[Tip] Customize Start Page Background Theme and Number of Columns in Opera

This tutorial will help you in customizing following stuff in Opera web browser:

  • Customizing Start Page
  • Changing and creating background theme of Start Page
  • Changing number of columns of tiles at Speed Dial page
  • Enabling Bookmarks bar (previously known as Quick Access Bar)
  • Accessing advanced settings (Hardcore Mode) in Opera

Yesterday Opera team updated its web browser to version 19 which comes with some cool new stuff such as themes support, new favorites bar and new options available for advanced users in Settings page.

In this tutorial we'll tell you how to use these new features in Opera web browser. So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

1. Enabling Bookmarks Bar in Opera

Opera team has added the much awaited Bookmarks bar or Favorites bar to Opera web browser. Actually it already existed in previous versions of Opera with the name "Quick Access Bar" which could be enabled using advanced configuration page "Opera://flags".

Now Opera team has renamed it to Bookmarks bar and made available for all users. By default its not activated but you can enable it using Opera Settings page as mentioned below:

1. Open Opera and click on Opera button and then click on Settings option. Alternatively you can directly launch Settings page by pressing Alt+P keys together.

2. Now scroll down a little and enable "Show the bookmarks bar" option given in "User interface" section.


It'll immediately add the bookmarks bar below the addressbar.

2. Changing Background Theme of Start Page in Opera

Now you can customize the background image of Start Page in Opera. You can either choose from the built-in background images or apply one of your desired images available on your PC as Start Page background.

Simply follow these simple steps to change or create Start Page background theme:

1. Open Start Page in Opera by creating a new tab and right-click on an empty area. You'll get "Change theme" option in the context menu, click on it.


Alternatively, you can directly open Themes page by clicking on Opera button and then clicking on "Themes" option.

2. On Themes page, you can click on any available image and it'll immediately apply it as Start Page background.

PS: If you are visiting a webpage which contains an image, you can right-click on the image and select "Use image as theme" option to directly set the image as Start Page background.

3. If you want to apply any other desired image as background, click on "Create your theme" link given in the sidebar.


Now you can select your desired image by clicking on "Choose file" button. After selecting the image, give your theme any desired name and adjust the alignment of the image file. You can align the image to top, bottom or center of screen. You can also choose the text color for Speed Dial tiles. If you want, you can turn on or off text shadow effect as well.

At last click on "Create" button and it'll immediately apply your newly created theme as Start Page background.

4. You can manage your themes using "My themes" link in Themes page. It allows you to switch between custom themes as well as deleting unwanted themes.

3. Changing number of columns of tiles at Speed Dial page Using Advanced Settings

Now Opera also allows you to change maximum number of columns of tiles shown at Start Page or Speed Dial page. By default the maximum column number limit is set to 5 but you can increase or decrease it according to your requirements. The option to change the number of tiles can be accessed using advanced settings in Opera as mentioned below:

Open Opera Settings page and scroll down to bottom and you'll see a new checkbox "Show advanced settings".


Enable this checkbox and you'll see some new options added to Settings page which are as following:

  • Disable tab bar's top spacing when browser window is maximized
  • Maximum number of columns
  • Use hardware acceleration when available

"Disable tab bar's top spacing when browser window is maximized" option is present in "User interface" section. It allows you to remove extra spacing from the top of tab bar. Its a very small UI change which is hardly noticeable.


"Maximum number of columns" option is present in "Start page" section which allows you to change maximum number of columns allowed on Start Page or Speed Dial page. You can choose any number between 2 and 7.


"Use hardware acceleration when available" option is present in "System" section. You can disable this option if you are facing any font issue in Opera. Some users might get blurred fonts in webpages while using Opera. Most of the times such kind of issues occur due to hardware acceleration (GPU Rendering) feature of the web browser. We have covered guides to disable hardware acceleration feature in Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office in past. If you are facing similar issues in Opera, you can turn this option off to fix these issues.


That's all for now. Feel free to share your feedback or suggestion in your comment...

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Posted in: Opera

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  • Glad they returning the precious Bookmarks.

  • I hope the old way of adding Bookmarks gets added to this newer version of Opera. I hate the way Bookmarking works in this version! I have a lot of Bookmarks and being able to see them in a drop-down list makes it so much easier to navigate. Plus, all my Bookmarks are categorized making it quicker in finding the sites I frequent. Why in the world would they not keep this feature in the newer Opera?

  • Just now I downloaded and installed Opera after reading this article. The speed surprised me. Fastest of all 4 Browsers. I do not know if it is because of a fresh install. Time will tell.
    Many Thanks VG.

  • Finally in Opera...........

  • The next CEO of Microsoft is reportedly named Satya Nadella! Cheers!

  • Hi,

    Can anybody tell me, how to increase columns in "Opera Speed Dial" to more than 9 and decrease the horizontal and vertical space between columns and rows?

    Before about week or two I found "Opera Speed Dial Patch" and somehow I successfully make 15 columns with small size between them and on one page (I mean without scrolls) I bring together about 100 speed dials. But I do not know how, yesterday, when I start my ultrabook my "Opera" start with only 9 columns in "Speed Dial" and I can not in any way to restore the situation with 15 columns :( I try the "Opera Speed Dial Patch" but there is no change :( The patch give me the input, that it patches the "Opera Speed Dial" but the "Opera Speed Dial" do not change :(

    I do manually change the number of columns in "Preferences" file in "C:\Users\***\AppData\Roaming\Opera Software"
    folder, but nothing happened :(

    Please, anybody - Help!

  • I'd love to just be able to use the Windows desktop background for Opera. I use multiple monitors and the monitor where Opera is open just looks strange when it doesn't match the other two. It used to be the default but I upgraded to latest Opera and only manged to frustrate myself. Do I need to revert to an earlier version or is there a fix I haven't found?

  • I really like my opera mobile Android browser .it work good on my phone .I have been able to find a browser I was satisfied with until I found the opera browser for Android .works great .thank you opera .keep up the good work.

  • I read the above article and it is very helpful. However, I had installed opera with the speed dial homepage and it work fantastically. Then after doing further changes, I found my that my homepage speed dial decided that it only wanted 1 column, instead of the 4 columns that I had set it to. I cannot seem to find what is wrong. Can you help me?

  • Actually now VG you can add up to 45 speed dials in Opera 5 wide and 9 columns!

  • How to reduce size of thumbnails in Speed Dial so as to have more columns. I have set the value to 7 but it doesn't exceed 5 in latest version 29.0.1795.47. My monitor size is 15.6" 1366x768

  • My Speed Dial theme keeps reverting back to the one that was originally set when I downloaded the Opera browser. I've tried using one from their "select more themes" page as well as creating my own (preferred). Every time I close my browser it has reverted back to the original (very ugly IMO). I'm tired of having to reset it every time but can't fine a solution. Suggestions? Thanks.

  • VG

    ^^ You should try to uninstall and then reinstall Opera.

  • Looks good.

    Suggestions for next update:
    -Autohide address bar and tabs. Hover cursor over to use it.
    -Change color of tabs/address bar.

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