.

  3. Zinc said on August 8, 2021 at 3:17 am

    There’s also a scheduled task or two connected to opera that you might want to disable…

  4. Achim said on November 10, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    I have the TR/AD.FireHooker.BU on my system, which is difficult to remove. It turned out that it normally comes up every day at time 18.49 in the evening and is catched by the Avira virus scanner.

    Now I found that it obviously is started by the Opera Browser assistant. In the Windows\Temp directory I found file entries like this with timestamp 18.45 normally:

    assistant_installer_20201109184605.log containing:

    [1109/184605.266:INFO:assistant_installer_main.cc(169)] Running assistant installer with command line “C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\.opera\ABFF9DD35FC3\CProgram Files (x86)Operaassistant\installing\assistant_installer.exe” –install –autoupdate –installfolder=”C:\Program Files (x86)\Opera\assistant” –silent –launchopera=0
    [1109/184605.391:INFO:assistant_installer.cc(549)] browser_assistant.exe should be writable now.
    [1109/184605.391:INFO:assistant_installer_steps.cc(70)] Removing installed files.
    [1109/184605.501:INFO:assistant_installer.cc(584)] Cleaning up registry
    [1109/184605.594:INFO:assistant_installer.cc(279)] Setting up the registry
    [1109/184606.048:INFO:assistant_installer.cc(333)] Creating scheduled task

    Maybe this is interesting. I am now going to disable the Opera Browser Assistant and see what happens.


  5. Tech Dept said on October 20, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    I used Opera back when it was Linux-centric. It was far more innovative than any other browser. It did just about everything you needed without having to install tons of 3rd party extensions.

    Unfortunately the bean counters took over and tried to cash in on the good name and destroyed it in the process. I dropped it when they no longer supported Linux, which was also when they based it on Chrome.

    It’s been a while and decided to give it another look, but that was a mistake. It claims it can browse without ads, but it just wants to replace those ads with it’s own. It’s shady and deceptive background programs and tasks should never be tolerated without an opt-in setting during installation. I really hope Opera Browser dies the long insidious death it deserves.

  6. kk patangay said on July 3, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    I want to disable opera browse

  7. Jock said on April 7, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Opera now owned by Chinese company (or government), so I threw it out.

  8. doofuss said on March 16, 2020 at 2:54 am

    Funny, as I just found and disabled this a few days ago, as I don’t use Opera much anymore, and I had a game that was running slow for some reason.

  9. John doe said on March 14, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Well, Opera is full on tracking, but I must say on Android it has the best UI, and the bloody data compression/saver nobody else has, so I use it for the things that they can know about. For rest is Fennec, Kiwi, Brave. I wish some Android browsers did UI/UX similar to Opera.

  10. akahaldan said on March 14, 2020 at 2:03 am

    From Opera Privacy Statement: “Browser Assistant. Your copy of Opera for computers may include a component that displays desktop notifications promoting the browser’s features. It checks if any notifications are pending on a scheduled basis and may anonymously report occurrence of certain system events (namely low battery, low hard disk space, new Wi-Fi network connected, another browser installed). This information is not collected by us and no personal information is sent.” https://www.opera.com/privacy

  11. John G. said on March 13, 2020 at 11:57 am

    For long time I had a folder named “operautoupdate” in documents main folder. Unable to delete it, the only way to get rid of this bug was to clear two opera update tasks in Windows task manager. 😲

  12. Anonymous said on March 13, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Any recommendations for “free VPNs […] that are as trustworthy”?

  13. Anonymous said on March 13, 2020 at 11:04 am

    All it takes is one piece of software to compromise your information, the people treating this 2.5 mb RAM assistant application as some sort of “final straw” of Opera’s credibility are being fucking ridiculous. I don’t see how it’s adding or subtracting from their “shadiness factor”, if they want to steal your info then they can just do it from the main browser application ffs.
    If you don’t trust a company then you shouldn’t install anything AT ALL from them.

  14. Anonymous said on March 13, 2020 at 10:59 am

    as usual a bunch of no constructive criticisms, i mean why even comment thinks like opera sucks on a post about opera!?

    yes opera is bad for adding a useless thing, but the more browsers we have out there the better, its when things get too much of the market share that unscrupulous business practices win out or they turn into bullies telling websites how they have to be coded.

