Making Opera browser more battery-friendly

14 February 2015, 04:05

I use the Opera browser and I recommend you do too. A few years ago the folks behind it started afresh using the same Webkit/Blink engine that powers Google Chrome, and thereby created perhaps the fastest browsers you’ll find. It also comes with an excellent set of extensions.

The trouble is that Opera also consumes much more power than Safari, as shown by clicking the power icon in the menu bar area. This obviously isn’t an issue for iMac users, but for MacBook users on the road it can be a significant drain.

After a quick Google I found the following tips (with thanks to forum user aeyoun!), which I share here. It’s certainly worth trying any or all of them, depending on how extreme you want to be.

  1. Only keep open tabs you really need. Close all others.
  2. Enable Click to Play in Preferences > Websites heading > Plugins.
  3. In the URL field enter opera://flags/#tab-hibernation and click Enable under the Tab Hibernation heading, then restart Opera. As the name suggests, this hibernates any tabs not in use but it’s still experimental, so you might need to disable it if weird things start happening.
  4. Enable Opera Turbo, although this brings with it privacy issues because all your data is routed through Opera’s servers in order to be shrunk.
  5. Install an extension like uBlock to turn off noisy advertising animations that eat up CPU power.
  6. Disable any opera://extensions or opera://plugins you don’t need (paste either of those two into the URL field to get straight to the settings).

Know better?