How to enable mouse gestures in Opera (and why you should)

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Photo: Opera Software

Opera is my default web browser and has been for some time now. This is partly because of Workspace’s amazing tab management feature, but also because it’s fast and reliable. Although Opera has many features that might seem bloated in other browsers, Opera still manages to appear lean and capable.

One of the features you might not be aware of is mouse gestures. This feature is especially useful if you want to work as efficiently as possible.

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Consider this: How often do you have to move your mouse to the top left corner of the Opera window, just to click the back button? Or what about actions such as:

  • Go forward one page
  • Open a new tab
  • Reload the page
  • Close the current tab
  • Open a link in a new tab
  • Open a link in a background tab
  • Open a link in a new window

If you’re using a trackpad, those things are second nature. For example, on my MacBook Pro, I can swipe left with two fingers to go back a page on a website. I always use this type of gesture because it’s faster than moving the cursor and clicking a button.

And I’m all about speed. That’s why I use Opera’s mouse gesture feature.

Here’s what this cool feature enables you to do: Right-click any empty space on a page and move the mouse in a specific path for a specific action. For example, right-click on an empty space, hold down the mouse button and drag the mouse to the left, and you’ll go back a page. Do the same, just drag the mouse to the right, and you’ll advance one page.

There’s even a thing called rocker gestures, which let you navigate back and forth through pages by rocking your fingers between the left and right mouse buttons. For example: Click and hold the right button and then click and release the left button to go back. Click and hold the left button and then click and release the right button to move forward.

Also: Firefox vs. Opera: Which Web Browser is Best for You?

Once you get used to these gestures, you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without them.

Here is the full list of mouse gestures:

  • Go back one page – click and move left.
  • Go forward one page – click and move right.
  • Open a new tab – click and scroll down.
  • Reload current page – click and move up and then down
  • Close the current page – click, move down, then right.
  • Open a link in a background tab – Click a link and then move up and down
  • Open a link in a new tab – Click a link and move down
  • Open a link in a new window – hold the Shift key, click a link, and move down

Now that you understand how mouse gestures work, you first need to enable them so they work for you.

How to Enable Mouse Gestures in Opera

What you will need: All you need is an updated installation of Opera on your desktop. It doesn’t matter which operating system you are working on but the feature doesn’t work in mobile version.

You can go directly to the gestures section of the Opera settings window by opening a new tab and pasting or typing the following into the address bar:


On this page, you will see many on/off sliders. You want to move the On/Off sliders for both to the On position Enable mouse gestures And Enable rocker gestures. Once you’re done, you can close the Settings tab and start using your new mouse and rocker gestures.

Opera Gestures section in Settings.

You can also enable advanced keyboard shortcuts here.

Jack Wallen/ZDNet

Also: I replaced Google Search with Opera’s Aria AI feature and I don’t miss the former

It may take you a while to get used to these gestures, but once you do, you’ll be able to navigate pages faster than ever before.

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