The mysterious case of the Opera Autoupdate folder in Downloads
If you are using the Opera web browser on a Windows device, you may have noticed that the browser is creating a "opera autoupdate" folder in the Downloads directory or in other locations.
Opera adds a scheduled task on Windows during installation the checks for new versions regularly to update the browser if a new version is available. Ideally, this works without the creation of the aforementioned folder.
I checked on two systems running different versions of Windows 10 and both systems had the "opera autoupdate" folder listed under downloads. The content of the folder includes several subfolders such as Crash Reports and CUsersMartinAppDataLocalProgramsOpera (plus one for Opera Developer and Opera Assistant), and the opera_autoupdate.log file.
If you find the folder in the Downloads folder, or in your User folder, then you may want to know why Opera is creating the folder and using it. Other browsers don't, even those based on Chromium, e.g. Brave, Chrome or Edge, and it is not clear right away why the folder needs to be used by Opera for updating purposes.
According to Opera Software, the folder gets only created in certain situations. If multiple scheduled tasks exist for the same purpose, e.g. to update Opera Stable, then the Downloads folder may be created and used by the browser. Why? Because one of the first steps when a scheduled update tasks runs is to lock the Opera folder. If the first scheduled task locks the Opera installation folder, the second task cannot update the files and that is the reason why the update switches to using the Downloads or Home folder for the update procedure.
The solution is quite simple: check the Task Scheduler and delete any excess task. When I checked the Opera tasks on one of the Windows 10 systems, I noticed that each task was listed twice in the scheduled tasks listing. I disabled one of the tasks and deleted the "opera autoupdate" folder afterwards.
Here is how you can do the same:
- Open Start, type Task Scheduler and load the result.
- You should see Opera tasks under Task Scheduler Library.
- If you see multiple, select each and switch to the Actions tab for each to check the "start in program" path. If you see the same path for multiple tasks, disable all but one.
- Once done, delete the "opera autoupdate" folder in Downloads to get rid of it.
If things worked out, Opera should no longer create the folder in Downloads or Home when it runs updates. Another alternative is to use a portable version of Opera or disable automatic updates to update the browser manually only.Advertisement