How to Handle Multiple Windows in Selenium?

How to Handle Multiple Windows in Selenium

Selenium WebDriver has emerged as a potent tool for web automation, allowing testers and developers to simulate user interactions with web applications. However, the web environment isn’t always straightforward. 

Modern web applications often open multiple browser windows or tabs, presenting a challenge when automating tests. Understanding how to handle these multiple windows within Selenium WebDriver is crucial for effective automation.

What is a Window in Selenium?

In Selenium, a window signifies an active instance of a web browser that users can interact with. Think of it as a portal that displays a web page or application. 

Each window encapsulates a distinct browsing context, allowing users to navigate various web pages or applications concurrently.

These windows are pivotal when conducting automated tests on web applications, especially when encountering scenarios that involve the opening of multiple windows or tabs. 

Whether it’s launching new pages or dealing with pop-up windows, understanding and managing these instances are crucial for seamless test automation in Selenium.

Each window possesses its own set of elements, such as buttons, text fields, or links, and managing these elements across multiple windows becomes essential for validating and executing test scripts accurately.

The ability to identify, switch between, and manipulate these windows using Selenium WebDriver methods like getWindowHandles() and switchTo().window() is fundamental for testers and developers to navigate through complex web scenarios during automation. 

This mastery ensures efficient handling of multiple windows, enabling comprehensive testing of diverse web applications or functionalities.

Identifying Parent and Child Windows

In the realm of window handling in Selenium, distinguishing between parent and child windows holds paramount importance.

  • Parent Window

This window marks the inception point, representing the initially opened browser window. It serves as the starting point for the user’s interaction with the web application.

  • Child Windows

These windows are offspring spawned by the parent window. They are created either as a result of user-triggered interactions, such as clicking links, buttons, or performing actions on the web application, or they might be generated by the parent window’s automated processes during testing.

Identifying and understanding this parent-child relationship is pivotal for effective window management during test automation. 

Child windows often inherit properties or functionalities from their parent, and maintaining a clear distinction between them enables testers and developers to precisely navigate and manipulate these windows as required.

In Selenium, mechanisms like getWindowHandles() aid in capturing the handles of both parent and child windows, empowering testers to seamlessly switch between these windows, perform actions, and validate functionalities across different browsing contexts. 

This distinction ensures the accurate execution of test scripts across multiple windows, thereby enhancing the robustness and reliability of automated tests.

Why Handle Multiple Windows in Selenium?

We’ll dive into why handling multiple windows in Selenium is essential for seamless automation:

User Interaction Scenarios:

Automated scenarios often involve user actions like clicking links or buttons that trigger the opening of new windows or tabs within a web application.

Automation scripts must accurately handle these new windows to maintain test flow.

Validation Across Windows:

Testing scenarios may require validation or verification across multiple windows or tabs simultaneously.

Verifying content, functionalities, or interactions across different browsing contexts is essential for comprehensive testing.

Indispensable Skill in Selenium:

Window handling is a critical skill in Selenium automation to manage and interact with multiple browsing contexts effectively.

Mastery of window handling methods ensures accurate execution of automated scripts across various windows, enhancing the reliability and completeness of tests.

Enhanced Test Coverage:

Proficiency in window handling allows testers to navigate through complex web scenarios, interact with elements, and validate content across multiple windows or tabs.

Comprehensive test coverage across different browsing contexts ensures robust and reliable automation of diverse web application functionalities.

Key to Effective Testing:

Expertise in handling multiple windows using Selenium WebDriver methods significantly contributes to the effectiveness and accuracy of automated testing processes.

Mastering this skill enables seamless execution of test scripts, ensuring accurate simulation of user interactions and validations within the automation framework.

Understanding Window Handles in Selenium

In Selenium, a window handle is a unique identifier assigned by the WebDriver to each window it handles. Window handles are alphanumeric strings that differentiate between multiple windows.

Methods for Window Handling in Selenium

Selenium provides several methods to manage multiple windows:

1. getWindowHandles()

This method retrieves all available window handles, allowing navigation between them.

2. switchTo().window()

It enables switching between different windows using their respective handles.

3. getWindowHandle()

This method fetches the handle of the current window, aiding in setting the focus back to the parent window.

Handling Child Windows in Selenium

To handle child windows specifically:

  • Capture the handles of both the parent and child windows.
  • Use getWindowHandles() to retrieve all handles.
  • Iterate through the handles to switch to the desired window.

