Edit this Doc The Windows Driver

Appium has the ability to automate Windows PC Desktop apps. This driver relies on a project from Microsoft called WinAppDriver, which is an Appium-compatible WebDriver server for Windows Desktop apps (and more in the future). WinAppDriver is often abbreviated "WAD". WAD is bundled with Appium and does not need to be installed separately.

The Windows Driver supports testing of Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and Classic Windows (Win32) applications.

In addition to the WAD repo, development of the Appium driver takes place at the appium-windows-driver repo.

Requirements and Support

In addition to Appium's general requirements:


The way to start a session using the Windows driver is to include the platformName capability in your new session request, with the value Windows. Also, ensure that you set the deviceName capability to WindowsPC as well. Of course, you must also include an appropriate app capability, at a minimum (see below).


The Windows driver supports a number of standard Appium capabilities. See below for how these should be used specifically with the Windows driver.


To test a Windows app, simply make sure you have turned developer mode on.

When running Appium (whether Appium Desktop or from the command line), ensure that you have started the app / cmd prompt as an administrator.

Writing Tests for the Windows Driver

You could begin by taking a look at some existing samples:

Java Samples
1. Open the sample folder as an existing project in a Java IDE such as IntelliJ. For example: CalculatorTest 2. In the Java IDE build and run the test

C# Samples
1. Pull and open CalculatorTest.sln under CalculatorTest 2. In Visual Studio 2015 with the test solution open build the test and select Test > Run > All Tests

Javascript/node Samples

  1. Using selenium-webdriver

    Examples on selenium-appium


If you want to write tests from scratch, 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 2015.

Create Test Project

  1. Open Microsoft Visual Studio 2015
  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])

Universal Windows Platform App Testing

To test a UWP app, you can use any Selenium supported language and simply specify the Application Id for the app under test in the app capabilities entry. Below is an example of creating a test session for Windows Alarms & Clock app written in C#:

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

When testing the application you authored yourself, you can find the Application Id in the generated AppX\vs.appxrecipe file under RegisteredUserNmodeAppID node. E.g. c24c8163-548e-4b84-a466-530178fc0580_scyf5npe3hv32!App

Classic Windows App Testing

To test a classic Windows app, you can also use any Selenium supported language and specify the full executable path for the app under test in the app capabilities entry. Below is an example of creating a test session for Windows Notepad app:

// Launch Notepad
DesiredCapabilities appCapabilities = new DesiredCapabilities();
appCapabilities.SetCapability("app", @"C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe");
NotepadSession = new WindowsDriver<WindowsElement>(new Uri(""), appCapabilities);
// Control the Notepad app
NotepadSession.FindElementByClassName("Edit").SendKeys("This is some text");

Starting a Session

As mentioned above, you should additionally use these capabilities to ensure you are getting a Windows App automation session:

platformName: Windows deviceName: WindowsPC app: the appID of the Windows app for testing, or the path to the .exe file

Inspecting UI Elements

Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 by default includes Windows SDK that provides 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 such as C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\bin\x86. The tool will show various element attributes. The table below shows you which Appium locator strategy you should use to find elements with the corresponding attributes.

Locator Strategy Matched Attribute
accessibility id AutomationId
class name ClassName
name Name