Introduction to WinAppDriver (Windows Application Driver)

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Similar to Selenium, Windows Application Driver is a service to support windows application tools.

Like Selenium, WinAppDriver is a set of libraries that we can integrate into any Test Runner that supports Appium. WinAppDriver is often abbreviated "WAD." WAD is bundled with Appium; you do not need to install it separately.

Why WinAppDriver?

  1. Open Source: It is an excellent open-source tool from Microsoft to automate desktop windows based applications.
  2. All Windows Applications: It supports all windows applications based on Windows Forms (Winforms), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Universal Windows Platform (UWP), and Classic Windows (win32).
  3. WebDriver Protocol: The most crucial feature is using the web driver protocol. Whatever things work with Selenium usually works with WinAppDriver and does all the functions Selenium does. It includes Send keys, click, clear, findElement.
  4. Programming Languages: You can use any programming language in WinAppDriver. WinAppDriver supports Java, Python, C#, Ruby, JavaScript, etc.
  5. Appium Capabilities: It implements Appium and supports many Appium capabilities.
  6. Framework Integration: It is easy to integrate with any framework using Selenium or Appium.
  7. Minimal System Requirements: It only needs a Windows 10 or higher running system (Home or Pro), Java 8 or above, Eclipse, or any other IDE and VS2015+. It also supports Windows Server 2016 or above, and It supports all three commonly-used Windows architectures: x86, x64, and ARM64.
  8. Locate Elements: WinappDriver partners up with inspect.exe to inspect objects and get locators. 
  9. CI/CD Integration: WinAppDriver can be integrated with CI/CD tools such as Jenkins, GitLab, and Azure Pipeline.
  10. Community Support: WinAppDriver is developed and backed by Microsoft, and there is active community support available in Github.


WinAppDriver is an easy-to-use free tool and possibly one of the best options for Windows Automation rather than a paid one, which is easy to integrate and implement with existing automation projects.