How to Change the Search Engine on Opera Mobile Default Homepage

When Opera announced that it had “named Yahoo as the exclusive provider of mobile search on … Opera Miniâ„¢ and Opera Mobileâ„¢“, there were mixed responses, depending on people’s preferences.

The seemingly easiest solution for those with different preferences is to change the browser homepage to the desired search engine, or any page in general. That’s what I did initially. I then realized that having a homepage that is located on a remote server would make the browser take longer to load as it tries to access the site and download then render its contents.

I decided to edit the homepage file that Opera uses. This may or may not work for you. I’m using Opera Mobile 8.65beta on Windows Mobile 6 Pocket PC Phone. I saw that the homepage was a local file so I navigated to it.

On my setup, home.html is located in: \Application Data\Opera\startpage\

While connected via ActiveSync, click on Explorer. Navigate to the file and copy it to the hard drive. Open the file in your favorite html editor, using code view.

Go to your favorite search engine, either the regular or mobile version based on your preferences/needs. View the source. Search for the part of the code that renders the search form. It should start with <form and end with </form>. Copy the code.

Return to the home.html file that you’re editing. Search the code for the form tags and replace it with what was copied from the preferred search engine.

Double-check the action attribute in the form tag. If it is a relative path, you will need to edit it since it won’t work when used in a file that is local to the mobile device. Go back to the search engine page and get the full path to prepend to the path in the action attribute path. If the path is a full path that starts with “http://” then you’re golden and good to go.

Save the file on the hard drive. Copy the file over to the Pocket PC. Check out the file in Opera. While you’re editing the homepage to have the preferred search engine, you can edit for any other reason, like adding links to favorite pages.

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