How to Block Advertisements in Opera with Fanboy’s Adblock List

When I first considered switching to Opera as my primary web browser, there were a couple of criteria that had to be met. One major condition was that Opera needed to have the ability to block advertisements.

In Firefox, advertisements are easily blocked with the Adblock Plus add-on.  The Adblock Plus add-on keeps an updated list of known advertisement sources and removes their content from a page when it is visited.

Opera handles things a bit differently.  Opera has a built-in content blocking system, but no subscription list. Advertisements must manually be blocked by right-clicking the page, selecting Block Content, and clicking on the ads or pictures you wish to block.  The URLs of the blocked content are stored, and if possible, used to block similar content on other pages you visit.  The problem with this method is that are MANY sources of advertisements on the web and one could spend a lifetime trying to block them all.

That’s where Fanboy’s Adblock List for Opera comes in.

Using Fanboy’s Adblock List

Step 1: Download the file at http://www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/opera/urlfilter.ini and save it to your desktop.

Step 2: Click Start > Run… on Windows XP or Start and click the search box on Windows Vista / 7.

Step 3: Type the following bolded text into the Run or search box: %appdata%\Opera\Opera and hit Enter.

Step 4: Copy the urlfilter.ini file from your desktop into the folder you just opened and replace the existing file.

Step 5: To verify the urlfilter.ini file was successfully copied, start Opera and navigate to Menu > Settings > Preferences.  Select the Advanced tab and Content from the left side of the new window.  Click the Blocked Content… button at the bottom of the window.  Listed are all of the known URLs of advertisements loaded from the urlfilter.ini block list.

There is one caveat with using Fanboy’s Adblock List in the way described above: you won’t receive automatic list updates like you do with the Adblock Plus add-on for Firefox.  The guide is a workaround though until an Adblock Plus extension is released for Opera.