Handling Waits in Selenium WebDriver

While testing the websites, we can’t really quantify the exact response time which an action takes on a web page. So we need to handle the waits between actions on a web page while writing selenium scripts.

So lets see how can we implement a wait strategy which is robust, stable for long run for the scripts. If we think of a Selenium script, it is nothing but a JAVA program (assuming you are implementing it in JAVA); So  what about pausing a java program for some time. So one way is following –



But, as I said above we can’t really quantify the time, or we can give maximum time here. But then you will end up spending a lot more time in execution, but purpose of automation is to minimize time. Lets see what are the issues with above strategy-

  1. You can never predict the exact wait time
  2. It increases overhead
  3. It may not work well with all computers

So to handle this, Selenium provides two types of wait strategies-

  1. ImplicitlyWait
  2. WebDriverWait


As we know in Selenium every driver.findElement() command looks for the WebElement in the web page. Implicitlywait tells webdriver to wait for an element if they are not immediately  available, So that Webdriver does not throw NoSuchElementException immediately


So the difference between this and sleep strategy is that here maximum threshold is 20 seconds (can be as per your choice). So if element is available in lets say 4 seconds, it wont wait for other 16 seconds. and the beauty is you dont have to write this command again and again, once you write this command, it is set up for complete WebDriver session.

WebDriver Wait or ExplicitWait-

Many times, we need to explicitly wait for some condition to finish and then to proceed the execution. So this time its not only about waiting for an element to come in DOM. so here is what you have to do for it-

WebDriverWait wait=new WebDriverWait(driver, 30);
//Now use this object to apply wait with conditions
wait.until(ExpectedConditions.textToBePresentInElement(driver.findElement(By.xpath(“”)), “expected text”));

So here, webdriver will poll every 500 seconds to check text in given element and maximum threshold here is 30 seconds. WebDriverWait class provides almost every expected conditions which you can come across while creating script. lets have a look by below snapshot-


Some times we come across situations where the provided expected conditions are not enough and we have to create our own condition. That can be done in following manner-

WebDriverWait wait=new WebDriverWait(driver, 30);
//Now use this object to apply wait with conditions
wait.until(new ExpectedCondition<Boolean>(){
public boolean apply(WebDriver driver){
return boolean_return_type_of_your_condition;

So every expected condition has an Apply method, which you need to override with your custom condition.

So this is how you can handle waits with your Selenium WebDriver scripts. Hope it has helped you understanding and implementing it. 🙂