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Capabilities

1 - Shared capabilities

In order to create a new session by Selenium WebDriver, the local end should provide the basic capabilities to the 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. The following capabilities are supported by WebDriver:

browserName:

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.

browserVersion:

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.

pageLoadStrategy:

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:

StrategyReady StateNotes
normalcompleteUsed by default, waits for all resources to download
eagerinteractiveDOM access is ready, but other resources like images may still be loading
noneAnyDoes not block WebDriver at all

platformName

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.

acceptInsecureCerts

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.

unhandledPromptBehavior

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 the remote-end. This is defined by unhandledPromptBehavior capability and has the following states:

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

setWindowRect

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, which describe the visibility 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 requested. 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 match the values set in the browser.

strictFileInteractability

This new capability 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.

2 - Driver specific capabilities

Firefox

Define Capabilities using FirefoxOptions

FirefoxOptions is the new way to define capabilities for the Firefox browser and should generally be used in preference to DesiredCapabilities.

FirefoxOptions options = new FirefoxOptions();
options.addPreference("network.proxy.type", 0);
driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
from selenium.webdriver.firefox.options import Options
options = Options()
options.headless = True
driver = webdriver.Firefox(options=options)
  
var options = new FirefoxOptions();
options.Proxy.Kind = ProxyKind.Direct;
var driver = new FirefoxDriver(options);
  
require 'selenium-webdriver'
opts = Selenium::WebDriver::Firefox::Options.new(args: ['-headless'])
driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for(:firefox, options: opts)
  
const { Builder } = require("selenium-webdriver");
const firefox = require('selenium-webdriver/firefox');

const options = new firefox.Options();
options.headless();
const driver = new Builder()
    .forBrowser('firefox')
    .setFirefoxOptions(options)
    .build();
  
val options = new FirefoxOptions()
options.addPreference("network.proxy.type", 0)
driver = RemoteWebDriver(options)
  

Setting a custom profile

It is possible to create a custom profile for Firefox as demonstrated below.

FirefoxProfile profile = new FirefoxProfile();
FirefoxOptions options = new FirefoxOptions();
options.setProfile(profile);
driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
from selenium.webdriver.firefox.options import Options
from selenium.webdriver.firefox.firefox_profile import FirefoxProfile
options=Options()
firefox_profile = FirefoxProfile()
firefox_profile.set_preference("javascript.enabled", False)
options.profile = firefox_profile
  
var options = new FirefoxOptions();
var profile = new FirefoxProfile();
options.Profile = profile;
var driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
profile = Selenium::WebDriver::Firefox::Profile.new
profile['browser.download.dir'] = "/tmp/webdriver-downloads"
options = Selenium::WebDriver::Firefox::Options.new(profile: profile)
driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for :firefox, options: options
  
const { Builder } = require("selenium-webdriver");
const firefox = require('selenium-webdriver/firefox');

const options = new firefox.Options();
let profile = '/path to custom profile';
options.setProfile(profile);
const driver = new Builder()
    .forBrowser('firefox')
    .setFirefoxOptions(options)
    .build();
  
val options = FirefoxOptions()
options.profile = FirefoxProfile()
driver = RemoteWebDriver(options)
  

Internet Explorer

fileUploadDialogTimeout

In some environments, Internet Explorer may timeout when opening the File Upload dialog. IEDriver has a default timeout of 1000ms, but you can increase the timeout using the fileUploadDialogTimeout capability.

InternetExplorerOptions options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
options.waitForUploadDialogUpTo(Duration.ofSeconds(2));
WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
from selenium import webdriver

options = webdriver.IeOptions()
options.file_upload_dialog_timeout = 2000
driver = webdriver.Ie(options=options)

# Navigate to url
driver.get("http://www.google.com")

driver.quit()
  
var options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
options.FileUploadDialogTimeout = TimeSpan.FromMilliseconds(2000);
var driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
options = Selenium::WebDriver::IE::Options.new
options.file_upload_dialog_timeout = 2000
driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for(:ie, options: options)
  
const ie = require('selenium-webdriver/ie');
let options = new ie.Options().fileUploadDialogTimeout(2000);
let driver = await Builder()
          .setIeOptions(options)
          .build(); 
  
val options = InternetExplorerOptions()
options.waitForUploadDialogUpTo(Duration.ofSeconds(2))
val driver = RemoteWebDriver(options)
  

ensureCleanSession

When set to true, this capability clears the Cache, Browser History and Cookies for all running instances of InternetExplorer including those started manually or by the driver. By default, it is set to false.

Using this capability will cause performance drop while launching the browser, as the driver will wait until the cache gets cleared before launching the IE browser.

This capability accepts a Boolean value as parameter.

