How to Use Opera Mini for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch

Learn how to use this speedy, no-fuss iOS browser

man sitting on ledge using iPad

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Opera Mini for iOS includes many of the same features common on other mobile browsers, some of which are tailored to mimic the desktop experience. But Opera Mini really shines in its focus on slower networks and limited data plans.

Armed with multiple compression modes that help speed up load times and minimize data usage, Opera Mini makes it easy to control how fast web pages are rendered as well as their impact on your data plan.

Opera Mini for iOS: Overview

Opera Mini for iOS screenshot

Opera claims that, in its most restrictive compression mode, the browser can save browsing data usage by up to 90 percent. Accompanying these thrifty techniques is a video compression feature, which works as a video clip is being rendered on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. This helps reduce buffering and other playback hiccups while cutting back on data usage.

Another practical element of Opera Mini is Night Mode, which dims your device's screen and is ideal for surfing the Web in the dark. Opera Mini also adds a lot to the iOS browsing experience through features like Discover, Speed Dial, and private tabs.

If you haven't installed it yet, Opera Mini is available free of charge via the App Store. Once you're ready to get started, launch the browser by selecting it from your device's home screen.

Data Savings

Opera Mini data savings screenshot

By default, Opera Mini is configured to conserve data. To see the amount of data that you've saved, select Opera's menu button, represented by the red O icon at the bottom of the browser window. Opera Mini's pop-up menu will appear displaying these stats:

  • Percentage of data saved.
  • Which data savings mode is enabled (the default is Opera Mini).
  • Actual data saved, represented in KB/MB/GB.

Change Data Savings Mode

There are three distinct modes that can be enabled, each significantly different in terms of data compression, speed, and data usage. To switch to a different data savings mode, select Savings Enabled.

  • Opera Mini: The default selection, Opera Mini mode compresses images, text, and whole web pages in an effort to deliver the requested content in a timely fashion, even on the slowest networks. While many sites may not look or feel exactly as they would under ideal conditions, at the high end of the data usage spectrum you can save up to 90 percent with this mode enabled.
  • Opera Turbo: Not as powerful as Opera Mini in terms of compression, this mode condenses images and text. The algorithm is based on your distance from the nearest signal tower and the current load on your network. Opera Turbo mode does not make any modifications to the web pages themselves, resulting in data savings up to 50 percent but not any noticeable alterations to the overall browsing experience.
  • Off: When active, all data compression and savings-related features are disabled. This is the recommended mode if you have an unlimited data plan and a consistently fast network connection.

If you would like to reset the accumulated data savings metrics, select Reset Data Savings Statistics.

Advanced Settings

The advanced settings available to you vary based on which data savings mode is currently active. They are as follows.

  • Zoom Level (available in Opera Mini mode): Instructs the browser to automatically enlarge the display of all pages up to 200 percent, per a user-defined scale.
  • Layout (available in Opera Mini mode): Contains two options, both accompanied by an on/off button and disabled by default. The first, Single Column View, renders web pages to fit the width of your device's screen, avoiding the need for any horizontal scrolling. The second, Text Wrap, ensures that most website text is displayed in a way that fits your screen.
  • Image Quality (available in Opera Mini and Opera Turbo mode): This setting gives you the option to disable images from loading altogether within the browser, as well as set their quality to Low, Medium, or High (default setting).
  • Video Boost (available in Opera Turbo mode): Enabled by default, this setting causes Opera to compress video clips on their servers prior to sending them to your device. Degradation of quality is sometimes noticeable, but on slower networks Video Boost does a nice job of reducing buffering and other playback problems.

Synchronization, General, and Advanced Settings

Opera Mini settings screenshot

Opera Mini's Settings interface allows you to tweak the browser's behavior in a number of different ways. To access the Settings page first select Opera Mini's menu button, represented by the red O icon at the bottom of the browser window. When the pop-up menu appears, select Settings.


If you also use Opera on other devices, including a Mac or PC, then this feature allows you to synchronize your Bookmarks across each instance of the browser, ensuring that your favorite websites are just a tap away.

In order for Bookmarks syncing to work, you need to sign in with your Opera Sync account. If you do not have one yet, select Create Account.

General Settings

Opera Mini's General settings include the following.

  • Night Mode: Disabled by default, Night Mode is perfect for browsing the Web in a dark setting and minimizing strain on your tired eyes. It can be toggled via the on/off button found in the main Opera menu.
  • Change Theme: With over a dozen different designs to choose from, which change the look and feel of your browser interface, this setting lets you switch themes as often as you like.
  • New Tabs: This setting allows you to determine whether new tabs open in the background, which is the default behavior, or in the foreground of your browser window.
  • Clear... Selecting this setting provides the ability to delete browsing history, cache, cookies, or saved passwords from your device's hard drive.

Advanced Settings

Opera Mini's Advanced settings include the following.

  • User-Agent: This setting offers two options, Mobile and Desktop, and dictates the way websites are rendered in your Opera Mini browser. While most websites will default to their mobile version once your iOS browser is detected, changing this setting will force the desktop version of the active page to be displayed.
  • Accept Cookies: Cookies are small text files that can contain user-specific preferences, login information, and other data used to create a custom browsing experience. Pushed by websites, they are allowed by default within Opera Mini. However, this setting allows you to reject all cookies from being stored on your device.
  • Block Pop-ups: Opera Mini's integrated pop-up blocker is disabled by default, but can be quickly activated via the on/off button that accompanies this setting.