I installed Opera a few months ago in my windows 10 machine in order to have an alternative web browser. I use firefox, mainly due to habit and laziness; I've got the bookmarks and extensions already set and don't want to tinker with those in another browser.
Today I wanted to give a shot to Opera (version 75 stable), so I clicked on the pin tile from my start menu. No response. Went to the folder and clicked on an .exe file there, I believe its name is launcher. An error message poped up. I figured maybe windows corrupted the software for some obscure reason. So I plan to uninstall it and then install it again. And here is where things started to look interesting. There was no response from the uninstaller; I tried to uninstall several times and there was no response, no process, no pop up, nothing. While I tried to fix the problem I also notice a ".opera" empty folder in my downloads folder. So I figure I needed to download tha latest version. Once downloaded, I clicked on upgrade, the progress bar filled up, the windows settings opened at the same time and I got the browser running again.
The whole process made me curious, so I tried to check some things here and there, and found:
- Opera sets itself as the default browser without asking.
- Opera started to update without even open the app in months.
- Opera creates, without asking, several tasks in the task scheduler, without asking. There were 3 tasks in total, all seemed identical and were aimed to autoupdate the app. Neither firefox nor chrome had created similar tasks.
- The autoupdate process blocked the app completely, even for uninstalling.
- I wasn't able to find a setting to disable autoupdates. Firefox's got that option.
This behaviour is deliberate, at least the part in which the browser is set as default and the part that schedule tasks. I came here to warn people. This software is too shady and you should be cautious if you plan to use it.