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Windows Application Driver
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hassanuz Merge pull request #750 from trashbat/fix-notepad-test
Workaround for issue #507 - notepad sample not correctly sending “/” on alternative keyboard layouts (e.g. UK and German)
Latest commit 755e338 Jul 12, 2019

Windows Application Driver

Windows Application Driver is a service to support Selenium-like UI Test Automation on Windows Applications. This service supports testing Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Windows Forms (WinForms), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and Classic Windows (Win32) apps on Windows 10 PCs. Windows Application Driver complies to the JSON Wire Protocol standard and some application management functionalities defined by Appium. If you've been looking for better support for using Appium to test Windows Applications, then this service is for you!

This Github project provides:

  • Documentation
  • Samples
  • Issue tracking
  • Functional tests
  • Sample applications under test

Videos about WinAppDriver

Getting Started

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to common questions and/or best practices in using WinAppDriver, please refer to our updated FAQ page.

System Requirements

  • Windows 10 PC
  • Any Appium test runner (Samples and Tests in this repository use Microsoft Visual Studio as the test runner)

Installing and Running Windows Application Driver

  1. Download Windows Application Driver installer from
  2. Run the installer on a Windows 10 machine where your application under test is installed and will be tested
  3. Enable Developer Mode in Windows settings
  4. Run WinAppDriver.exe from the installation directory (E.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Application Driver)

Windows Application Driver will then be running on the test machine listening to requests on the default IP address and port ( You can then run any of our Tests or Samples. WinAppDriver.exe can be configured to listen to a different IP address and port as follows:

WinAppDriver.exe 4727
WinAppDriver.exe 4725
WinAppDriver.exe 4723/wd/hub

Note: You must run WinAppDriver.exe as administrator to listen to a different IP address and port.


This repository includes some samples that can be run against built-in Windows 10 applications such as Alarms & Clock, Calculator, and Notepad. These samples showcase various commands and operations such as opening applications, finding elements, clicking elements, typing keystrokes, reading texts, etc.


This repository also includes some tests that are used to verify the functionality of Windows Application Driver itself. These tests cover each API endpoints extensively and also against all basic UI control scenario. As a result, these tests are excellent sources to see how to invoke certain command in C# test scripts. In addition, they show how to interact with some more complex UI elements such as DatePicker, SplitViewPane, Slider, etc.

Authoring Your Own Test Script

You can choose any programming language or tools supported by Appium/Selenium to write your test scripts. In the example below, we will author the test script in C# using Microsoft Visual Studio.

Creating a Test Project

  1. Open Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 or Microsoft Visual Studio 2017

    Note: in Visual Studio 2017 make sure you have the optional .NET desktop development workload installed

  2. Create the test project and solution. I.e. Select New Project > Templates > Visual C# > Test > Unit Test Project
  3. Once created, select Project > Manage NuGet Packages... > Browse and search for Appium.WebDriver
  4. Install the Appium.WebDriver NuGet packages for the test project
  5. Start writing your test (see sample code under samples)

Testing a Universal Windows Platform Application

To test a UWP app, simply specify the Application Id for the application you want to test in the app capabilities entry when you are creating a session. You can also specify launching arguments if your application supports them through appArguments capability. Below is an example of creating a test session for Windows Alarms & Clock app written in C#:

// Launch the Alarms & Clock app
DesiredCapabilities appCapabilities = new DesiredCapabilities();
appCapabilities.SetCapability("app", "Microsoft.WindowsAlarms_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App");
AlarmClockSession = new WindowsDriver<WindowsElement>(new Uri(""), appCapabilities);

// Use the session to control the app

You can find the Application Id of your application in the generated AppX\vs.appxrecipe file under RegisteredUserModeAppID node. E.g. c24c8163-548e-4b84-a466-530178fc0580_scyf5npe3hv32!App

Testing a Classic Windows Application

To test a classic Windows app, specify the full executable path for the app under test in the app capabilities entry when creating a new session. Similar with modern (UWP) app, you can specify launching arguments through appArguments capability. But unlike modern apps, you can also specify the app working directory for a classic app through "appWorkingDir" capability. Below is an example of creating a test session for the Notepad app that opens MyTestFile.txt in C:\MyTestFolder\.