  15. Niko said on March 13, 2020 at 9:26 am

    No “Opera Assistant” in portable version (Portable Apps .paf)

  16. Anonymous said on March 13, 2020 at 4:46 am

    No reason to use Opera anymore, it’s just another Chromium hack. The free VPN set it apart for a while, but there are lots of free VPNs available now that are as trustworthy.

    1. keebler said on March 16, 2020 at 3:05 am


      What’s wrong with a so-called Chromium hack?

      I see no problem with devs using open sourced software to make new software.

      Also, to say there’s “no reason to use Opera anymore” is an extreme and narrow-minded view, and simply not true.

  17. pd said on March 13, 2020 at 2:31 am

    I’m pissed off and astounded that anyone bothers with Opera anymore. If those last handful of people just ignored it, hopefully it would finally disappear.

    1. Allwynd said on March 13, 2020 at 8:01 am

      Just like Firesux. If the last last of the tinfoil hat wearing clowns stop using it, then Mozilla won’t have any user data to sell to Google, thus Mozilla will go bankrupt and Firesux will seize to exist… I can’t wait for this day to come, I will be so happy… I’m even happy now thinking about a world without Firesux. xD

  18. Albert said on March 13, 2020 at 12:39 am

    There are also scheduled tasks that can be disabled.

    1. Anonymous said on July 9, 2020 at 11:51 pm

      This needs to be covered in the article too.

      I had Opera Browser Assistant disabled on startup already.

      Despite this, there were two tasks (‘Opera scheduled assistant Autoupdate [plus some numbers]’ and ‘Opera scheduled Autoupdate [plus more numbers]’) active and loading at startup in my task scheduler. They loaded the Opera Browser Assistant into my taskbar automatically at startup & popped up an add about ‘Instagram in the Opera Brower’.

      You can disable them by opening your Task Scheduler (click the start menu, type ‘task scheduler’ and load the app), looking in the ‘Task Scheduler Library, finding the two tasks I mentioned, right clicking on them & selecting ‘Disable’ (or just flat out deleting them).

      After that I’d suggest uninstalling Opera, because any application that starts installing multiple levels of auto-run programs in order to sneak around your settings is clearly not concerned about honesty & trust.

      It’s a shame, I used to like the browser.

  19. ShintoPlasm said on March 12, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    I’ve given up on Opera and all of its browsers. A shame, really, because they have some very nice features. But I can’t trust them anymore.

    1. Mike W. said on March 14, 2020 at 10:38 am

      Agreed. Opera was a long-time favorite of mine, serving as a back-up browser to Firefox for me. Unfortunately, between the shady actions of the “new” ownership group and the fact that the quality and stability of the browser has also waned some, I have permanently moved on to Brave as my new back-up. I tried Vivaldi and haven’t written them off, but for all of the positives Vivaldi has, it still feels like a beta product in terms of stability and performance.

  20. Yuliya said on March 12, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    What is with this craze to have an “assistant” in every single product? Stop it, please. They are annoying, and useless at best. A waste of resources.

  21. Baradar said on March 12, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    I have Opera installed as a backup browser. I noticed it several days ago and disabled it. Opera should’ve warned first.

  22. 3rdrock said on March 12, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    Seems shady but so is Opera in general. On that thread the mod was insisting nothing gets added to the system tray and then suddenly remember that it does. The mod says it is only installed if it’s part of a 3rd party install like an AV but going by the user comments that’s not true either.

    It isn’t a fast-loader according to that thread. Someone asked what it did and were told that “The assistant is just there to let you know that you have Opera on your system” which I guess ties up with a 3rd party install but why a system tray icon? Wouldn’t a desktop shortcut or something be more obvious and less shady?

    Just avoid Opera like the plague would be sound advice.

    1. Allwynd said on March 13, 2020 at 7:58 am

      I’d use Opera over most browsers, especially Chrome and Firesux.

      1. 3rdrock said on March 14, 2020 at 12:45 pm

        A dodgy company doing dodgy things and closed source. More fool you then.

  23. Anonymous said on March 12, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    It checks for an update for the Opera browser and if there is one, automatically installs it. On Windows 10 you will see it at the top of the Start Menu just like you do when you install any app. You can delete it as stated above, but it will re-install when Opera updates and you will have to click the Opera icon when it’s open and go to “Update and Recovery” and “Check for updates” in order to update Opera without it.

    1. 3rdrock said on March 12, 2020 at 10:20 pm

      According to the thread on Opera it isn’t anything to do with updates.

  24. Anonymous said on March 12, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    Good information, Martin. Thanks.
    I disabled the process.

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