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Troubleshooting Appium

Here's what to do if you're experiencing problems, before you submit a ticket to github or write to the appium-discuss mailing list.


  • Make sure you've followed the getting started steps in the README
  • Make sure your system is set up appropriately (i.e., XCode is updated, Android SDK is installed and ANDROID_HOME is set: setup instructions)
  • Make sure the paths to your applications are correct

If you're running

  • Update the app and restart. If you get a message saying the app can't be updated, re-download it from

If you're running Appium from source

  • git pull to make sure you're running the latest code
  • Run the appropriate flavor of based on what you're trying to automate:

    ./ # all ./ --ios # ios-only ./ --android # android-only ./ --selendroid # selendroid-only

  • You might also want to run with the --dev flag if you want the test apps downloaded and built as well.
  • If you get this error after upgrading to Android SDK 22: {ANDROID_HOME}/tools/ant/uibuild.xml:155: SDK does not have any Build Tools installed. In the Android SDK 22, the platform and build tools are split up into their own items in the SDK manager. Make sure you install the build-tools and platform-tools.


  • Make sure the Android emulator is up and running.
  • It's sometimes useful to run adb kill-server && adb devices. This can reset the connection to the Android device.
  • Make sure you know about the app-package, app-activity, and app-wait-activity desiredCapabilities (see this doc for more information).


  • Make sure is not open
  • If you're running the simulator, make sure your actual device is not plugged in
  • Make sure the accessibility helper is turned off in your Settings app
  • Make sure the app is compiled for the version of the simulator that's being run
  • If you've ever run Appium with sudo, you might need to sudo rm /tmp/instruments_sock and try again as not-sudo.
  • If this is the first time you've run Appium, make sure to authorize the use of Instruments. Usually a box will pop up that you enter your password into. If you're running Appium from source, you can simply run sudo grunt authorize from the main repo to avoid getting this popup. If you're running from npm, run sudo authorize_ios instead.
  • If you see iOS Simulator failed to install the application. and the paths are correct, try restarting the computer.

Webview/Hybrid/Safari app support

  • Make Sure you enable the 'Web Inspector' on the real device.
  • Make Sure you enable the Safari - Advance Preferences- Developer menu for simulators.


  • Make sure the Boot-to-Gecko simulator is up and running.
  • Make sure the simulator screen is alive and unlocked (might require restarting B2G).

Let the community know

Once you've tried the above steps and your issue still isn't resolved, here's what you can do:

If you've found what you believe is a bug, go straight to the issue tracker and submit an issue describing the bug and a repro case.

If you're having trouble getting Appium working and the error messages Appium provides are not clear, join the mailing list and send a message. Please include the following:

  • How you're running Appium (, npm, source)
  • The client-side and server-side errors you're getting (i.e., "In Python this is the exception I get in my test script, and here's a link to a paste of the Appium server output)
  • Per above, it's very important to include a paste of the Appium server output when it's run in verbose mode so that we can diagnose what's going on.

Known Issues

  • If you've installed Node from the Node website, it requires that you use sudo for npm. This is not ideal. Try to get node with brew install node instead!
  • Webview support works on real iOS devices with a proxy, see discussion.
  • Sometimes iOS UI elements become invalidated milliseconds after they are found. This results in an error that looks like (null) cannot be tapped. Sometimes the only solution is to put the finding-and-acting code in a retry block. See also mobile: findAndAct on the finding elements doc page
  • Appium may have difficulties finding the node executable if you've installed Node and npm via MacPorts. You must make sure that the MacPorts bin folder (/opt/local/bin by default) is added to PATH somewhere in your ~/.profile, ~/.bash_profile or ~/.bashrc.

Specific Errors

Action Error Resolution
Running xcodebuild: error: SDK "iphonesimulator6.1" cannot be located Install the iPhone 6.1 SDK or build the test apps with a separate SDK, e.g., grunt buildApp:UICatalog:iphonesimulator5.1
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