Handling Multiple Windows: Step-by-Step

1. Switching Between Windows

When handling multiple windows in Selenium, the process involves navigating between different browsing contexts. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Identify Window Handles: Utilize getWindowHandles() method to retrieve all available window handles.
  • Iterate and Switch: Iterate through these handles, and using switchTo().window(), direct the WebDriver to the desired window by specifying its handle. This action sets the focus of WebDriver to the selected window, allowing operations within that conte

2. Handling Child Windows

Child windows, spawned from the parent window, require specific attention during automation. To handle them:

  • Utilize Similar Methods: The process remains similar to switching between windows, but with precise identification of the child window handle obtained from the parent’s action.
  • Switch to Child Window: Capture the child window handle and use switchTo().window() to direct the WebDriver to operate within this specific child window.

3. Returning to the Parent Window

Maintaining a reference to the parent window and switching back to it is crucial for maintaining the test flow. Here’s how it’s accomplished:

  • Store Parent Window Handle: Prior to switching to any other windows, save the handle of the parent window using getWindowHandle().
  • Switch Back to Parent: Whenever needed, use switchTo().window() with the stored parent window handle to return focus and operation to the parent window.

4. Closing All Windows

Cleaning up after tests involves closing opened windows. To ensure a clean environment:

  • Iterate Through Handles: Exclude the parent window handle and loop through all other window handles obtained using getWindowHandles().
  • Close Each Window: Use driver.close() within the loop to close each window, except the parent, thus effectively ending the browsing contexts opened during the test.

Example of Handling Multiple Windows Using Window Handles

Let’s consider an example where clicking a button opens a new window:

Explanation of steps:

// Navigate to the specified web page
driver.get("https://example.com");

// Preserve the parent window's handle
String parentWindowHandle = driver.getWindowHandle();

// Simulate an action, triggering a new window (e.g., button click)
WebElement newWindowButton = driver.findElement(By.id("newWindowButton"));
newWindowButton.click();

// Obtain all window handles available
Set<String> allWindowHandles = driver.getWindowHandles();

// Iterate through the handles to navigate to the new window
for (String handle : allWindowHandles) {
    // Confirm if the handle does not match the parent window
    if (!handle.equals(parentWindowHandle)) {
        // Switch to the new window context
        driver.switchTo().window(handle);

        // Perform actions within the new window
        // For instance, interact with elements in the new window
        WebElement elementInNewWindow = driver.findElement(By.id("elementId"));
        elementInNewWindow.sendKeys("Interacting with the new window");

        // Switch back to the parent window context
        driver.switchTo().window(parentWindowHandle);

        // Perform actions within the parent window
        // For example, interact with elements in the parent window
        WebElement elementInParentWindow = driver.findElement(By.id("parentElementId"));
        elementInParentWindow.click();

        // Close all windows except the parent window
        for (String windowHandle : allWindowHandles) {
            // Ensure the handle is not the parent window
            if (!windowHandle.equals(parentWindowHandle)) {
                // Switch to the window and close it
                driver.switchTo().window(windowHandle);
                driver.close();
            }
        }
        break; // Terminate loop after managing the necessary windows
  • Navigation and Storing Parent Window Handle:

Navigate to the web page and store the handle of the initially opened parent window.

  • Simulating Action for New Window:

Simulate an action, such as clicking a button (newWindowButton), that triggers the opening of a new window.

  • Switching to New Window:

Retrieve all window handles and switch to the new window using the handle distinct from the parent window.

Perform actions specific to the new window.

  • Switching Back to Parent Window:

After interacting with the new window, switch back to the parent window using the stored parent window handle.

Perform actions specific to the parent window.

  • Closing All Windows Except Parent:

Iterate through all window handles.

Close each window except the parent window to ensure a clean environment post-testing.

This example demonstrates the comprehensive handling of multiple windows in Selenium, including switching between windows, interacting with elements, and managing different browsing contexts effectively during automated testing.

To conclude

Mastering window handling in Selenium WebDriver is crucial for robust and efficient test automation. 

Understanding the concepts of window handles, identifying parent and child windows, and utilizing the appropriate methods for switching between windows ensures successful automation of complex web scenarios. 

Practice and proficiency in handling multiple windows empower testers and developers to create more comprehensive and reliable automated tests in Selenium WebDriver.

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The Test Tribe

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