Skip to main content

Opera's web browser can now block ads without the need for extensions

Opera has announced the company's web browser will include a built-in ad blocker to help speed up the web and prevent users of the web browser from being harassed by rogue and disruptive adverts. The latest developer version of the browser, released today, will have this feature available for activation and is boasted to decrease load times of web pages by up to 90%.

What makes this an interesting move by Opera – aside from the inclusion of an ad blocker being the first of all major browsers – is how adverts are blocked at engine-level, something extensions and plug-ins are unable to achieve and increases the effectiveness of the feature itself.

There's also a neat benchmark tool available for website owners so they can see just how much time adverts and tracking scripts affect the load times of web pages. Unfortunately for companies and site owners, adverts remain a major source of income and helps keep the Internet alive.

Interested in giving the new ad blocking feature a try? Download the Opera developer release to get started.

Opera browser nearly doubles load speed by integrating adblocking technology directly into the browser engine

Opera for computers is launching an integrated ad-blocking feature in its newest developer version, out today - the first major PC browser to do so. Once enabled, the ad-blocking feature speeds up webpage load times by as much as 90%, compared to browsing with the option disabled. The integrated ad-blocking technology also gives on average a 40% faster browsing experience compared to third-party ad-blocking extensions. The improved performance is possible since the filtering happens at the web-engine level, where the browser can fully control the loading process of the webpage - something extensions can't do.

"Advertising fuels the internet, allowing for many services to be free for users. But, as our new research shows, most webpages today are significantly slowed down by bloated ads and heavy tracking. We don't accept it - we want the web to be a better place for us all, as users," says Krystian Kolondra, SVP of Engineering and Head of Opera for computers.

How the integrated ad-blocking feature works

Since the ad-blocking feature, available in the developer version of Opera for computers, is fully integrated with the browser, no additional download of extensions or plug-ins is necessary. While browsing, users can easily choose to enable ad-blocking by selecting the dialog option.

