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Selenium Python Tutorial (with Example)

By Shaumik Daityari, Community Contributor -

New features are added to web applications every few weeks for higher user engagement. Automation testing is necessary to test these features and ensure the UI works well. For testers worldwide, Selenium is the first choice for executing automated tests.

  • Selenium is an open-source automation testing tool that supports several scripting languages like Python, C#, Java, Perl, Ruby, JavaScript, etc., depending on the application to be tested. One can choose the script accordingly.
  • As per StackOverflow 2023 survey, three popular languages increased their standing among the top ten programming languages this year.
  • Python has grown in popularity for the last three years, and this year it’s moved up one spot to take number three.

Selenium tutorial Python Language 2023 Stats

This guide post will function as a step-by-step Selenium Python tutorial to perform web automation testing.

  • Selenium allows you to define tests and automatically detect the results of these tests on a pre-decided browser.
  • A suite of Selenium functions enables you to create step-by-step interactions with a webpage and assess the response of a browser to various changes.
  • You can then decide if the browser’s response aligns with your expectations.

This post assumes that you do not have prior knowledge of Selenium. However, a basic understanding of front-end concepts like DOM and familiarity with Python is expected.

Pre-requisites to run Selenium Python tests

The installer pip is the easiest way to install Selenium with Python.

pip install selenium

While the installation of Selenium makes the functionality available to you, you need additional drivers for it to be able to interface with a chosen web browser. The download links for the drivers are listed below:

For the remainder of this Python Selenium tutorial, we will use Chromedriver. Follow the link for the browser of your choice and download the driver for the compatible version.

If you only plan to test Selenium locally, downloading the package and drivers should suffice. However, if you would like to set Selenium up on a remote server, you would additionally need to install the Selenium Server. Selenium Server is written in Java; you need JRE 1.6 or above to install it on your server. It is available on Selenium’s download page.

Selenium Python example: How to run your first test?

Once you have completed the pre-requisites section, you can start your first test in Selenium with the Python programming language!

1. First, import the WebDriver and Keys classes from Selenium.

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys

The WebDriver class will connect you to a browser’s instance, which we will shortly cover. The Keys class lets you emulate the stroke of keyboard keys, including special keys like “Shift” and “Return”.

2. Next, create an instance of Chrome with the path of the driver you downloaded through the websites of the respective browser. This example assumes the driver is in the same directory as the Python script you will execute.

driver = webdriver.Chrome('./chromedriver')

If you are testing on your local machine, this opens an instance of Chrome locally. This command lets you perform tests on it until you use the .close() method to end the connection to the browser.

3. Next, use the .get() method of the driver to load a website. You may also load a local development site as this process is equivalent to opening a window of Chrome on your local machine, typing a URL, and hitting Enter. The .get() method starts loading a website and waits for it to render completely before moving on to the next step.


4. Once the page loads successfully, you can use the .title attribute to access the textual title of the webpage. If you wish to check whether the title contains a particular substring, use the assert or if statements. For simplicity, let us print the title of the page.


The output is the following text:

Welcome to

If you run the test on a Python interpreter, you notice that the Chrome browser window is still active. Also, a message on Chrome states that automated software is currently controlling it.

5. Next, let us submit a query in the search bar. First, select the element from the HTML DOM, enter a value into it, and submit the form by emulating the Return key press. You can select the element using its CSS class, ID, name attribute, or tag name. If you check the source of the query search bar, you notice that the name attribute of this DOM element is “q”. Therefore, you can use the .find_element_by_name() method as follows to select the element.

search_bar = driver.find_element_by_name("q")

6. Once the DOM element is selected, you first need to clear its contents using the .clear() method, enter a string as its value using the .send_keys() method and finally, emulate the press of the Return key using Keys.RETURN.

search_bar.send_keys("getting started with python")

You notice in the window that these actions trigger a change in the URL with the search results in the window. To confirm the current URL of the window, you can use the following command.


The following string is displayed:


To close the current session, use the .close() method. It also disconnects the link with the browser.


In this example, we have looked at the steps involved in running our first test using Selenium Python. Do note that we kept the window open during all test stages to ensure you knew what happened in the background as you ran each command.

In a fully automated flow, you will run multiple tests sequentially and may not be able to view each step as they occur.

To summarise the discussion, here is your first Selenium test on Python. You may save it in the file and run python to run the test.

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys

driver = webdriver.Chrome('./chromedriver')
search_bar = driver.find_element_by_name("q")
search_bar.send_keys("getting started with python")

Navigate through HTML DOM Elements

Now that you have successfully run your first test in Selenium with Python, let us look at various options to select DOM elements and interact with them. In the example, we selected the search bar and queried for a string. Let us explore the selection further. Here is the HTML of the search bar.

<input id="id-search-field" name="q" type="search" role="textbox" class="search-field" placeholder="Search" value="" tabindex="1">

In the example, we used the .find_element_by_name() method, which searches for the attribute name within the input HTML tag. We can also search for this term using other methods.

  • CSS ID: .find_element_by_id(“id-search-field”)
  • DOM Path: .find_element_by_xpath(“//input[@id=’id-search-field’]”)
  • CSS class: .find_element_by_class_name(“search-field”)

While the CSS ID is unique to every element by design, you may find multiple results when searching through the class name. Further, when you search through the DOM path of the element, you can be certain of what you are searching for.

