Email and news


Opera’s news and email client is built-in to the Opera desktop browser, and is designed for speed, elegance, and user friendliness.

All messages you receive are automatically sorted by date. They are kept in a single database and can therefore appear in multiple views without copying and moving.

What you need to get started

To use Opera Mail, all you need is:

  • The Opera desktop browser installed on your PC.
  • An email address and service that offers IMAP or POP access to your inbox, for example, FastMail.FM, Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL. For details, see the tutorial.

To make Opera your default email client on Mac, take the following steps:

  1. Open Apple Mail (
  2. In Apple Mail preferences, set the default email reader option to Opera.

Import messages and set up Opera Mail

Follow this procedure to set up Opera Mail and import messages, contact information, and settings from other email clients:

  1. Select Tools > Mail Accounts (Mail and Chat Accounts on Windows and Linux).
  2. Click “Add” and select “Import email”.
  3. Select the email client to import from.
  4. If Opera has not located the correct folder, click “Choose” to select the folder the messages are located in.
  5. Select which account to import into; choose “New account” to import to a fresh account.
  6. Select whether to import settings, contacts, messages, or a combination.
  7. Click “Import” to start importing.

Imported messages are treated as follows:

  • Your old folder tree is under “Labels” in the Mail panel.
  • Messages in your old Outbox, Sent, Drafts, and Trash folders are in the corresponding views.
  • All old incoming messages (from your inbox and folder tree) appear in the Received view.

Set up a new account

Follow this procedure to set up a brand new Opera Mail account without importing any old messages:

  1. Select Tools > Mail Accounts (Mail and Chat Accounts on Windows and Linux).
  2. Click “Add” and select the type of email account you want.
  3. Enter your name, email address, and optionally an organization you belong to.
  4. Enter your user (log-in) name and password (given to you by your service provider).
  5. Enter mail server information from your service provider, if not already completed for you.
  6. Click “Finish” to create the account.

Messages that are not already on your computer will then be downloaded from the mail server.

For more, see the tutorial.

Writing messages

  • Click the “Compose” button in the Mail panel or press ⌘ + Option + M  or Ctrl + M to compose a new message. Your message is automatically saved as a draft and remains in the Draft view if you don’t send it. If you decide not to keep it as a draft, just click “Discard Draft” at the top-left.
  • Auto-completion of email addresses will be offered for contacts.
  • To add files to the message, click “Attach”.
  • To enable rich text composition, click the “Use HTML formatting” button in the top-right section of the compose window. To return to plain text, click the “Use Plain Text” button next to this.
  • Your message is automatically checked for spelling and errors are marked by a dotted red line. Ctrl-click for a list of spelling suggestions. See Spell Checker for more details.
  • To add a graphical smiley, just type 🙂 or :(, or Ctrl-click to display the context menu and select Insert > Smiley.
  • Send the message by clicking the “Send” button.
  • Double-click a message in the Drafts view to continue editing a draft.
  • Double-click a message in the Sent view to edit and resend an old message.

You can also change the settings for the compose window. Click the “Settings” button at the top-right and choose from these actions:

  • Change the compose window layout to fit the full window width by clicking “Maximize Messages”.
  • Customize the mail fields that are displayed by checking or unchecking the fields listed.
  • Edit your signature. You can even apply the change to your signature on all your accounts.
  • Change the “sent” email address to a different one (this must be another account you have set up in Opera Mail, such as an alias).

For more, see the tutorial.

Reading messages

  • New messages are downloaded to your computer at regular intervals, but you can also to do this manually, for example, if you are using a dial-up connection. Click the “Check/Send” icon in the Mail panel or press ⌘ + Option + K or Ctrl + K.
  • To go through new messages, display the Unread view.
  • Messages that appear in blue have not yet been seen (selected by a cursor).
  • Message threads are shown by default. To hide threads, select the Threads icon above the list and change the settings.
  • To find messages quickly, use the search field at the top of the list. Messages are sorted as you type.
  • To quickly mark a message as “read” and remove it from the Unread view, highlight it and press G. The next unread message displays.
  • In the Received view, messages that have been marked as read are not in bold, and are preceded by an empty circle rather than a dot.
  • To “pin” an important message, click the pin at the top-right of the message (or, in the message list, click the dot to the left). Pinned messages are shown under the Pinned category header, so you can find them quickly.
  • Deleted messages: When you delete an email message from an ordinary view, it is not actually deleted, but moved to the Trash view. To get back a deleted message, open the Trash view and click the “Undelete” button, shown as a Trash icon. To delete a message permanently, delete it from the Trash view. To delete all messages in Trash, Ctrl-click the Mail panel and select “Empty trash”.

To sort listed messages, click the “Settings for this view” button at the top-right of the message list and choose an option.

Respond to a message

To respond to a message you received, you can use the toolbar above it to reply, forward, mark as read or spam, delete or label it. Alternatively, you can Ctrl-click it in the message list for more options.

Quick Reply helps you reply easily to messages by placing a message reply window directly below the message. To enable this, click the “Default Mail Settings” icon at the top-right of the message display and check “Show Quick Reply”.

For more, see the tutorial.

Organizing messages

The mail panel displays a tree of views that organize your messages. Note the following details about the view tree:

  • Click the category header (for example “All messages” or “Labels”) to show or hide all of the underlying views. Ctrl-click a category header and select “Customize” to selectively show or hide individual views.
  • Click a view to show the messages it contains.
  • Bold views contain unread messages.
  • You can navigate the tree with the cursor keys. See keyboard navigation for a list of panel shortcut keys.
  • Categories can be reorganized by dragging and dropping them. To restore the default ordering, select the settings icon at the top-right of the panel, and choose “Reset Mail Panel to Default”.
  • Ctrl-click a view in the panel to display a context menu with more options, listed below.


