Browser window

The basics

The Opera browser consists of five groups of elements on the screen:

  1. The menu bar
  2. The tab bar
  3. Navigation buttons (back, forward, refresh/stop, start page)
  4. The combined address and search bar
  5. The web view

(1) For Mac, the menu bar offers the following options:

Menu Available actions
Opera View information about your version of Opera, access preferences, sign in to your Opera account, clear browsing data, import browsing data, get themes and extensions, or quit the browser.
File Manage tabs or windows, open files and locations, save pages locally, or print.
Edit Manipulate text (copy, paste, or select), search for text in pages, or check spelling.
View Zoom, show or hide the bookmarks bar or the extensions sidebar, toggle the toolbar in full-screen, browse in full screen, access start page items (Speed Dial or news), view downloads, manage extensions or themes, open the password manager.
History Navigate back or forward, reopen closed tabs or windows, navigate to recently-viewed pages, or view your full browsing history.
Bookmarks Open the bookmark manager, bookmark the current page, or navigate to pages in your bookmark folders.
Window Minimize the current window, zoom, or select open windows and tabs.
Help Access Opera help pages, view keyboard shortcuts, or report issues.

(1) For Windows and Linux, the main menu offers ways of interacting with the browser. You can open new tabs or browser windows, zoom pages, or view Opera pages such as Speed Dial, news, bookmarks, downloads, history, or settings.

(2) The tab bar navigates between pages when you view more than one at a time. Click a page’s tab to view its contents. To open a new tab, click the + button on the tab bar.

(3) The navigation buttons tell the browser where to go to view pages:

Button Action
Go back one page.
Go forward one page.
Reload the current page.
View the start page.

(4) The combined address and search bar directs the browser to websites and searches the web. You can type website addresses, for example, or search the web with key words, for example ‘Opera browser’. Read more about the combined address and search bar.

(5) The web view shows the content of a page. Here you can interact with web pages by reading text, viewing pictures, clicking links, and more.


Opera’s sidebar is your quick access to Workspaces, Messengers, Speed Dials, Flow, bookmarks, personal news, tabs, history, extensions, downloads, and preferences.

To pin the sidebar to Opera, click on the Easy setup button to the right of the combined address and search bar. Under Appearance click Show sidebar. Click the button again to unpin the sidebar. Unpinning the sidebar will make the sidebar only available from the start page.

Manage Opera’s sidebar

You can customize which Workspaces, messengers, and other features will be visible in your sidebar.

To customize your sidebar, click the three-dot icon at the bottom of your sidebar. The Sidebar setup panel will open, allowing you to edit or remove elements on your sidebar, like Workspaces, Messengers, History, extensions, as well as other features and tools.

You can also access the sidebar settings from Settings > Sidebar. There you can select to pin the sidebar, enable a narrow sidebar, or enable messenger notification badges.


Opera can organize multiple pages into one browsing window using tabs, which are designed to resemble paper filing tabs. Tabs allow you to interact with many pages simultaneously without closing a page until you are ready.

To open a new tab, click the + button on the tab bar.

Right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) a tab to open its context menu. Several actions are available to be performed for the tab from this menu:

  • New tab
  • Reload
  • Reload all tabs
  • Copy page address
  • Duplicate tab
  • Pin tab
  • Move tab to workspace >
  • Mute tab
  • Mute other tabs
  • Close tab
  • Close other tabs
  • Close tabs to the right
  • Close duplicate tabs
  • Save
    • All tabs as a Speed Dial folder
    • Tab to Pinboards
  • Reopen last closed tab

Visual tab-cycler

The visual tab-cycler is a tab-preview popup that lets you cycle through thumbnails of your open tabs. Press and keep holding Ctrl, and then press Tab to bring up the tab-cycler. Click on Tab to cycle though your tabs. Release Ctrl to switch to the currently highlighted tab.


Preview a tab’s contents

You can optionally hover your mouse over a tab to preview its contents without changing focus from the current page. Previewing tabs is helpful if you have several open at one time.

To enable tab previews:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click Advanced in the left sidebar, and click Browser.
  3. Under User interface, turn on Show tab previews.

Search in Tabs

The Search in Tabs tool helps you find a specific open tab via keyword searching, which is quite useful when you have a lot of tabs open. Use Ctrl+Space to open the Search in Tabs tool. Type a keyword to narrow down your open tabs and find the one you want.

You can also access Search in Tabs by clicking on the magnifying glass icon to the right of your tabs, which has replaced the earlier Tab menu.

Close tabs

To close a tab, hover your mouse over the tab and click the x button. To close all tabs except your current tab, right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) the current tab and select Close other tabs. You can also close all tabs to the right of your current tab with Close tabs to the right, and if you have multiple tabs with the same site, you can use Close duplicate tabs.

