Opera Help



Multiple web documents and messaging views are accessible as tabs on the tab bar. You can organize your tabs in stacks.

Tab bar

The Tab bar displays your open webpages as tabs and contains buttons to help manage your tabs. The "Closed Tabs" drop-down button on the right side of the tab bar contains lists of closed pages and blocked pop-ups so that you can easily retrieve them.

The easiest way to change focus between tabs is clicking on the tab you want. You can also press Ctrl + Tab to cycle through your open pages.

Tabs can be rearranged on the tab bar by dragging and dropping them. You can reposition the tab bar using the tab context menu.

Opening tabs

There are numerous ways to open a new tab:

to open a link in a new tab:

and to open a link in a background tab:

Tip: If you want to bookmark a webpage, you can drag its tab directly to the Bookmarks panel. To drag it to an arbitrary toolbar, hold the Shift key while dragging.

Closing tabs

To close an active tab:

To recover a closed tab, click on the "Closed Tabs" icon on the right side of the tab bar, and select the tab. Note that you cannot recover closed private tabs.

Tab stacking

In analogy with stacks of paper on your desk, tab stacking helps you to organize your tabs, by collecting related tabs into a group.

To create a stack, drag a tab so that it overlaps with any other tab, and drop it when the tab on bottom has a visible shadow. An arrow on the right side of a tab reveals the presence of a stack. Clicking on it expands or collapses the stack. Alternatively, hover the stack to show a set of clickable thumbnails.

To unstack a set of tabs, or close the entire stack, right-click the tab stack, and choose one of the options under Tab Stack in the tab context menu.

See the introductory video Tab stacking in Opera 11.

Visual tabs

To more easily identify your tabs, you can choose to display them as thumbnails. Drag the bottom of the tab bar down to expand tabs to larger thumbnails, or back up to minimize, or to any size in between. You can also middle-click or double-click the bottom of the bar to expand or collapse tabs.

If you do not want the visual tabs and drag handle to display, you can disable this option in one of several ways:

Private tabs

If you wish to browse without leaving a trace, for example, if you're using someone else's computer or a public one, you can use private tabs or windows. See more in the Private browsing topic.

Tab context menu

Right-click a tab to see its context menu.

Tab preferences

Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Tabs

The preferences let you tweak Opera's tab setup to your liking.

When cycling through tabs with Ctrl + Tab

By holding the Ctrl key and repeatedly pressing Tab, you can cycle through all the tabs you have open within the Opera workspace. This setting allows you to choose what order the tabs should be cycled in, and whether you want to see the list of open tabs while you are cycling through them.

Cycle in recently used order
The default setting places the recently used tabs at the top of the list
Cycle in tab bar order
This setting lists the tabs in the order that they appear on the tab bar
Cycle without showing list
This setting uses tab bar order, but does not show the list

Show thumbnails in tab cycle

Check "Show thumbnails in tab cycle" to display a thumbnail of the selected tab in the tab cycle.

When closing a tab

Activate the last active tab
The default setting returns focus to the most recently used tab
Activate the next tab
This setting returns focus to the next tab on the tab bar
Activate first tab opened from current tab
This setting returns focus to tabs created from within the closed tab

Reuse current tab

When you open an item from the panels, such as a bookmark, the default action is to open the document in the current tab. If you prefer such items to be opened in a new tab, uncheck "Reuse current tab".

Open new tab next to active

By default, new tabs are added at the end of the tab bar. Check "Open new tab next to active" if you want new tabs to appear next to the active tab on the tab bar.

Show thumbnails when hovering tabs

By default, a thumbnail of the page is shown when hovering a tab. To disable this behavior, uncheck "Show thumbnails when hovering tabs".

Enable thumbnails in tabs

See Visual tabs.

Additional tab options

New tabs

The "New tabs" setting lets you decide how much size a new tab should take up when opened. If you always want to use the whole workspace for viewing tabs, leave the setting as "Always maximize".

Allow window with no tabs

By default, an Opera application window must have at least one tab. Choose "Allow window with no tabs" to permit a window with zero tabs.

Click on tab to minimize

By default, clicking the active tab on the tab bar has no consequence. You can minimize the active tab if you check "Click on tab to minimize".

Show close button on each tab

By default, a close button is displayed on each tab. Uncheck "Show close button on each tab" to remove the close buttons.

Open windows instead of tabs

By default, new tabs open within a single Opera application window. Select "Open windows instead of tabs" to make new tabs open in a separate window.

Multiple Document Interface

Opera defaults to a an easy-to-use tabbed browsing setup. However, Opera is also a full-fledged MDI application, and all tabs can be resized, juxtaposed, tiled, and cascaded.

For the look and feel of "classic" MDI:

  • Enable "Allow window with no tabs".
  • Disable "Show close buttons on tabs" to display minimize/maximize, restore, and close buttons on the right end of the menu bar.
  • Enable "Click on tabs to minimize".
  • In the Browsing preferences tab, select "Show window menu".

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