Testing with WebDriver in Safari

Enable WebDriver and run a test.


This article walks you through the process of setting up WebDriver and running a test written in Python. When a test calls a command, the command is executed in the following steps:

  1. The client library translates each command into a REST API command.

  2. The REST API command sends the corresponding HTTP request to a local web server hosted by Safari’s driver.

  3. The driver validates the HTTP request’s contents and forwards the command to the appropriate browser instance.

  4. When a command has finished executing, the driver sends an HTTP response for the REST API command. The client library interprets the HTTP response and returns the result to the test code.

Make Sure You Have Safari’s WebDriver

Safari and Safari Technology Preview each provide their own safaridriver executable. Make sure you already have the executable on your device:

  • Safari’s executable is located at /usr/bin/safaridriver.

  • Safari Technology Preview's executable is part of the application bundle’s contents.

Each safaridriver is capable of launching only the Safari version it’s associated with, and the two can run simultaneously. Although you can launch safaridriver manually by running a safaridriver executable, most Selenium libraries launch the driver automatically. See the documentation for your preferred client library to learn how to specify which browser to use.

Get the Correct Selenium Library Version

Grab a recent release of the Selenium open source project. Selenium’s Java and Python client libraries offer support for Safari’s native driver implementation starting in the 3.0.0-beta1 release.

Configure Safari to Enable WebDriver Support

Safari’s WebDriver support for developers is turned off by default. How you enable it depends on your operating system.

High Sierra and later:

Run `safaridriver --enable` once. (If you’re upgrading from a previous macOS release, you may need to use sudo.)

Sierra and earlier:

  1. If you haven’t already done so, make the Develop menu available. Choose Safari > Preferences, and on the Advanced tab, select “Show Develop menu in menu bar.” For details, see Safari Help.

  2. Choose Develop > Allow Remote Automation.

  3. Authorize safaridriver to launch the XPC service that hosts the local web server. To permit this, manually run /usr/bin/safaridriver once and follow the authentication prompt.

Write a WebDriver Testing Suite

Once you’ve obtained a client library, you can write a WebDriver test and run it against Safari. The example below uses using Python WebDriver to test important functionality of the WebKit Feature Status page.

#coding: utf-8
from import By
from selenium import webdriver
import unittest
import time

def setup_module(module):
    WebKitFeatureStatusTest.driver = webdriver.Safari()

def teardown_module(module):

class WebKitFeatureStatusTest(unittest.TestCase):
    def test_feature_status_page_search(self):
        # Enter "CSS" into the search box.
        # Ensures that at least one result appears in search
        search_box = self.driver.find_element_by_id("search")
        value = search_box.get_attribute("value")
        self.assertTrue(len(value) > 0)
        # Count the visible results when filters are applied
        # so one result shows up in at most one filter
        feature_count = self.shown_feature_count()
        self.assertTrue(feature_count > 0)
    def test_feature_status_page_filters(self):
        filters = self.driver.execute_script("return document.querySelectorAll('.filter-toggle')")
        self.assertTrue(len(filters) is 7)
        # Make sure every filter is turned off.
        for checked_filter in filter(lambda f: f.is_selected(), filters):
        # Make sure you can select every filter.
        for filt in filters:
    def shown_feature_count(self):
                return len(self.driver.execute_script("return document.querySelectorAll('li.feature:not(.is-hidden)')"))

if __name__ == "__main__":

Run Your Test

Copy and save the test code above as and run the following:


See Also


macOS WebDriver Commands for Safari 11.1 and earlier

Test your web content using the WebDriver commands supported by Safari 11.1 and earlier.

macOS WebDriver Commands for Safari 12 and later

Test your web content using the WebDriver commands supported by Safari 12 and later.

About WebDriver for Safari

Enhance testing of your web content using Safari’s enhancements to WebDriver.