If you’ve accidentally closed a tab or want to reactivate the most recently closed tab, right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) a tab and select Reopen last closed tab.

Pin tabs

You can prevent Opera from closing tabs accidentally or prioritize important pages by pinning tabs. A pinned tab does not close, and will remain pinned when restarting the browser.

To pin or unpin a tab to the tab bar, right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) the tab and select Pin Tab/Unpin Tab. When pinned, the tab will move to the left side of the tabs bar.

Move tabs to a different Workspace

Workspaces are available at the top of your sidebar, and let you organize your tabs into different groups. You can, for example, have different Workspaces for shopping, work, or research. 

To move a tab to a different Workspace, right-click on that tab (Ctrl+click on Mac), hover over Move tab to workspace, and select the Workspace that you want from the popup.

Manage tabs

If you’d like an open tab to be placed in a separate window, simply drag and drop the tab off the tab bar. Tabs can also be dragged and dropped between open windows.

To open a copy of a page in a new tab, right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) the tab and select Duplicate tab.

Save tabs in a new Speed Dial folder

You can save all open tabs in a window as a folder of Speed Dial entries. Right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) the tab bar, or on any tab, and select Save all tabs as Speed Dial folder.

A new, untitled folder will be placed at the bottom of your Speed Dial.

If you wish to save only a selection of tabs in a Speed Dial folder:

  1. -click (Mac) or Ctrl-click (Win/Lin) the tabs you wish to save.
  2. Right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) one of the selected tabs to open the context menu.
  3. Click Save tabs as a Speed Dial folder in the context menu.

Tabs history

Each tab will retain its browsing history until it is closed. To view the history of a tab, click and hold the back or forward button on the left side of the combined address and search bar.

Continue holding the click as you move to select a former page from the list, and release it to open the page.

Context menus

Context menus appear when you right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) a part of a web page. A different menu will appear depending on the element type: page, link, or image.

The page context menu appears when you right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) a part of a web page where there are no links, images, or text. This menu provides you with navigation options (go back, forward or reload the page), options for saving the page as a Speed Dial entry or bookmark, viewing the source code of the page, saving the page as a PDF file, and more.

The link context menu appears when you right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) a link and lets you decide how to open or save the linked page or address.

The image context menu appears when you right-click (Ctrl+click on Mac) an image and contains multiple options for opening, copying, and saving the image.


Opera’s zooming functionality allows you to read small fonts more easily. To zoom when using a Mac, select View > Zoom In/Zoom Out. For Windows or Linux users, go to the O Menu Zoom.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to zoom in and out with Ctrl or  + +/-.

You can set the zoom by default if you would like all web pages you visit to be zoomed in or out. To set the default zoom:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Under Appearance, click the Page zoom dropdown menu.
  3. Select the level of zoom for all web pages.

After you set the page zoom, pages will zoom to the adjusted default size when you open them. If you have tabs already open, reload them to view the page at your new default size.

For Mac users, if you wish to return an individual page to its original format, click View Actual Size. Windows and Linux users can go to the O Menu Zoom and select Reset zoom to the right of +.

Full screen mode

Opera gives you the option to browse in full screen mode. 

To turn full screen mode on or off on Mac, go to View > Enter/Exit Full Screen. Windows and Linux users can go to the Menu Page and select Full screen.

Full screen mode hides the menu bar from view but you can access it by hovering your mouse at the top of your screen. In full screen mode, the toolbar can be hidden or shown from the View menu.

On all platforms, full screen mode can be exited by pressing Esc.

Find text on the page

Opera can search through the text on a page and find text for you. To find text on a page, press Ctrl+F or +F on your keyboard. Type in the search field to find your text.

Found words are highlighted in green as you search. If more than one instance of the word exists on the page, they will be highlighted in yellow and a count will appear in the search field. To navigate between instances, click the left and right arrows.

Download and manage files

When you download a file from a website, a download message appears below the right side of the combined address and search bar. This message shows a progress bar for the download, and disappears when the download is complete.

A new icon appears at the right side of the combined address and search bar, too. Click this to see a list of your most recently downloaded files, or clear them from your download history.

To view a detailed list of your downloaded files, launch the files from the browser, or restart a download if your connection was interrupted, select View > Downloads on Mac. On Windows and Linux, go to O Menu > Downloads.

You can change the default download location in your preferences. To do so:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click Advanced on the left sidebar, and click Browser.
  3. Under Downloads, click the Change button.
  4. Navigate to the folder you wish to have downloads saved to and click Select.

Here, you can also set the browser to ask you where you’d like to save files every time you download.