In addition to the simple on-off button, the ad-blocking feature comes with a benchmark, so users, web developers and publishers can see how much ads and tracking software affect page-loading times. Users can also monitor their browsing by the day, week and total number of blocked ads.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Google won't do it to it Chrome for obvious reasons ;)
  • Google's chrome has the highest adblock downloads. If they discontinue this and in coginto mode they get screwed forever. Pp know it. Google's adsense is been heavily used by clickbaits and ppl need a good ad blocker on sites and u tube specially. In android there's only ad block browser but there's no way to block ads on official u tube app except rooting the device.
  • Maxthon does this for 2 years!
  • Well, last to me I downloaded opera on my PC it felt as if I was h using some google product, so I uninstalled it right away. If opera is doing it then google doesn't need to.
  • That's your personal opinion. Google has nothing to do with Opera.
  • Works better than Internet Explorer and edge Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • A bit late
  • When it comes to Edge ? Posted from Microsoft Lumia 950 from "God's own country" in India ☺
  • Soon or never
  • ^ this
  • Hahaha... 3019. :-) i.e. never.exe
  • Its actually possible to block adverts today easily on Edge or IE. It uses the HOSTS file. Check for more info. ​It works very well, tho the first loading was a bit slower. No difference anymore since the data is in RAM already.
  • The best browser, using it from past 10 years...
  • Yep I totally agree. They almost lost me when they moved to Chromium but they fixed all of their issues and I've been happy with it for quite awhile now. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They lost me when they sold out to a China's internet security and gaming firm, Qihoo 360 and their partnership with China's leading marketing firm Beijing Kunlun. Back to Chrome with AdBlock Plus
  • I hate ads.
  • Do you like free websites? Ad's are a necessary evil.
  • There has to be a balance.  I'll stop blocking ads when websites disable video autoplay and those stupid keyword popups.
  • Ads are a necessary evil, but in order to be effective they must not piss me off.  I sure as hell won't give any business to companies who use the followng:   Autoplay videos Pop-unders Tricks to make the page scroll so that I click somewhere other than where I intended. Intrusive pop-ups.   I like the way USAToday does ads;  they bring up an ad window, and you can watch the ad or dismiss it. I will usually watch the ad long enough to know if it's something I'm interested in, and then dismiss.   It's similar to the way TV has started to adapt to DVRs; now the ads themselves can be quite entertaining, and I find myself stopping frequently to watch them.
  • Agreed, ads are everywhere anyway. Accesible ad platforms have brought about the ability for a large range of content on the internet and a vehicle to support creators of all kinds. When people block ads, they retract support for the content they're consuming, which stifles the niche and variety and all we're left with is giant homogenized content networks and subscription services. Is that what you want? Free up some screen space or a few seconds of your time at the expense of all but the most profitable of content sources?
  • Lol even Netflix is experimenting with the idea
  • Cough cough *windows central* cough. That's why the store is so super duper slow
  • Crying in the corner?
  • Lol
  • In your place, the garbage
  • m8
  • Too bad I switched to Edge a month ago. I used Opera for years. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10 on Lumia 535
  • How much money did you spend switching to Edge?
  • Nothing :D But now all my bookmarks, passwords and settings are there, and I don't want to move all of them to Opera, because as far as I know, there's no sync tool between them. And I like how Edge syncs with my Lumia 535, and the wp version of opera sucks really hard... :D Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10, on HP 250 G1 notebook
  • Is it possible to allow ads on some pages and block them on others?
  • There is a long exceptions list by default and you can add/remove items. You can find in in settings > Basic > Block ads
  • Cool! Time to give Opera a try.
  • Imagine the pile of lawsuits that are gonna follow if Microsoft is onboard with this. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10 Mobile on Lumia 950
  • Since Microsoft is no longer as afraid anymore, it is not as unlikely as it would have been earlier :)
  • Cool. Yeah, opera, i might ditch firefox soon
  • Can someone turn off the internet? First we decided we don't want to pay for papers and downsized their budgets for 100-1000x. Now we think that they are getting too much. Most of the 20th century we've made some progress because we've payed clever people to guard democracy. Now we save few bucks and corporations can buy those people and made them tell whatever they want as we don't. Democracy, RIP.
  • Now we have ads in the comments?!
  • Take an English class buddy. Learn to write clearly and in complete sentences.
  • Thanks for your advice. Still if that's your way to oppose I can't comment back.
  • Ads are so irritating and clutter up your browsing experience making their intrusive presence completely unproductive. Almost as if you take a cab and get driven around through the longest path to your destination.
  • And you should read an article from 50 year old NYTimes journalist with a great carreer receiving mostly the offers to write for free. You wouldn't think it is intrusive? What happens when average IQ of journalits gets below 90 as outlets can't pay better people? You can enjoy ad-free experience of the useless text.
  • Screw your ads.
  • I prefer the internet to be mostly subscription based in the future. I don't care about ads. What I do care is that if there is no money no one with brains will write. We are already more than half way to that point. Or maybe I can count on you to spend 10 hours a day for free and investigate my favorite topics in the future? Why do I think that the answer is that you won't do that?
  • Subscription based doesn't work. Hence the proliferation of ads and amateur blogs.
  • Microsoft should have included this Edge. Would have made it an instant hit.
