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Version: 1.13.0

Playwright Library

Playwright can either be used as a part of the Playwright Test, or as a standalone library. If you are working on an application that utilizes Playwright capabilities or you are using Playwright with another test runner, read on.


Use npm or Yarn to install Playwright library in your Node.js project. See system requirements.

npm i -D playwright

This single command downloads the Playwright NPM package and browser binaries for Chromium, Firefox and WebKit. To modify this behavior see managing browsers.

Once installed, you can require Playwright in a Node.js script, and launch any of the 3 browsers (chromium, firefox and webkit).

const { chromium } = require('playwright');
(async () => {  const browser = await chromium.launch();  // Create pages, interact with UI elements, assert values  await browser.close();})();

Playwright APIs are asynchronous and return Promise objects. Our code examples use the async/await pattern to ease readability. The code is wrapped in an unnamed async arrow function which is invoking itself.

(async () => { // Start of async arrow function  // Function code  // ...})(); // End of the function and () to invoke itself

First script#

In our first script, we will navigate to and take a screenshot in WebKit.

const { webkit } = require('playwright');
(async () => {  const browser = await webkit.launch();  const page = await browser.newPage();  await page.goto('');  await page.screenshot({ path: `example.png` });  await browser.close();})();

By default, Playwright runs the browsers in headless mode. To see the browser UI, pass the headless: false flag while launching the browser. You can also use slowMo to slow down execution. Learn more in the debugging tools section.

firefox.launch({ headless: false, slowMo: 50 });

Record scripts#

Command Line Interface CLI can be used to record user interactions and generate JavaScript code.

npx playwright codegen

TypeScript support#

Playwright includes built-in support for TypeScript. Type definitions will be imported automatically. It is recommended to use type-checking to improve the IDE experience.

In JavaScript#

Add the following to the top of your JavaScript file to get type-checking in VS Code or WebStorm.

//@ts-check// ...

Alternatively, you can use JSDoc to set types for variables.

/** @type {import('playwright').Page} */let page;

In TypeScript#

TypeScript support will work out-of-the-box. Types can also be imported explicitly.

let page: import('playwright').Page;

System requirements#

Playwright requires Node.js version 12 or above. The browser binaries for Chromium, Firefox and WebKit work across the 3 platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux):


Works with Windows and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).


Requires 10.14 (Mojave) or above.


Depending on your Linux distribution, you might need to install additional dependencies to run the browsers.


Only Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04 are officially supported.

See also in the Command Line Interface which has a command to install all necessary dependencies automatically for Ubuntu LTS releases.

Managing browser binaries#

Each version of Playwright needs specific versions of browser binaries to operate. By default, Playwright downloads Chromium, WebKit and Firefox browsers into the OS-specific cache folders:

  • %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\ms-playwright on Windows
  • ~/Library/Caches/ms-playwright on MacOS
  • ~/.cache/ms-playwright on Linux
npm i -D playwright

These browsers will take a few hundred megabytes of disk space when installed:

du -hs ~/Library/Caches/ms-playwright/*281M  chromium-XXXXXX187M  firefox-XXXX180M  webkit-XXXX

You can override default behavior using environment variables. When installing Playwright, ask it to download browsers into a specific location:

# Linux/macOSPLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH=$HOME/pw-browsers npm i -D playwright
# Windows with cmd.exeset PLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH=%USERPROFILE%\pw-browsersnpm i -D playwright
# Windows with PowerShell$env:PLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH="$env:USERPROFILE\pw-browsers"npm i -D playwright

When running Playwright scripts, ask it to search for browsers in a shared location.

# Linux/macOSPLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH=$HOME/pw-browsers node playwright-script.js
# Windows with cmd.exeset PLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH=%USERPROFILE%\pw-browsersnode playwright-script.js
# Windows with PowerShell$env:PLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH="$env:USERPROFILE\pw-browsers"node playwright-script.js

Or you can opt into the hermetic install and place binaries in the local folder:

# Linux/macOS# Places binaries to node_modules/playwrightPLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH=0 npm i -D playwright
# Windows with cmd.exe# Places binaries to node_modules\playwrightset PLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH=0npm i -D playwright
# Windows with PowerShell# Places binaries to node_modules\playwright$env:PLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH=0npm i -D playwright

Playwright keeps track of packages that need those browsers and will garbage collect them as you update Playwright to the newer versions.


Developers can opt-in in this mode via exporting PLAYWRIGHT_BROWSERS_PATH=$HOME/pw-browsers in their .bashrc.

Install behind a firewall or a proxy#

By default, Playwright downloads browsers from Microsoft's CDN.

Sometimes companies maintain an internal proxy that blocks direct access to the public resources. In this case, Playwright can be configured to download browsers via a proxy server.

# Linux/macOSHTTPS_PROXY= npm i -D playwright
# Windows with cmd.exeset HTTPS_PROXY= i -D playwright
# Windows with PowerShell$env:HTTPS_PROXY=""npm i -D playwright

Download from artifact repository#

By default, Playwright downloads browsers from Microsoft's CDN.

Sometimes companies maintain an internal artifact repository to host browser binaries. In this case, Playwright can be configured to download from a custom location using the PLAYWRIGHT_DOWNLOAD_HOST env variable.

# Linux/macOSPLAYWRIGHT_DOWNLOAD_HOST= npm i -D playwright
# Windows with cmd.exeset PLAYWRIGHT_DOWNLOAD_HOST= i -D playwright
# Windows with PowerShell$env:PLAYWRIGHT_DOWNLOAD_HOST=""npm i -D playwright

It is also possible to use a per-browser download hosts using PLAYWRIGHT_CHROMIUM_DOWNLOAD_HOST, PLAYWRIGHT_FIREFOX_DOWNLOAD_HOST and PLAYWRIGHT_WEBKIT_DOWNLOAD_HOST env variables that take precedence over PLAYWRIGHT_DOWNLOAD_HOST.


Skip browser downloads#

In certain cases, it is desired to avoid browser downloads altogether because browser binaries are managed separately.

This can be done by setting PLAYWRIGHT_SKIP_BROWSER_DOWNLOAD variable before installation.

# Linux/macOSPLAYWRIGHT_SKIP_BROWSER_DOWNLOAD=1 npm i -D playwright
# Windows with cmd.exeset PLAYWRIGHT_SKIP_BROWSER_DOWNLOAD=1npm i -D playwright
# Windows with PowerShell$env:PLAYWRIGHT_SKIP_BROWSER_DOWNLOAD=1npm i -D playwright

Download single browser binary#

Playwright ships three packages that bundle only a single browser:


All configuration environment variables also apply to these packages.

Using these packages is as easy as using a regular Playwright:

Install a specific package

npm i -D playwright-webkit

Require package

// Notice a proper package name in requireconst { webkit } = require('playwright-webkit');
(async () => {  const browser = await webkit.launch();  // ...})();

Stale browser removal#

Playwright keeps track of the clients that use its browsers. When there are no more clients that require particular version of the browser, that version is deleted from the system. That way you can safely use Playwright instances of different versions and at the same time, you don't waste disk space for the browsers that are no longer in use.

To opt-out from the unused browser removal, you can set the PLAYWRIGHT_SKIP_BROWSER_GC=1 environment variable.