Creating your own labels

Opera Mail sorts messages automatically, but if you want to organize your messages even more, you can create your own labels. Each label shows as a separate view under the Labels category in the Mail panel for easy access. Top-level labels are created by Ctrl-clicking anywhere inside the Mail panel and selecting “New Label”.

Label messages manually by clicking the Label icon and selecting from the default labels, or creating a new one. Alternatively, ctrl-click a displayed message and select “Label As”.

If you want Opera Mail to automatically sort your mail into particular labels, you can set up specific rules for message sorting. Each message can appear in as many views as you like. To edit the name of a label or the rules associated with it, Ctrl-click the label in the panel, and select “Properties” from the context menu.

For more, see the tutorial.


The spam view separates advertisements and unwanted messages from messages in other views. By default, Opera’s internal spam filter is set to medium strength, and it will analyze messages that are added to and removed from it to continually improve its automated sorting.

The internal spam filter examines messages for suspicious content, missing sender address, and so forth. If too many questionable matters are found, the message is considered spam. You can change the spam filter settings by Ctrl-clicking “Spam” in the panel and selecting “Properties” from its context menu.

To quickly retrieve particular messages, type your search term into the search field above the message list. You can choose to search all messages or just a particular view, by selecting the button options offered. Click the “Save Search” button to save the search as a label so you can use it another time.

Opera Mail settings

To change the settings, you can use these icons:

Image Item Explanation
  • Default Mail Settings
Change overall layout, sorting, threading, and options for plain text, fit to width, Quick Reply or marking as read; changes are applied across all views in Opera Mail
  • Settings for This View
Change sorting, threading and categories for the selected view only; any changes are not applied to any other view
  • Show Message Thread
Display, follow or ignore threads, or mark threads as read

For more, see the tutorial.

Managing accounts

You can choose different settings for each of your accounts in Tools > Mail Accounts (Mail and Chat Accounts on Windows and Linux).


  • The account name is only used within Opera, not in your messages.
  • Do not set up an email account to use both POP and IMAP simultaneously as this is likely to cause problems. Use either POP or IMAP for each account. For more about IMAP, see the tutorial.
  • Use account categories to select between groups of accounts, for example, you can display just your three work accounts, or your two home accounts.
  • Your name and email address appear in outgoing messages, for example Nice Person <>.
  • Outgoing messages can indicate an organization you belong to (optional).
  • Outgoing messages can indicate an alternate address people should send replies to (optional).
  • You can send copies (Cc) or blind copies (Bcc) of all messages sent from the account to a particular email address (optional).

For more, see the tutorial.


Enter the email or news account information you received from your service provider, or contact them if you’re missing information.


  • Leaving messages on a server makes it possible to retrieve the messages again from another computer.
  • If you read messages from multiple computers, they can be marked automatically if you have already downloaded (read) them from another computer.
  • You can choose whether to download message bodies while checking messages or when reading each individual message.
  • IMAP users can also choose whether or not to store local copies of downloaded message bodies.
  • You can choose how often to check for new messages automatically and which accounts to include.
  • You can decide which accounts to include when you check for new messages manually.
  • You can have a sound played when you get new messages.

Low-bandwidth mode

Low-bandwidth mode is a setting on mail accounts that uses as little bandwidth as possible. For POP, this means that Opera does not fetch more than the first 100 lines of a message unless requested. For IMAP, Opera only synchronizes new messages and does not fetch attachments unless requested. This mode is not advised if you set a POP account to delete message after X days, as messages that are not completely downloaded will be removed from the server and you will not be able to retrieve the complete message.


  • International users may need to specify a character set for their language.
  • Enable format=flowed wrapping in messages, and wrap at 76 characters for legacy clients (those without format=flowed).
  • Enable queueing to have messages sent in batches when you click the “Send” button (useful if you have a dial-up connection).
  • When sending or replying to a message, you can have all recipients automatically added to your contact list.
  • Specify a signature that will appear at the bottom of all messages you send.


You can also subscribe to newsgroups, which are online discussion forums focusing on a particular topic. By subscribing to a newsgroup, you will receive a message whenever an item for discussion is posted.

Subscribing to newsgroups

To subscribe to a newsgroup, set up a news account the same way you set up an email account.


  • For account type, select “Newsgroups”.
  • Enter the news server information provided by your service provider or the newsgroup. For example, for Opera newsgroups, enter “” for both servers.
  • From the list of newsgroups for that news server, select the ones you want by checking next to them.

Once you have an account set up for a particular news server, you can add more newsgroups by selecting Mail > Newsgroups from the main menu. For a newsgroup on another news server, you need to set up another newsgroup account.

Reading news

To read a newsgroup discussion, click the group you want to read under the “News” category header in your Mail panel. Reading and writing news articles is very similar to working with email messages. Note the following tips:

  • Click “Reply” to post a follow-up article, as an answer to the article you are currently reading.
  • Click “Reply all” to both post a follow-up and reply to the author by email.
  • Enter a comma-separated list of groups if you want to post your article in multiple groups (called “cross-posting”).
  • Enter email addresses in the CC field to send people copies of the article by email.
  • Deleting a news article only deletes your local copy.
  • Use “Cancel post” to attempt to delete an article from server. This is respected by some, but not all, news servers.

For more, see the tutorial.
See also: Opera Mail tutorial