When the Java ME version of the Opera Mini Browser is running on many touch screen phones, an unnecessary virtual keypad appears at the bottom of the screen (image above left). The keypad wastes space, looks ugly and isn’t needed with touch aware apps like Opera Mini. The keypad is not part of Opera Mini. It’s something your phone adds because it doesn’t recognize that Opera Mini is optimized for touch.
There are several ways to get rid of the virtual keypad so your Opera Mini looks like the right hand image above.
I. By using the phone’s menu
Some phones have a menu option for getting rid of the keypad. I’ve only seen it on Samsungs but it may be an option on other brands as well.
- Open the folder or menu where you launch Opera Mini. On my Samsung Wave it’s called “Games and more“.
- Look for and tap a button named “Options“, “Menu” or something similar or has an icon that looks like a menu, stack of papers or three dots. On the Wave it’s the middle button with the three dots in the left hand screenshot below.
- In the Options menu (image below, center) look for and tap a button labeled “Use virtual keypad“
- On the next screen tap the check mark next to Opera Mini (image below, right) to remove it and then tap the Save button. Now launch Opera Mini and the virtual keypad should be gone
If your phone doesn’t have a menu option to remove the keypad continue reading to see if Opera Mini has a fix for your phone.
II. By using an official version of Mini customized for your phone to remove the virtual keypad.
If Opera recognizes and officially supports your phone it should deliver a modified version of Opera Mini that has code telling your phone to remove the keypad. Opera can only recognize your phone if you download Mini from m.opera.com using the phone’s built-in browser. If you download Opera Mini from an unofficial source or downloaded it with your PC and copied to the phone using Bluetooth or a cable you have a generic version that’s not optimized for your phone.
If you download Mini from m.opera.com with your phone’s built-in browser and you still get the virtual keypad, let Opera know so they can fix it in a future release. File a bug report at mini.bugs.opera.com. Also visit m.opera.com/detect with your phone’s built-in browser and fill in the form listing the phone make and model.
If you still have the virtual keypad after downloading from m.opera.com with your phone browser and you don’t want to wait for Opera to get around to fixing it, which can take months, it’s easy to fix it yourself. Read on for instructions.
III. By modifying the Opera Mini jad file to remove the virtual keypad
You will need a PC, some patience and the ability to follow directions to modify Opera Mini. If you lack any of those or want someone else to do the work, skip to the end of this post for a link to an already modified version of Opera Mini.
Obtain an official copy of the Opera Mini jad file. You can download the unsigned versions of Opera Mini directly to your PC from www.opera.com/mobile/download/versions/
The trouble with unsigned apps is that on most phones you will get annoying pop-up messages asking you to allow Opera Mini to connect. On some phones you only get one pop-up when you first start Opera Mini but on others you get pop-ups every time you click a link which makes Opera Mini almost unusable. A few phones won’t allow unsigned apps to connect at all.
Opera will only let you download the signed versions of Opera Mini using a mobile browser. So to download the signed jad file to a PC we have to fool the Opera site into thinking we are using a mobile browser. The easiest way to do that is with the Firefox browser and the User Agent Switcher extension.
- Launch the Firefox browser
- Click the Tools menu and Add-on > Extensions. Search for “User Agent Switcher”
- Install the User Agent Switcher extension by chrispederick
- Restart Firefox
- Open the Tools Menu and choose “Default User Agent > Edit User Agents”
- Click the “New” button and Choose “New User Agent”
- Enter “Mobile User Agent” in the “Description” field
- In the User Agent field, enter you phone’s built-in browser’s user agent. You can find it by visiting ua.yeswap.com with the phone browser which lets you email your browser’s user agent and other headers to yourself.
- Blank out all the other fields, press the OK button to save.
- Go to the Tools Menu and choose “Default User Agent >”Mobile User Agent”
- Go to m.opera.com using the Firefox browser
- Click “Other Download Options“
- Click “Select Code-Signing Certificate” under “Options for Opera Mini 7.1:” (or under “Options for Opera Mini 4.5:” if you prefer that version)
- Click “All Certificates” (works on most phones. If it doesn’t on yours try repeating this process with one of the other signed options)
- Click “Download Opera Mini 7.1 (or 4.5)” and save the file (named mini.jad) somewhere where you can find it later
- Open the downloaded mini.jad with a text editor or Windows Wordpad
- Scroll to the bottom of the file and paste in the following lines:
Upload the file to Dropbox.com or another file sharing service that is easy to use in your phone browser. Click here to get a free 2GB Dropbox account (by using this referral link I get an extra 250 MB of storage in my Dropbox which I thank you for).
Visit Dropbox with your phone browser and click the modified mini.jad link to download it on your phone.
If that didn’t work or you don’t have a PC or are just in a hurry, here’s are links my modified signed jad files for various Opera Mini versions:
Updated 8-Apr-2014 with new signing certificates as the ones had expired: Opera Mini 8.0, released 12-Mar-2014, is the latest “full” version of Opera Mini. Changes in this release include:
- A new minimalist “flat” design
- Night Mode
- You can now adjust image quality on the data savings page
- Private mode
Here’s a modified version without the virtual keypad
Updated 8-Apr-2014 with new signing certificates as the ones had expired: Opera Mini 4.5, which was released 6-Aug-2013, is latest “lite” version of Opera Mini for phones with limited memory Here’s a modified version without the virtual keypad
Update 6-Apr-2014: The certificates have expired on all the files below. It’s not possible for me to update the certificates on these files. They will give an error installing. On some phones it may be possible to install these apps by temporarily setting the phone’s date back to 2/1/2013 or earlier. After the app installs you can (and should) set the phone’s date back to the current date and the app will still work.
Updated 25-Jan-2012: Here’s a modified version of the Opera Mini 6.5:
Updated 7-Jun-2012: Here’s a modified version of the Opera Mini 7.0:
Updated 20-Sept-2012: If you get out of memory errors installing Opera Mini 7, here’s the smaller but less capable Opera Mini 4.4.
Updated 26-Nov-2012: Here’s a modified version of Opera Mini 7.1:
Click any of the above links in your phone browser to install Opera Mini 4.4, 4.5 or 7.0, 7.1 or 8.0 with the virtual keypad disabled.