  • Unobtrusive ads are acceptable, but ads that auto-play videos, block the content you're trying to view or pop up and block content when you mouse-over a keyword are just not acceptable at all. If the advertisers would all realise this and do something about it, I'd happily turn off my adblocker, but until then I will continue to use Firefox with Adblock (which blocks almost everything). The ad industry needs to learn this lesson pretty quickly, otherwise more and more people will just block everything, seriously denting the advertisers profits.
  • How will you know when ads have become unobtrusive when you've already blocked them from your lyfe?
  • Although I do the majority of my browsing with the Firefox/Adblock combination, I do use other browsers too, so I do see what many pages look like with the ads - it's shocking how different the pages are sometimes with and without an adblocker.
  • I think a better response from users would be only blocking obtrusive ads, while letting the unobtrusive ones stay. If a lot of people did that, then maybe web companies would start to get your message. Blocking everything makes them more inclined to try to make more obtrusive ads and subvert ad blockers.
  • Plus a lot of people have the attitude of "I don't want ads and I still want things for free." That also needs to change if the web industry is going to get healthier (while keeping things free).
  • Would make it dead. Publishers would block it by default and people would just go back to Chrome...
  • Block it on what grounds? Of course they wouldn't welcome it but it's still optional. And I doubt anyone is prepared to legally take on Microsoft over its browser just because they don't like the fact that it can block ads.
  • It is quite simple to block it, just if you see Edge in User Agent you block it, that's all. As site is a private property it doesn't have to have some grounds to decide whom to let in and whom not to let in. Just they might not block particular person, but any group of persons, sure. Well Microsoft would be a nice target for lawsuit because it has both a lot of users and a lot of money. Actually German papers did try this with Adblock, but they've lost in front of German courts. Still laws are far from unified concerning this and in other countries there might be a different result.
  • I find this funny. And sad. What am I doing wrong?
  • I don't mind ads because they make free possible and I enjoy free but it's being severely over done on webpages; popup after popup after popup in addition to the ones already embedded in the page.
  • Don't mind most ads, but the video ones that play instantly with sound are the most annoying. Oh, and the ads for websites that I've already visited - what's the point? Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Yes and you skip that site, that's how you express your freedom.
  • UWP version of Opera mobile please (w/ continuum)
  • nothappening.gif
  • I know some sites use excessive advertising, but this just helps destroy the free internet :'(
  • You have free internet?
  • Sure. The public library offers it.
  • So many sites now will become unview able. Like how they block there sites from people with ad block. Lol. Interesting though.
  • Hope this come to edge. I don't mind ads but when you have a slow internet connection (mine is just under 2mb/s) it takes ages for pages with lots of ads to load. I would like to see ads on Windows Central, but without an ad blocker it takes about 5 minutes to load the main page. I'm not exaggerating, I've timed it and it actually does take that long for the ads to load.
  • Your not the only 1 even the wp app sometimes only the ads would load up on slow Wi-Fi. Actually it feels like this is starting to infect other mn sites
  • I really hate adverts in my browser! If people just done proper adverts and played nice it would be fine! But nooooo! You get the same advert twice in the same page in two different sizes, adverts that take up the left and right side of websites, such as pc gamer, so you accidentally click on them. You get adverts that bounce around and follow you down the page, you get adverts that play on their own so you don't know where the sound is coming from. You get adverts which take up 80% of a page and look like the back and next buttons you want to press to read the articles. Adverts are far too obtrusive, I don't care if you need them or not, I'm blocking them.
  • Lol whats worse is most sites arnt optimized for ie11s lite edge mode
  • The issue is, when most people are blocking out ads, which will get even more popular if the browsers come with inbuilt ad-blocking, the ad revenues of sites will eventually become critically low, if not zero. Then it is very likely the websites will start to deliver their content only after you pay upfront. What's gonna happen then?
  • Wow, damning evidence:
  • Sad. I see "banner" ads are now "billboard" ads.
  • Advertisers need to realize that creating ads that irritate people is counterproductive. First, despite all of the tracking and targeting the vast majority of ads I see are of zero interest. Second, if the ad is autoplaying video or a pop-up that blocks content I will not deliberately click on or even look at the ad. If by chance I notice whatever it is for I am less likely to ever purchase that product. Creating bad vibes with potential customers is not a winning strategy.
  • Good. When ads are gone clickbait 'articles' will be gone too. And media needs to go back to quality journalism in order to get subscriptions.
  • Oh dear, that's awesome!
  • great!
  • This is awesome! Works amazingly well on my W10Preview build.
  • Are they going to make a universal app? Posted via the Windows Central App
  • My favorite browser.
  • This is a worryimg trend imo. Sure adverts annoying, intrusive with their auto play video, flash cookies etc. I use ublock, noscript, betterprivacy for those pesky LSOs. However i do enable adverts on certain blogs and papers because i like reading them and want to support the authors. Also I don't mind text based adverts as they are not intrusive. If something pops up in blog that I have adverts enabled that i find intrusive i just block that frame. It's a catch-22 situation for the internet and as many sites have resorted to trying to maximise on per click so you get these a flurry of banner, flashing and auto playing video adverts. Which have driven people to be intolerant. Not to mention, we get hammered with adverts every where else - TV, daily commute, shopping
  • Opera just keeps getting better each version! 
  • Nice! AdGuard has started to act pretty squirrely for me, and this just shows Opera understands what web users want most. Can't wait until they add this feature to the Release channel!