It’s the year 2016. Google Chrome is the most popular browser now, but it’s not the best. In fact, recently, Opera is making a case for you to switch to it. There’s one small problem though: extensions. But what if you could install Chrome extensions in Opera? It’s pretty easy, so here’s a quick guide.
Why Install Chrome Extensions in Opera?
There are plenty of reasons you should ditch Chrome. All the browsers are generally fast, other browsers like Firefox will support Chrome extensions soon, and there are new browsers on the horizon like Vivaldi for power users.
For starters, Chrome leaks memory and hogs your resources. Attempts to fix it have failed so far. Plus, Chrome doesn’t entertain third-party extensions any more, which is terribly disappointing.
But given a choice, we would recommend Opera since it is basically a smarter, simpler Chrome. In fact, in many ways, Opera is the best browser for Mac or other operating systems. It’s fast, it’s flexible, it has all the features of a modern browser, and it’s on mobile devices too. Plus, recently, Opera has added great new features like free, unlimited VPN.
Re-tried the @Opera browser after a few years today. Within minutes I decided to make it my primary browser. It felt that good.
— Gagan Gupta (@x1n) April 21, 2016
The only reason most of us stick with Chrome is because of the extensions. Heck, I was trapped in Chrome too. But in my experience, switching to Opera has been super smooth, especially after learning how to install Chrome extensions in it.
How to Install Chrome Extensions in Opera
The actual process of installing Chrome extensions in Opera is surprisingly easy. It requires a little bit of setting up though. For the sake of this example, we’ll use the Google Cast extension, to make maximum use of your Chromecast.
- First and foremost, download Opera, of course.
- Next, add and install the Download Chrome Extension from the Opera add-ons gallery.
- Go to Chrome’s Google Cast extension page.
- Click the red Download Chrome Extension icon in the URL bar.
- Click the Add to Opera button.
- A toolbar will drop down, with the message, “This extension was disabled because it is from an unknown source. Go to the extensions manager to enable it.” Click the Go button.
- You’ll be transported to Opera’s Extensions page, which can also be visited by going to View > Show Extensions.
- Click Install in the Google Cast extension, and click Install again when Opera asks you to confirm you want to add this extension from an unknown source.
And just like that, the Google Cast extension will be added to Opera! You are now ready to use it just like how you would operate it in Chrome.
What Opera Doesn’t Support
However, while you can install any Chrome extension, that doesn’t mean every Chrome extension will work in Opera. For example, the Picture in Picture Viewer extension [No Longer Available] that lets you view YouTube videos in a floating panel depends on Chrome’s Panels feature, which Opera doesn’t support. So while you can install the extension in Opera, you can’t actually use it!
Opera also does not work with Chrome apps. It’s restricted only to extensions. Unfortunately, this means you miss out on some nifty tools. For example, Opera users can’t use Videostream, the easiest way to cast media from your computer to Chromecast or Android boxes.
The Best Chrome Extensions Not In Opera
To be fair, Opera already has some great extensions. For instance, some essential productivity extensions can improve Opera greatly. But not every one of the best Chrome extensions has made its way to Opera yet. Here’s a quick list of what you should install first.
This is one of the most powerful extensions for Gmail, doing everything from notifying you of new messages and previewing them, to managing your inbox without ever opening it.
When it comes to tab management, OneTab is a must-have. It reduces the clutter of having many tabs open, and collapses them into a simple list that you can share.
Just because you’re switching to Opera doesn’t mean you have to be left behind. Google’s Share to Classroom can be installed in Opera so teachers and students can show and share the same pages. No wonder it’s one of the best extensions by Google.
Be Limitless [No Longer Available]
Limitless tracks your activity in the web browser and serves up stats in the New Tab. It’s a wonderful way to stay productive. Unfortunately, Opera’s Speed Dial doesn’t allow for that, so you’ll have to add it manually. It’s simple. Go to Extensions > Be Limitless > Options and copy the ‘Home’ link from that page.
Gmail doesn’t let you schedule emails to be sent later, but installing Boomerang will do just that. You can even reschedule messages or adjust the return date. Boomerang is a godsend!
Ballloon [No Longer Available]
The simplest way to save any image or link to cloud storage is Ballloon, which made it to our list of eight absolutely brilliant extensions you don’t know about. Give it access to your cloud accounts, and you can right-click anywhere to save to one of your online drives.
Productivity enthusiasts will be happy to know that Trello has newly launched a Chrome extension and it works smoothly in Opera. You can create cards and access your boards through the icon or even the omnibox shortcut: type “t” followed by your keywords.
Are You Switching to Opera?
Given that you can install Chrome extensions in Opera, are you ready to make the switch to Opera? Personally, I’ve found that it made a big difference for me, especially in battery life.
There’s also another question. Firefox will be working with Chrome extensions soon. Since Chrome vs. Firefox is still a raging battle in 2016, what do you think about that? Will you switch to Opera, or wait for Firefox to get more extensions?