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Download Editors' Rating:
Average User Rating:
out of 3860 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
  • Total Downloads:
  • Date Added:
    Aug. 02, 2012
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  • Product ranking:
    #4 in Web Browsers

Editors' Review


The bottom line: Extensions, competitive page-load times, solid features, and good support for "future Web" technologies make Opera 12 an excellent browser, but it's treading water where it used to lead.

The second-oldest browser currently in use, Opera debuted way back in 1994 and continues to attract attention. Its feature-phone version claims more than 160 million users worldwide. While desktop Opera isn't quite as heavily used, it has developed a reputation as a leader on feature development, and can hold its own against the big four.

Opera covers the basics with tabbed browsing, mouse-over previews, a customizable search bar, advanced bookmarking tools, and simple integration with e-mail and chat clients. Mouse-gesture support, keyboard shortcuts, and drag-and-drop functionality round out the essentials.

Installing Opera is a fast and short process, taking less than 2 minutes. Many of Opera's built-in features require creating a MyOpera account, but the browser will only prompt you to do so when you use them for the first time -- it's not required to browse.

Tap the Options button on the first install screen to reveal configuration tweaks. Besides changing the browser's default language and install path, you can also install for just the currently signed-on user, or choose to install Opera directly to an external device. It's a great, simple way to create a portable version of Opera for a USB key.

Opera's interface keeps the same look that debuted in Opera 11, with a condensed menu button in the upper left corner, tabs on top, and a translucent status bar on the bottom that hosts buttons to reveal Opera's Panels, and to activate Link and Turbo. The bottom right corner of the status bar sports a dedicated zoom slider.

The navigation bar and its associated buttons and extension icons are a uniform height, keeping the browser's chrome, its interface, to a minimum. It's a polished look, and one that most browsers offer today. The search box, located in its default space to the right of the location bar, can be removed. That and further interface customizations can be made by right-clicking on the navigation bar and selecting customize.

The influence of the radical interface changes that Google Chrome introduced in 2008 can be seen here, from tabs on top to the extension icons, yet Opera's personality does still come through enough to have a different vibe and feel from Chrome. A red Opera "O" logo button in the upper left corner reveals options and menus, while a wrench icon on the New Tab page allows you to customize Opera's forward-thinking Speed Dial.

Features and support
The five major browsers have been liberally borrowing features and innovations from each other for years, yet Opera has developed a reputation for showcasing some of the more interesting browser developments first. That's fallen off a bit in version 12, which showcases more catching up than trailblazing leadership.

Quirky features such as Widgets, Unite, and Voice have been killed off, which means that there's less bloat in the browser. But no doubt that those executions were performed also because of a lack of user interest.

Opera 12's hardware acceleration, which is when the browser uses the graphics processor to render animations faster and more smoothly, is still a work in progress. It's in the browser, but you must manually activate it for now.

Many changes in Opera 12 that pull it closer to parity with the competition. These include separate processes for plug-ins like Flash and QuickTime, so that when the plug-in crashes, the browser doesn't burn up with it; a lightweight add-on structure powered by HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS emphasized for extensions and now themes; and redesigned location bar security badges that are easier to read.

This isn't to say that Opera can't compare, because it holds up well. It's just not quite as innovative in this version as in the past. You still get tab stacks, a way to group tabs and cut down on tab clutter; tab pinning; and Opera Link for syncing Bookmarks, Speed Dial, Notes, and passwords to other instances of Opera, including Opera Mobile and Opera Mini. Sadly, there's still no tab sync in Opera.

There's Growl and multitouch trackpad support on Macs, support for some HTML5 including next-generation video and audio codec WebM, geolocation compatibility, Web Workers, App Cache, and Web fonts. The Web Open Font Format (WOFF), which Opera co-sponsored, hasn't yet been added, although Opera expects it will be soon. And Opera 12 has added HTML5 support for controlling local media hardware, such as Webcams, from Web sites.

One of Opera's lesser-known features is its integrated mail client. It's a reasonable alternative to Outlook, offering many similar features. It can handle importing mailbox files from Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Netscape, and Eudora, supports POP3 and IMAP, and quickly synced with Gmail when we added our account.

There are other features in Opera, including tab previews, newsgroups support, a built-in session manager, and a fantastic array of customizations that rival Firefox. Of all the browsers out there, Opera ships with a massive feature set and is an excellent choice for users who want something fast and robust but just a bit old-school right out of the box. However, aside from the integrated mail support, much of what Opera offers can now be found elsewhere.

Full benchmarks will be added here as they are completed, but preliminary results indicate that Opera 12's page-load times remain comparable to its competitors on publicly available benchmark tests. Short version: It's an extremely fast browser. And although rumors persist about Web site incompatibility, we've yet to encounter any major site that Opera had problems with.

Opera is in firm grip of the fifth-place slot in the race to be the world's most-used browser. It doesn't have the backing of a major corporation like Apple's Safari, Google's Chrome, or Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and it lacks the massive, open developer's community of Mozilla's Firefox. What it does have are a fantastic combination of speed and built-in services, and a mobile base that's enormous.

