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Speed Up Opera

Friday, April 13th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet

Do you happen to have any tips on speeding up the Opera Web browser? Just wondering if there’s any way I can speed mine up a bit.

Are you surprised we’re doing another Opera tip? Well, don’t be! In the past couple of weeks, I’ve come to realize that several of you use Opera and even though Internet Explorer and Firefox seem to still be on the top, I no longer want to keep you Opera uses out in the cold. So, that’s why I was so excited to receive this question from an obvious Opera user. I’m sure the rest of you can benefit from it as well, so what do you say we get started?!

Although Opera is already very quick, it’s good to know that you can still go from fast to faster. Well, today I have a few tricks that you can use to speed up your Opera browser’s performance. Now, before I start, I want to make it clear that some of these are very easy to do, while others are a little more advanced. If you feel uncomfortable doing any of them, please don’t. You can still do the ones you are sure about, which will also help your browser speed. That’s why it’s great to have a few options to choose from. There is something for everyone here and that’s just grand. Alright, here we go!

1.) Disable Name Completion – If you’re an avid Opera user, I’m sure you know that when you go to type in a URL in the address bar, Opera automatically scans your bookmarks for suggestions. While this may save some of you time, it can be a little frustrating when you just want to “get on with it.” If that sounds like you, there is a way to disable this feature. To do so, go to Tools, Preferences and click on the Advanced tab. Next, choose Network from the left menu and then click on the Server Name Completion option. From there, go ahead and disable the “Look for local network machine and try name completion” feature. That’s it!

2.) Increase Cached Image Time – If you visit certain Web sites often, Opera automatically adds the images from that site to your cache so it will be able to load them faster when you go to the same site again. Opera also checks every five hours to see if a new version of the image has been added to the Web site. So, if you happen to increase the time Opera checks for this, you will also speed up your browser rate. To do that, go to Tools, Preferences and choose the Advanced tab. Click on History from the left menu and then choose either the “24 hours” or “every week” option, whichever you prefer.

3.) Remove Unnecessary Plug-ins – If you know you have some plug-ins installed on your Opera browser, you can type opera:plugins in the address bar and a list of all your plug-ins will come up. After that appears, look through the list and see if there are some that you never use. If there are, you should deactivate them. To do so, go to your main Opera directory and find the file of plugin-ignore.ini. Then add the filename of the plug-in you want to deactivate to that. Those will then be removed from your Opera and you’ll save yourself some space, which then speeds things up!

4.) Disable Turbo Mode – I know this sounds a little strange, because generally, turbo means fast and since this is a tip for speed, it doesn’t make much sense to disable it. But, the turbo mode in Opera actually means that it pre-draws the images on Web sites, which means that you see part of the image even if it’s not fully loaded. This actually uses a lot of CPU space and your memory. This is really a better tip for those of you who use slower Internet connections. To turn off turbo, type about:config into the address bar and then type Turbo in the search field. Go ahead and choose the Disable option and then click Save.

5.) Increase Your Connections – When you’re using Opera, do you load a lot of tabs all at the same time? Or, do you like to look at Web sites simultaneously? If so, you might want to increase the number of connections you have. This will actually help broadband users more, while it may not make much of a difference for slower Internet connections. So, to increase your total number of connections, type about:config in the address bar and type Connections in the search box. Go ahead and change the Max Connections Total from 20 to another value, such as 32 or even 64. That should speed things up quite a bit!

6.) Reduce Visited Pages – The Opera Web browser actually keeps track of the last 500 Web sites you visit and it adds them to your browser history. This helps you in that you can find your favorite Web sites a lot faster, but it does slow down Opera’s startup process along with it. The best way to fix this is to reduce the amount of sites that Opera keeps on file. To do this, go to Tools, Preferences and choose the Advanced tab. Select History from the left menu and then click on Clear next to the Addresses section. You may want to set it to 0 or if you do want some sites saved, pick something like 100. Either way, it’s better than 500 and it’ll speed things up for you.

Alright, that’s all I have for you today. I know six is an odd number to end on, but I felt these were the best tips to share with you. All of these are pretty simple to do, but again, if you feel uncomfortable with any of them, just do the ones you think you can do. Some of these also work better for different types of Internet connections. If you use dial-up, you may find that some of them won’t help you out too much, but if you use broadband, your outcome might be better. It just depends. Whichever way you look at it though, your Opera will run a lot faster and you’ll be one happy Web browser. Yes!

~ Erin

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