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Opera 12.16 gets hijacked by Chrome as the default browser

  • I use Operamail and it used to work fine. Click a link in an email and Opera 12.16 opens it. I set it as the default browser asking it to check upon startup. But no. Chrome keeps on grabbing it. Even in Chrome settings it admits its not the default browser and asks me and I say no.

    What can I do? I have closed and opened Opera numerous times.

  • This is a problem with Windows, not Opera. You need to change the default program inside Windows. This varies depending on the version of Windows you have but googling something like 'change windows 7 default program' or some such should get you on your way.

  • I should have mentioned I am using XP. I tried Start, Set Program Access and Defaults, then I see 3 choices:
    Microsoft Windows

    The first two do not offer any way of changing anything. I wonder what the point of this is. An information list?

    Anyway the Microsoft Windows drop down thing says:
    Web browser: Internet Explorer
    Enable access: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer

    The Non Microsoft drop down thing says:
    Web browser: Google Chrome
    Enable access: Google Chrome
    Remove access: Internet Explorer

    The Custom drop down thing says:
    Choose a default Web browser:
    Use my current web browser (that has been selected and Opera 12 is the only browser open)
    Google Chrome Enable access to this program (this is checked because if I uncheck it this insane program demands I remove Chrome with Add/Remove Programs.

    I am bewildered. Microsoft at its best!

  • To be fair, you are using an operating system that is 15 years old. They have made improvements since then.

  • Yeah I know. I tried win7 and did not like it at all. I should try Linux. I like software that does not try to think for you. That can relinquish control most of the time. 🙂

  • Olde Opera versions (12.17 and below) got along quite well with Windows XP, and normally still do. To me, it sounds as if your problem may lie with the newer-generation Chrome or chromish browser(s) you have installed that are not playing well with XP. Newer browsers are crafted around elements of newer OS's that may not work quite the same (or at all) with a very old OS, with the end result being interference with functionality that previously worked for a user. Over the years, I've found that at some point (usually at or around 7 to 10 years), basic computer hardware and OS's will start having noticeable problems properly supporting newer programs and hardware add-ons. At 15 years of age (as @lando242 notes), a user really needs to assume most new-generation software will cause some kind of compatibility issues, either major or minor, and use caution accordingly.

    When using a computer merely as a computer, of course, age matters little as long as tasks can be readily and accurately accomplished. I still run a Windows 98ME system for certain computational tasks using software of similar vintage, because it does those jobs quite nicely. But I'd never consider taking that system online since its Internet-facing software is now far too unsafe and unpatched, effective AV is non-existent, plus newer and safer software is incompatible with its old hardware (and OS).

  • blackbird71 You make some good points. I know XP is a hindrance at times and I need to move on to 7 or Linux or probably both using 7 when Linux doesn't cooperate with the task.

    Meanwhile, I would love to know why it worked fine a few days ago (for almost all links but certain links like Facebook notifications still didn't work). Right clicking a link, control_C can be facilitated almost as quickly as just clicking the link. I am more concerned with the reasons why and how it might affect other areas. I even uninstalled Chrome and Chromium clearing out all remnants in Documents and Settings though I didn't check the Registry or the C:\Windows folder before re-installing it.

  • XP also, never happened to me with my Op.11*:)*
    There's this thing though - my current AV deleted Chrome's updater some time ago. So you might have faced a problem caused by one of the recent Google updates that way.

  • ...
    Meanwhile, I would love to know why it worked fine a few days ago (for almost all links but certain links like Facebook notifications still didn't work). Right clicking a link, control_C can be facilitated almost as quickly as just clicking the link. I am more concerned with the reasons why and how it might affect other areas. I even uninstalled Chrome and Chromium clearing out all remnants in Documents and Settings though I didn't check the Registry or the C:\Windows folder before re-installing it.

