Alerts in Selenium Webdriver

Alerts in webpage used to get the attention of the user to perform some operation on the alert or on the webpage, sometimes alerts expects input from the user.

All the alerts are formed using javascript inside HTML page, there are three kind of alerts in HTML.

Alerts takes the focus away from the current window, and forces the browser to read the message.

Alert prevents the user from accessing other parts of the web page until the box is closed.

Alert Types :

  • Alert
  • Confirmation dialog
  • Prompt

Properties of Alerts with respect to Selenium Webdriver :

  • We cannot identify alerts using inspect tools
  • We cannot write xpaths for alerts
  • It is not a Window
  • We cannot handle alerts using javaScript Executor.
We can consider as not alert if any of the above property mismatches.

Code of Alert handling in selenium webdriver

When alert is present on webpage we cannot proceed further without handling the popup, and if we try to perform any operation it throws org.openqa.selenium.UnhandledAlertException.

We can handle alerts using switchTo().alert() method present in selenium webdriver, with help of this alert() we can handle the pop up.

Syntax to handle popup

                        		Alert ale = driver.switchTo().alert();

Technical Tip : Selenium Webdriver up-cast the object to Alert Interface in above line of code With this api we can perform below operations on the pop up.
1. Accept the popUp by clicking OK button


2. Dismiss the popUp by clicking 'X' icon.


3. Get popUp text by getText method


4. Send text to popUp by sendKeys (Applicable for Prompt only)

                        		ale.sendKeys("test Text");

Note : Selenium webdriver never clicks Cancel button on any kind of alert

When does alerts occurs on a page : It can occur on a page on any time but most of the it happens on below timing of the webpage

  1. On Webpage Load
  2. On Webpage close
  3. On click of a element
  4. On Right click (when right click disabled)
  5. On wrong entry of a field
  6. On information save

Technical Tip : Now day developer are using overlays/hidden division popups rather than javascript popups

Learn about Constructors in selenium and Java


The alert() method displays an alert box with a message and an OK button, alert box is often used to inform a user about a particular operation like details saved in Database, right click disabled, Loaded successfully such kind of messages.

Alert is formed using alert("message") in javascript, alert considers same irrespective of user operation whether he clicks OK or 'X' icon.

Alert's sole purpose is to inform user, nothing more.

Alert on Different browsers
Chrome: alert-on-chrome-selenium-webdriver

Firefox alert-on-firefox-selenium-webdriver

  • Open Url :
  • Click on Alert button, application throws an Alert box
  • Switch to the alert using driver.switchTo().alert(), we save this object in Alert type variable 'ale'
  • We can accept the alert by using accept() non-static method from the alert api, this closes the popup.
    Alert ale = driver.switchTo().alert();
    // clicks 'OK' button

  • We can dismiss the popup using dismiss() method from alert api, this click 'X' icon on popup. (if you have performed above step then you cannot perform this step as pop up is closed in step 4 itself)
    Alert ale = driver.switchTo().alert();
    // clicks 'x' icon

  • We can get the text from the pop up using getText(), if you have performed step 4 or 5, this step will not work
    Alert ale = driver.switchTo().alert();
    // clicks 'x' icon


    Handle dropdowns in selenium

Confirmation Box

Confirmation box is second kind of alert, it displays a dialog with OK and Cancel button

Confirmation box informs developer about user choice whether user pressed OK or Cancel. The confirm() method returns true if the user clicked "OK", and false otherwise('X' icon and 'Cancel') to developer.

Confirmation box confirm-chrome-selenium-webdriver

We can handle Confirmation box in selenium webdriver like alert box, there is no coding difference.

Learn about NoAlertPresentException in Webdriver


Prompt is used to get value from the user in text format. Prompt provides textbar for user input, Prompt is rarely used alert type.

Prompt : prompt-selenium-webdriver

Prompt also follows same coding as alert and prompt except sendkeys method, we can send text to prompt textbar using sendkeys() method in alerts api.

Note : You cannot use Keys.ENTER or such kind of keys with sendkeys() method of alerts

Alert ale = driver.switchTo().alert();

May be you are interested in reading : Handling nested frames in Selenium

Create Locator using By Class Constructor in Selenium

How to check whether alert is present or Not ?

We can use Explicit wait / WebdriverWait to check whether alert is there or not, alertIsPresent() method wait for the alert to be present till the given timeout, once it reaches timeout and if alert is not present then it throws TimeOutException, if alert is present before the timeout it proceeds with remaining code.

I have used only 2 seconds of time to check for the alert.

public static boolean isAlertPresent(){
    boolean presenceOfAlert = false;
    WebDriverWait wait = new WebDriverWait(driver, 2 /*timeout in seconds*/);
    try {
        presenceOfAlert = true;
    } catch (TimeoutException e) {
        presenceOfAlert = false;
    return foundAlert;

Explanation :

  • We are setting presenceOfAlert to false, this is for by default value.
  • We are creating object for WebdriverWait
  • We are using try{} block to see whether code throws exception or not
  • We are checking whether alert is there or not using alertIsPresent() method. If alert is present execution goes to next line where we have set presenceOfAlert to true, but incase if alert is not there it will not execute "presenceOfAlert = true;" statement but goes to catch block.
  • We have used catch{} block to receive the exception, this catch block receives only TimeoutException
  • If try block code throws "TimeoutException" then "presenceOfAlert = false;" will be executed
  • Method returns the value based on the try catch block / based on presence of alert.

Screenshot of an Alert

Taking screenshot without handling alert is not possible, but you can take screenshot using robot or any other external class present in java.

What you cannot do is, you cannot use the driver instance for any operation without handling the alert

Actually below code copies the screenshot to clipboard.

// Press the key combination of (Windows + PrintScreen) by using Robot Class
Robot rb = new Robot();

So using screenshot method in selenium we cannot capture the screenshot of javascript alert

Take Page & Element Screenshot, Compare Screenshots in selenium

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  • kauser
    very good blog...pretty detailed..please launch a telegram or whatsapp group technical discussions..
    • karthiq [admin]
      Thanks for you Feedback,
      We will create a group [ I donot even know, what is telegram :p ],
      but we will do 
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