InternetExplorerOptions options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
options.destructivelyEnsureCleanSession();
WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
from selenium import webdriver

options = webdriver.IeOptions()
options.ensure_clean_session = True
driver = webdriver.Ie(options=options)

# Navigate to url
driver.get("http://www.google.com")

driver.quit()
  
var options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
options.EnsureCleanSession = true;
var driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
options = Selenium::WebDriver::IE::Options.new
options.ensure_clean_session = true
driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for(:ie, options: options)
  
const ie = require('selenium-webdriver/ie');
let options = new ie.Options().ensureCleanSession(true);
let driver = await Builder()
          .setIeOptions(options)
          .build(); 
  
val options = InternetExplorerOptions()
options.destructivelyEnsureCleanSession()
val driver = RemoteWebDriver(options)
  

ignoreZoomSetting

InternetExplorer driver expects the browser zoom level to be 100%, else the driver will throw an exception. This default behaviour can be disabled by setting the ignoreZoomSetting to true.

This capability accepts a Boolean value as parameter.

InternetExplorerOptions options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
options.ignoreZoomSettings();
WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
from selenium import webdriver

options = webdriver.IeOptions()
options.ignore_zoom_level = True
driver = webdriver.Ie(options=options)

# Navigate to url
driver.get("http://www.google.com")

driver.quit()
  
var options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
options.IgnoreZoomLevel = true;
var driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
options = Selenium::WebDriver::IE::Options.new
options.ignore_zoom_level = true
driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for(:ie, options: options)
  
const ie = require('selenium-webdriver/ie');
let options = new ie.Options().ignoreZoomSetting(true);
let driver = await Builder()
          .setIeOptions(options)
          .build(); 
  
val options = InternetExplorerOptions()
options.ignoreZoomSettings()
val driver = RemoteWebDriver(options)
  

ignoreProtectedModeSettings

Whether to skip the Protected Mode check while launching a new IE session.

If not set and Protected Mode settings are not same for all zones, an exception will be thrown by the driver.

If capability is set to true, tests may become flaky, unresponsive, or browsers may hang. However, this is still by far a second-best choice, and the first choice should always be to actually set the Protected Mode settings of each zone manually. If a user is using this property, only a “best effort” at support will be given.

This capability accepts a Boolean value as parameter.

InternetExplorerOptions options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
options.introduceFlakinessByIgnoringSecurityDomains();
WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
from selenium import webdriver

options = webdriver.IeOptions()
options.ignore_protected_mode_settings = True
driver = webdriver.Ie(options=options)

# Navigate to url
driver.get("http://www.google.com")

driver.quit()
  
var options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
options.IntroduceInstabilityByIgnoringProtectedModeSettings = true;
var driver = new RemoteWebDriver(options);
  
options = Selenium::WebDriver::IE::Options.new
options.ignore_protected_mode_settings = true
driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for(:ie, options: options)
  
const ie = require('selenium-webdriver/ie');
let options = new ie.Options().introduceFlakinessByIgnoringProtectedModeSettings(true);
let driver = await Builder()
          .setIeOptions(options)
          .build(); 
  
val options = InternetExplorerOptions()
options.introduceFlakinessByIgnoringSecurityDomains()
val driver = RemoteWebDriver(options)
  

silent

When set to true, this capability suppresses the diagnostic output of the IEDriverServer.

This capability accepts a Boolean value as parameter.

InternetExplorerOptions options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
options.setCapability("silent", true);
WebDriver driver = new InternetExplorerDriver(options);
  
from selenium import webdriver

options = webdriver.IeOptions()
options.set_capability("silent", True)
driver = webdriver.Ie(options=options)

# Navigate to url
driver.get("http://www.google.com")

driver.quit()
  
InternetExplorerOptions options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
options.AddAdditionalInternetExplorerOption("silent", true);
IWebDriver driver = new InternetExplorerDriver(options);
  
# Please raise a PR to add code sample
  
const {Builder,By, Capabilities} = require('selenium-webdriver');
let caps = Capabilities.ie();
caps.set('silent', true);

(async function example() {
    let driver = await new Builder()
        .forBrowser('internet explorer')
        .withCapabilities(caps)
        .build();
    try {
        await driver.get('http://www.google.com/ncr');
    }
    finally {
        await driver.quit();
    }
})();
  
import org.openqa.selenium.Capabilities
import org.openqa.selenium.ie.InternetExplorerDriver
import org.openqa.selenium.ie.InternetExplorerOptions

fun main() {
    val options = InternetExplorerOptions()
    options.setCapability("silent", true)
    val driver = InternetExplorerDriver(options)
    try {
        driver.get("https://google.com/ncr")
        val caps = driver.getCapabilities()
        println(caps)
    } finally {
        driver.quit()
    }
}
  

IE Command-Line Options

Internet Explorer includes several command-line options that enable you to troubleshoot and configure the browser.

The following describes few supported command-line options

  • -private : Used to start IE in private browsing mode. This works for IE 8 and later versions.

  • -k : Starts Internet Explorer in kiosk mode. The browser opens in a maximized window that does not display the address bar, the navigation buttons, or the status bar.