    There is a host of possible reasons. First, it's possible that something broke in an Opera file so that it isn't now properly communicating correctly with the OS. Then, given that chromish browsers auto-update whenever, it may be that such a browser auto-updated just prior to the problem onset and created an issue. Even after uninstalling a browser, there may be registry keys that did not get 'un-set' after the uninstall which might interfere with setting a different browser as default. Then there's the possibility of corruption in various Windows files due to whatever reason. Overly aggressive use of otherwise useful cleanup tools like CCleaner, etc. or an aggessive AV can also break necessary program links (as @joshl notes). Also, keep in mind that an old OS installation that has never been reinstalled or otherwise 'refreshed' can develop defects over time due to power failures, major system crashes, problematic Windows updates, and flaky software installers/uninstallers causing accumulating file/settings bit errors. Finally, failing hardware or drives can cause problematic operation.

    Usually, in such situations, the first thing to try is to uninstall Olde Opera and then reinstall Olde Opera over top of your existing Opera personal files and see if things get fixed. Always create a drive image or back up your Olde Opera personal settings/data/eMail files first, before uninstalling or otherwise messing with files of course.

  • Re: drive image. For backup is it better to image the whole drive or use Backup software that will only change what has been added or deleted since the last backup? And can that be relied upon? Millions of lines of code being checked is no small task. Of course it would result in a backup in a fraction of the time.

  • Your mileage may vary, especially with the imaging product used! I find that a full backup image to an external, removable drive made roughly every month or so is a good way to go for my needs. Over the years, I've experienced more trouble at restoration time with incremental backups (ones that only backup changed files in a series of incremental images)... and a failure to restore can be catastrophic if no other backups exist. Instead, I also do daily auto-backups of just my data files to a second drive in the system (plus manual similar backups during the day if I'm doing a lot of data manipulation). For that, I use a shareware product that uses the task scheduler to keep a rolling set of 7 days worth of backups on file, automatically over-writing the week-old daily backups each time. I also do a manual off-site backup at least weekly for all my data and settings files on the system.

    My reasoning is that (for me), my data is the most important and most-frequently changed files, so I back it up multiple ways and often; custom user settings for apps, etc are next most important; and my installed apps and Windows are the least important since they change only infrequently (plus I have install disks for all my purchased software). I keep at least 4 prior external drive images spread across my two external drives, just in case. Having been burned in various ways with different kinds of file (and image) failures over the years, I'm a firm believer in having a belt, suspenders, and a piece of rope in place. When some strange disaster strikes, you'll never have too many backups.

    By the way, be sure you've created a Windows Rescue Disk as Microsoft suggests, as well as an imaging rescue disk per whatever your imaging software maker recommends. You'll be glad you did when/if some really nasty stuff occurs.

  • Great tips. Many thanks. I am already using some of these principles so that is encouraging.
    It sure would be great if there was one folder where all our settings of all our programs were and nothing else. Unfortunately Documents and Settings seems to have much more than that. Guess I just need to work with larger file sizes.

    What is the difference between a Rescue Disk, an imaging rescue disk and a clone of your drive?

  • Rescue disks are bootable DVDs or CDs made via the software involved (Windows or the imaging tool) that aid a user in getting his system back up if there is major file corruption in the OS. The Windows repair disk allows key Windows files to be restored from an external source and hopefully can get the system back up and running if it otherwise can't; the image rescue disk is a bootable disk that allows the user to load an image file of his choice from a still-functioning drive or storage medium onto a hard-drive that needs to be fully restored or has been replaced. Booting from a disk merely requires a temporary change in the boot order of the computer's BIOS to boot from the disk before booting from a hard drive. Cloning a drive is just that: a way to copy/clone one drive, including its partitioning, onto another drive in every respect (this is best done with drives that are similarly-sized). In any case, whenever imaging a drive, ALWAYS make the images a full/system image that includes the boot sector, so that a restoration to a brand-new drive will boot properly... this is sometimes a user-selectable setting that needs to be made in some imaging products when creating the image.

    My own experience with most browsers is that, if one has the spare storage space, simply copying the user-account's browser profile folder onto backup is a simple and effective way to go, provided that the source files aren't themselves corrupted in some way. With that, you typically only have to copy the folder back to restore browser operation. (All such copying should always be done with the browser off, of course, to avoid file-usage conflicts.) In the case of stand-alone/portable installs (which I prefer), I actually copy the entire browser folder structure to backup, since it normally includes the profile folder therein. In that case, recovery/restoration is almost trivial - simply copy it all back and it's ready to go.