Switch Window Commands in Selenium WebDriver




One of the major testing workflow involves switching between multiple windows. Selenium WebDriver has specific switch commands to serve this purpose. Selenium WebDriver assigns an alphanumeric id to each window as soon as the WebDriver object is instantiated. This unique alphanumeric id called window handle. Selenium uses this unique id to switch control among several windows. In simple terms, each unique window has a unique ID, so that Selenium can differentiate when it is switching controls from one window to the other.

1) GetWindowHandle– To get the window handle of the current window. It returns a string of alphanumeric window handle.

String  parentHandle= driver.getWindowHandle();

2) GetWindowHandles– To get the window handle of all the windows. It returns a set of window handle.

Set  handle= driver.getWindowHandles();

3) SwitchTo Window – WebDriver supports moving between named windows using the “switchTo” method.


Let us explain window switch with an example:-

1) Launch new Browser and open https://demoqa.com/browser-windows
2) Check the count of windows which is 1
3) Locate “New Window” button using Id – “windowButton” and click to open a new window
4) Get the count of both windows which is now 2.
5) Get parent window handle and print it to console
6) Get the window handles of both the open windows and print them
7) Switch to the new window (child window)
8) Get the text of Child Window and print it
9) Close the new window (child window)
10) Switch the control back to parent window and print the title of Parent Window
11) Close the parent window

mport org.openqa.selenium.By;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebElement;
import org.openqa.selenium.firefox.FirefoxDriver;

import java.util.Iterator;
import java.util.Set;
import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit;

public class WindowSwitchDemo {

    public static void main(String[] args) {

        // Initiate Firefox browser
        WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();

        // Maximize the browser
        driver.manage().timeouts().implicitlyWait(30, TimeUnit.SECONDS);

        // Pass application url

        //Count of window - 1
        Set<String> allWindowHandles = driver.getWindowHandles();
        System.out.println("Count of Window :" + allWindowHandles.size());

        //Open a child window

        //Count of windows , changed from 1 to 2
        Set<String> newAllWindowHandles = driver.getWindowHandles();
        System.out.println("New Count of Window :" + newAllWindowHandles.size());

        // Get the detail of the parent window
        String ParentHandle = driver.getWindowHandle();
        System.out.println("Parent Window :" + ParentHandle);

        //Get details of parent and child windows
        Iterator<String> iterator = newAllWindowHandles.iterator();
        String mainWindow = iterator.next();
        String childWindow = iterator.next();
        System.out.println("Parent Window :" + mainWindow);
        System.out.println("Child Window :" + childWindow);

        //Switch control to child window

        //Verify the text present on child window
        WebElement text = driver.findElement(By.id("sampleHeading"));
        System.out.println("Child_Title :" + text.getText());

        // Close Child window

        // Switch back to parent window
        System.out.println("Parent Title :" + driver.getTitle());

        // Close Parent window


What is the difference between driver.close() and driver.quit()?

When we are working on multiple windows and a selective window needs to be closed, then transfer the control to that window and use driver.close() to close the selective window. This will not stop the execution of rest of the program. But, in case it is needed to close all the open windows, then use driver.quit() which will close all the windows opened in a particular session. It basically stops the driver instance and any further actions to WebDriver may result in an exception.  It is generally the last statement of any code.

Congratulations. We have learnt about window switching in Selenium. I hope you find this tutorial helpful. Happy Learning!!

4 thoughts on “Switch Window Commands in Selenium WebDriver

  1. I'm new to Selenium and learning. I am trying to automate Facebook login page and I get a dialog box or alert or new window, not sure. Can you suggest how to automate that.


  2. When we automate Facebook login page, it has a child window. To automate that page, move cursor to child window and click on \”Accept All\” button. Code will look like belowdriver.get(\”https://www.facebook.com/\”); Thread.sleep(1000); // switch from main window to child window for (String handle1 : driver.getWindowHandles()) { driver.switchTo().window(handle1); } driver.findElement(By.id(\”u_0_k\”)).click();


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