// Launch Notepad
DesiredCapabilities appCapabilities = new DesiredCapabilities();
appCapabilities.SetCapability("app", @"C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe");
appCapabilities.SetCapability("appArguments", @"MyTestFile.txt");
appCapabilities.SetCapability("appWorkingDir", @"C:\MyTestFolder\");
NotepadSession = new WindowsDriver<WindowsElement>(new Uri(""), appCapabilities);

// Use the session to control the app
NotepadSession.FindElementByClassName("Edit").SendKeys("This is some text");

Supported Capabilities

Below are the capabilities that can be used to create Windows Application Driver session.

Capabilities Descriptions Example
app Application identifier or executable full path Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe!MicrosoftEdge
appArguments Application launch arguments
appTopLevelWindow Existing application top level window to attach to 0xB822E2
appWorkingDir Application working directory (Classic apps only) C:\Temp
platformName Target platform name Windows
platformVersion Target platform version 1.0

Supported APIs

GET /status
POST /session
GET /sessions
DELETE /session/:sessionId
POST /session/:sessionId/actions (v1.1 RC)
POST /session/:sessionId/appium/app/launch
POST /session/:sessionId/appium/app/close
POST /session/:sessionId/back
POST /session/:sessionId/buttondown
POST /session/:sessionId/buttonup
POST /session/:sessionId/click
POST /session/:sessionId/doubleclick
POST /session/:sessionId/element
POST /session/:sessionId/elements
POST /session/:sessionId/element/active
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/attribute/:name
POST /session/:sessionId/element/:id/clear
POST /session/:sessionId/element/:id/click
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/displayed
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/element
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/elements
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/enabled
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/equals
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/location
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/location_in_view
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/name
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/screenshot
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/selected
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/size
GET /session/:sessionId/element/:id/text
POST /session/:sessionId/element/:id/value
POST /session/:sessionId/forward
POST /session/:sessionId/keys
GET /session/:sessionId/location
POST /session/:sessionId/moveto
GET /session/:sessionId/orientation
GET /session/:sessionId/screenshot
GET /session/:sessionId/source
POST /session/:sessionId/timeouts
POST /session/:sessionId/timeouts/implicit_wait
GET /session/:sessionId/title
POST /session/:sessionId/touch/click
POST /session/:sessionId/touch/doubleclick
POST /session/:sessionId/touch/down
POST /session/:sessionId/touch/flick
POST /session/:sessionId/touch/longclick
POST /session/:sessionId/touch/move
POST /session/:sessionId/touch/multi/perform
POST /session/:sessionId/touch/scroll
POST /session/:sessionId/touch/up
GET /session/:sessionId/window
DELETE /session/:sessionId/window
POST /session/:sessionId/window
GET /session/:sessionId/window/handles
POST /session/:sessionId/window/maximize
POST /session/:sessionId/window/size
GET /session/:sessionId/window/size
POST /session/:sessionId/window/:windowHandle/size
GET /session/:sessionId/window/:windowHandle/size
POST /session/:sessionId/window/:windowHandle/position
GET /session/:sessionId/window/:windowHandle/position
POST /session/:sessionId/window/:windowHandle/maximize
GET /session/:sessionId/window_handle
GET /session/:sessionId/window_handles

Supported Locators to Find UI Elements

Windows Application Driver supports various locators to find UI element in the application session. The table below shows all supported locator strategies with their corresponding UI element attributes shown in inspect.exe.

Client API Locator Strategy Matched Attribute in inspect.exe Example
FindElementByAccessibilityId accessibility id AutomationId AppNameTitle
FindElementByClassName class name ClassName TextBlock
FindElementById id RuntimeId (decimal) 42.333896.3.1
FindElementByName name Name Calculator
FindElementByTagName tag name LocalizedControlType (upper camel case) Text
FindElementByXPath xpath Any //Button[0]

Inspecting UI Elements

The latest Microsoft Visual Studio version by default includes the Windows SDK with a great tool to inspect the application you are testing. This tool allows you to see every UI element/node that you can query using Windows Application Driver. This inspect.exe tool can be found under the Windows SDK folder which is typically C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\bin\x86

More detailed documentation on Inspect is available on MSDN

Using Appium

Windows Application Driver is integrated with Appium, meaning if you use Appium as part of the test runner then it will launch WinAppDriver.exe and proxy the requests for you.

Important Notes

  1. Appium will install Windows Application Driver for you on Windows if you don't already have it. Every release of Appium is linked to a specific release of WinAppDriver and will not proxy to a different version of WinAppDriver. The easiest way to manage this is to let Appium install WinAppDriver for you.
  2. To create multiple sessions with one Appium server you need Appium 1.6.4 or newer
  3. When pointing a test at Appium you need to include /wd/hub on the server URI. E.g.

For more details visit the Appium documentation:

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