Shared capabilities

In-order to create a new session by Selenium WebDriver, local end should provide the basic capabilities to remote end. The remote end uses the same set of capabilities to create a session and describes the current session features.

WebDriver provides capabilities that each remote end will/should support the implementation. Following are the capabilities that WebDriver supports:


This capability is used to set the browserName for a given session. If the specified browser is not installed at the remote end, the session creation will fail


This capability is optional, this is used to set the available browser version at remote end. For Example, if ask for Chrome version 75 on a system that only has 80 installed, the session creation will fail


When navigating to a new page via URL, by default Selenium will wait until the page has fully loaded before responding. This works well for beginners, but can cause long wait times on pages that load a large number of third party resources. Using a non default strategy can make test execution faster in cases like this, but can also introduce flakiness where elements on the page change position as elements load in and change size.

The page load strategy queries the document.readyState as described in the table below:

Strategy Ready State Notes
normal complete Used by default, waits for all resources to download
eager interactive DOM access is ready, but other resources like images may still be loading
none Any Does not block WebDriver at all


This identifies the operating system at the remote-end, fetching the platformName returns the OS name.

In cloud-based providers, setting platformName sets the OS at the remote-end.


This capability checks whether an expired (or) invalid TLS Certificate is used while navigating during a session.

If the capability is set to false, an insecure certificate error will be returned as navigation encounters any domain certificate problems. If set to true, invalid certificate will be trusted by the browser.

All self-signed certificates will be trusted by this capability by default. Once set, acceptInsecureCerts capability will have an effect for the entire session.

Session timeouts

A WebDriver session is imposed with a certain session timeout interval, during which the user can control the behaviour of executing scripts or retrieving information from the browser.

Each session timeout is configured with combination of different timeouts as described below:

Script Timeout:

Specifies when to interrupt an executing script in a current browsing context. The default timeout 30,000 is imposed when a new session is created by WebDriver.

Page Load Timeout:

Specifies the time interval in which web page needs to be loaded in a current browsing context. The default timeout 300,000 is imposed when a new session is created by WebDriver. If page load limits a given/default time frame, the script will be stopped by TimeoutException.

Implicit Wait Timeout

This specifies the time to wait for the implicit element location strategy when locating elements. The default timeout 0 is imposed when a new session is created by WebDriver.


Specifies the state of current session’s user prompt handler. Defaults to dismiss and notify state

User Prompt Handler

This defines what action must take when a user prompt encounters at remote-end. This is defined by unhandledPromptBehavior capability and has the following states:

  • dismiss
  • accept
  • dismiss and notify
  • accept and notify
  • ignore


This command alters the size and position of the current browsing context window. This command acts as setter to getWindowRect command which accepts width, height, x, y as optional arguments.

During automation, the current browsing context will be associated with window states, that describe visibility state of the browser window. The window states are

  • maximized
  • minimized
  • normal
  • fullscreen

Setting Width or Height does not guaranteed that the resulting window size will exactly match that which was quested. This is because some drivers may not be able to resize in single-pixel increments. Due to this, fetching the window state/details by getWindowRect may not equally match the values set to the browser.


The new capabilitiy indicates if strict interactability checks should be applied to input type=file elements. As strict interactability checks are off by default, there is a change in behaviour when using Element Send Keys with hidden file upload controls.