Navigate through Windows and Frames

Your web application may require you to work with multiple windows and frames. Common use cases of working on new windows are social logins and file uploads. The .switch_to_window() method of the driver will help you to change the active window and work on different actions in a new window. The code that switches focus to a new window is:


If the value is not stored in the target attribute, you may use a window handle, which uniquely identifies all open windows in your driver. To view a list of all window handles, run the following:


Similarly, you can switch focus to a frame within a window through the .switch_to_frame() method. After completing relevant actions, run the following to switch back to the primary window.


Note that all actions within this section change the driver’s state and do not return anything. Therefore, we do not store the values in a variable and instead call the methods.

Work with Idle Time During a Test

While we have looked at various tests in static web applications, a single-page application may require you to wait for a specific time until you act.

There are two types of waits in Selenium: implicit and explicit waits.

  • An explicit wait makes your driver wait for a specific action to be completed (like content load using AJAX).
  • An implicit wait makes the driver wait for a particular time.

For an explicit wait, you need to use a try-finally block because it can potentially make your test stuck in the worst-case scenario. Essentially, you instruct the driver to wait for a certain element for a specified time before letting go.

from import By
from import WebDriverWait
from import expected_conditions as EC

element = WebDriverWait(driver, 5).until(
EC.presence_of_element_located((By.ID, "id-of-new-element"))

First, use the WebDriverWait() function to tell the driver to wait for five seconds. You then test for a new element to be loaded using the .presence_of_element_located() method of the expected_conditions class, which you can query through By.ID.

In an implicit wait, you need to use the .implicitly_wait() method of the driver and supply the number of seconds for the driver to wait.

element = driver.find_element_by_id("id-of-new-element")

How to integrate Selenium with Python Unit Tests?

Let us understand how to integrate Selenium tests into Python unit tests. For this purpose, we will use the unit test module in Python.

import unittest
from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys

class ChromeSearch(unittest.TestCase):

def setUp(self):
self.driver = webdriver.Chrome('./chromedriver')

def test_search_in_python_org(self):
driver = self.driver
self.assertIn("Python", driver.title)
elem = driver.find_element_by_name("q")
elem.send_keys("getting started with python")
assert "" == driver.current_url

def tearDown(self):

if __name__ == "__main__":

In this example, you must set up the driver object when initializing the unit test class .Chrome() method. In the single test we demonstrate, the exact text is put on the search bar, and the resultant change in the URL is compared to the URL seen earlier. You may additionally write a different test for a different browser and reuse the same functionality.

How to run Selenium Python tests using BrowserStack?

  1. To run Selenium on real devices, you must sign up on BrowserStack first.
  2. Select “BrowserStack Automate” on logging in and set the device-browser combination on which you would like to run a test.
  3. You are then shown the sample code to copy over and run from your terminal to run your test.
from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys
from selenium.webdriver.common.desired_capabilities import DesiredCapabilities

desired_cap = {
'browserName': 'android',
'device': 'Samsung Galaxy Note 9',
'realMobile': 'true',
'os_version': '8.1',
'name': 'Bstack-[Python] Sample Test'

driver = webdriver.Remote(

if not "Google" in driver.title:
raise Exception("Unable to load google page!")
elem = driver.find_element_by_name("q")
print (driver.title)

Let us take a moment to see the differences from what we have discussed in this article.

  • First, you will notice that the test is conducted on a remote server, not your local machine. Hence, you are using the .The remote () method calls a specific URL with the necessary settings.
  • Selenium Server is installed on the BrowserStack cloud, initializing the relevant browser and device for you to test.
  • Once the driver is initiated, you are familiar with the rest of the commands.

The following is the output of the code, as expected. BrowserStack also lets you view a video of the test performed on the device in real time from your dashboard.

BrowserStack - Google Search

Using Action Class in Selenium Python

Selenium has a class called ActionChains to perform various complex actions like context menu click, drag and drop, mouse hover, etc.

A few of these methods have been listed below:

1. drag_and_drop method is used to drag and drop by holding the left mouse button on the source element, moving to the target element, and then releasing it on the target element. It takes two parameters as input, source, and target element.



2. context_click method is used to right-click on the required element.It has one argument, an element on which the action has to be performed. If you don’t pass any argument, it right clicks on the current position.



3. The double_click() method double-clicks on an element or the current position. It takes one argument, the element on which double click must be performed. If nothing is passed, then it clicks on the current mouse position.



4. send_keys method sends keys to an element in focus. Key constants can be found in Keys class.



More methods in ActionChains class help to perform various actions on webpage elements. 

Final Thoughts

This article covered various techniques for automating your cross-browser testing process through Selenium using Python. It discussed different aspects of SeleniumWebdriver Python Testing, such as browser support, DOM navigation, waits, and unit tests.

Selenium WebDriver has made automation testing easier and more efficient than ever. Using Python to create test scripts makes it easy to perform automated UI Testing for applications. This is useful, especially when development cycles are short, and the features must be added every few weeks to keep up with user demand.

  • To deliver an application with the optimal user experience, use BrowserStack Automate, offering access to 3000+ real browsers and devices to test on.
  • Since testing on Cloud Selenium Grid considers real user conditions, it helps identify the bottlenecks and deliver a seamless and consistent user experience across different browsers and devices.

Run Selenium Python Tests on Real Devices

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