  • -extoff : Starts IE in no add-on mode. This option specifically used to troubleshoot problems with browser add-ons. Works in IE 7 and later versions.

Note: forceCreateProcessApi should to enabled in-order for command line arguments to work.

import org.openqa.selenium.Capabilities;
import org.openqa.selenium.ie.InternetExplorerDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.ie.InternetExplorerOptions;

public class ieTest {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        InternetExplorerOptions options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
        options.useCreateProcessApiToLaunchIe();
        options.addCommandSwitches("-k");
        InternetExplorerDriver driver = new InternetExplorerDriver(options);
        try {
            driver.get("https://google.com/ncr");
            Capabilities caps = driver.getCapabilities();
            System.out.println(caps);
        } finally {
            driver.quit();
        }
    }
}
  
from selenium import webdriver

options = webdriver.IeOptions()
options.add_argument('-private')
options.force_create_process_api = True
driver = webdriver.Ie(options=options)

# Navigate to url
driver.get("http://www.google.com")

driver.quit()
  
using System;
using OpenQA.Selenium;
using OpenQA.Selenium.IE;

namespace ieTest {
 class Program {
  static void Main(string[] args) {
   InternetExplorerOptions options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
   options.ForceCreateProcessApi = true;
   options.BrowserCommandLineArguments = "-k";
   IWebDriver driver = new InternetExplorerDriver(options);
   driver.Url = "https://google.com/ncr";
  }
 }
}
  
require 'selenium-webdriver'
options = Selenium::WebDriver::IE::Options.new
options.force_create_process_api = true
options.add_argument('-k')
driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for(:ie, options: options)

begin
  # Navigate to URL
  driver.get 'https://google.com'
  puts(driver.capabilities.to_json)
ensure
  driver.quit
end
  
const ie = require('selenium-webdriver/ie');
let options = new ie.Options();
options.addBrowserCommandSwitches('-k');
options.addBrowserCommandSwitches('-private');
options.forceCreateProcessApi(true);

driver = await env.builder()
          .setIeOptions(options)
          .build();
  
import org.openqa.selenium.Capabilities
import org.openqa.selenium.ie.InternetExplorerDriver
import org.openqa.selenium.ie.InternetExplorerOptions

fun main() {
    val options = InternetExplorerOptions()
    options.useCreateProcessApiToLaunchIe()
    options.addCommandSwitches("-k")
    val driver = InternetExplorerDriver(options)
    try {
        driver.get("https://google.com/ncr")
        val caps = driver.getCapabilities()
        println(caps)
    } finally {
        driver.quit()
    }
}
  

forceCreateProcessApi

Forces launching Internet Explorer using the CreateProcess API. The default value is false.

For IE 8 and above, this option requires the “TabProcGrowth” registry value to be set to 0.

import org.openqa.selenium.Capabilities;
import org.openqa.selenium.ie.InternetExplorerDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.ie.InternetExplorerOptions;

public class ieTest {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        InternetExplorerOptions options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
        options.useCreateProcessApiToLaunchIe();
        InternetExplorerDriver driver = new InternetExplorerDriver(options);
        try {
            driver.get("https://google.com/ncr");
            Capabilities caps = driver.getCapabilities();
            System.out.println(caps);
        } finally {
            driver.quit();
        }
    }
}
  
from selenium import webdriver

options = webdriver.IeOptions()
options.force_create_process_api = True
driver = webdriver.Ie(options=options)

# Navigate to url
driver.get("http://www.google.com")

driver.quit()
  
using System;
using OpenQA.Selenium;
using OpenQA.Selenium.IE;

namespace ieTest {
 class Program {
  static void Main(string[] args) {
   InternetExplorerOptions options = new InternetExplorerOptions();
   options.ForceCreateProcessApi = true;
   IWebDriver driver = new InternetExplorerDriver(options);
   driver.Url = "https://google.com/ncr";
  }
 }
}
  
require 'selenium-webdriver'
options = Selenium::WebDriver::IE::Options.new
options.force_create_process_api = true
driver = Selenium::WebDriver.for(:ie, options: options)

begin
  # Navigate to URL
  driver.get 'https://google.com'
  puts(driver.capabilities.to_json)
ensure
  driver.quit
end
  
const ie = require('selenium-webdriver/ie');
let options = new ie.Options();
options.forceCreateProcessApi(true);

driver = await env.builder()
          .setIeOptions(options)
          .build();
  
import org.openqa.selenium.Capabilities
import org.openqa.selenium.ie.InternetExplorerDriver
import org.openqa.selenium.ie.InternetExplorerOptions

fun main() {
    val options = InternetExplorerOptions()
    options.useCreateProcessApiToLaunchIe()
    val driver = InternetExplorerDriver(options)
    try {
        driver.get("https://google.com/ncr")
        val caps = driver.getCapabilities()
        println(caps)
    } finally {
        driver.quit()
    }
}