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Dec 20

Opera Memory Usage Optimization Tweaks

After talking about Google’s newly released baby browser Chrome , I wanted to take a moment to talk my old loved one browser. Opera. I was an Opera user starting from 1998, hating IE’s limited browsing capacity, Opera was the relief. Opera was the multi-tasking, multi-tabing, multi-functionality (even that it had disable referer option and remove images with one shortcut – G) And then Firefox was born, IE’s long time battle had just started. Opera turned into a free web-browser but it didn’t help much usage wise because the addons and lacking open source community was big failure on Opera side.

After giving a little background on browser war, I want to talk about what I am using right now and why I am using them for.

-Firefox: lots of addons (webmaster tools, enable referer, google customize!!, ad-block)
-Opera: BEST RSS reader that talks to me so far. It is easy and convenient. Firefox is still missing a big portion on that.
-Maxthon: IE based, memory optimized and ads blocked, multi tabbing

Since I wanted to get back to my old habbit, RSS reading, I started using Opera again. and I ended up using 3 browsers at a time. Opera, Maxthon and Firefox. I was able to optimize Firefox’s memory usage greatly and now I’m getting best memory usage ever from Firefox but still lacking good RSS reader support. Opera is great for speed and RSS reading but I was having lots of issued with memory usage. I played with opera:config tab little bit and I want to share the experience with you.

My 2 cents for Opera Memory optimization:

  • Use a native skin;
  • Disable Automatic RAM cache opera:config#UserPrefs|AutomaticRAMCache (decreases memory usage); Disabling this helped me greatly to achieve memory optimization
  • Remove or disable unneeded plugins (i.e. Java & Quicktime);
  • Disable Smooth Scrolling
  • Disable Favicons – opera:config#Multimedia|Alwaysloadfavicon; (little but still good)
  • Disable fraud protection under Tools -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Security
  • Empty cache on exit.
  • Disable Bittorent support
  • Disable Opera Sync

Another set of Memory optimization tips that I didn’t test myself:

  • Disable thumbnails – opera:config#UserPrefs|UseThumbnailsinTabTooltips and opera:config#UserPrefs|UseThumbnailsinWindowCycle;
  • Disable PageIndex opera:config#UserPrefs|MaxVisitedPagesIndexSize;
  • Disable Speed dial (state=3) – opera:config#UserPrefs|SpeedDialState;
  • Disable Wand – opera:config#UserPrefs|EnableWand;

In order to get to the configuration section, you should open a new and type “opera:config” you will be able to see all the configs that is available to you for tweaking. One good hint on this is that search for “enable”. This query will list you the stuff that you can disable easily, like Bittorent support and Opera Sync.

Currently, on my Opera 9.62, when I search for enable, I have these options:

BitTorrent… …Enable
Disk Cache… …Enabled
Extensions… …Enable Canvas
Java… …Enabled
Network… …
Enable Content Blocker
Enable HostName Expansion
Enable HostName Web Lookup
Enable NTLM

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