What's missing is a compelling argument for adoption beyond a dislike of the other four. As much as we enjoy our time using Opera, it doesn't surpass the competition -- it only matches it.

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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
  • Current Version


    out of 8 votes

    • 5 star 1
    • 4 star 0
    • 3 star 1
    • 2 star 3
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    out of 3860 votes

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Results 1–8 of 8

5 stars

"It works great!"

August 24, 2012  |  By shepcat

 |  Version: Opera 12.01


I love the speed! That's probably the best feature of Opera.


I don't like the fact that Opera crashes much of the time on my Windows 7 laptop. Otherwise, it works fine on my old XP computers.


I think Opera is a very good browser that many people are overlooking.

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1 stars

"A piece of crap now."

August 23, 2012  |  By Holybride

 |  Version: Opera 12.01


I've been using opera for 8 years, now I'm ready to remove it.


You can't click anything from any website,

cannot download anything,

cannot display important web view such as chacha words,

cannot fill in even its own survey because you cannot click the button of choice. (How can I fill in the survey if I cannot click the radio button?)

cannot sign up to report the problem because its own chacha message doesn't appear, but it requires to fill it. (How can I fill it if it doesn't appear?)

A Piece of junk..!!!


Piece of junk..!!!

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1 stars

"Opera 12 is a crap"

August 21, 2012  |  By ronaldo_d

 |  Version: Opera 12.01


no pros the new opera is **** ...


opera takes memory more than ie8 take' I prefer to use maxthon3 it's very light browser with the opera Features

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3 stars

"OK as a spare"

August 21, 2012  |  By MsThea

 |  Version: Opera 12.01


Loads quickly


Crashes often especially during anything involving Flash (i.e. Farmville).

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2 stars

"Opera has more drawbacks than benefits..."

August 18, 2012  |  By mail2ri

 |  Version: Opera 12.01


Comparable speed as other top browsers like Chrome, FF, or IE9
Built-in security for plug-ins
Supports extensions / add-ons like FF & Chrome


Most security software don't work on Opera
Many websites not compatible with Opera
No compelling feature to attract users


Have used Opera since version 8.0 and even the recently released 64-bit version on my Win 7 HP SP1 system. However, noticed that even in the latest version (in both 32-bit & 64-bit versions) many websites remain incompatible. Also, popular Internet Security s/w like Norton / McAfee / Kaspersky do not protect Opera users as their web-protection extension / add-ins don't work on Opera. Hence, of all popular browsers, Opera remains most vulnerable to hacking and cyber-attacks thru malware.
Unless Opera team works on its vulnerabilities and drawbacks, it will remain a secondary (at best) browser only.

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2 stars

"Will not work with flash player, breaks when upgraded."

August 13, 2012  |  By richj120952

 |  Version: Opera 12.01


Works the same as previous version


Breaks flash player, and addons like rotate image are not easy right clicks to access.


Went back to previous version (not an easy task) to make it work.

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1 stars

"This Browser Going From Bad To Worse"

August 12, 2012  |  By ElObomo

 |  Version: Opera 12.01


Past good reputation.


After logging in to Netflix, all there is a a GIANT RED SCREEN! What is that all about? Past versions had to be disguised as FireFox to play Netflix - now, all there is is a red screen!
Google Maps index rendering is still skewed and won't print properly.
No default hardware accelerators, and when manually turned on, it doesn't make any difference.
Ho-hum set of add-ons.
Still lacking any sort of download/malware protections.


If you like toys - Opera is toy-like in many ways. Being left behind by even IE9.

Updated on Aug 12, 2012

Forgot to mention the scrolling - it's about as smooth as riding in a wooden-wheeled, horse drawn log wagon.

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2 stars

"from Perfect to Crap in one update..."

August 03, 2012  |  By ComeToPass

 |  Version: Opera 12.01


Still Looks Good...


Web pages load almost as slow as Internet Explorer. Flash player might or might not work. Scroll up or down on web pages reacts very slow. A scroll Down from the mouse wheel will get you to the bottom of a web page... Eventually.


I rated Version 11 a perfect 5 and had found my Browser! In speed tests, it beat Chrome and Firefox on my system. This version? Uninstall. LOL. Cya Opera... I'm here at this very moment to download Firefox.

Updated on Aug 16, 2012

Keep reading. Or download it. Opera: FAIL

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Results 1–8 of 8

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Full Specifications

What's new in version 12.01
Version 12.01 has website thumbnail memory usage improvements and corrects an error that could occur after removing the plugin wrapper.
Publisher Opera Software
Publisher web site http://www.opera.com/
Release Date August 02, 2012
Date Added August 02, 2012
Version 12.01
Category Browsers
Subcategory Web Browsers
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 33.76MB
File Name Opera_beta_33.0.1990.11_Setup.exe
Total Downloads 13,107,160
Downloads Last Week 9,033
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

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