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Parallelism and sharding

Playwright Test runs tests in parallel by default, using multiple worker processes.


Each worker process creates a new environment to run tests. By default, Playwright Test reuses the worker as much as it can to make testing faster.

Should any test fail, Playwright will discard entire worker process along with the browsers used and will start a new one. That way failing tests can't affect healthy ones.

You can control the maximum number of parallel worker processes via command line or in the configuration file.

  • Run in parallel by default

    npx playwright test
  • Disable parallelization

    npx playwright test --workers 1
  • Control the number of workers

    npx playwright test --workers 4
  • In the configuration file

    // playwright.config.ts
    import { PlaywrightTestConfig } from '@playwright/test';
    const config: PlaywrightTestConfig = {
    // Limit the number of workers on CI, use default locally
    workers: process.env.CI ? 2 : undefined,
    export default config;

Each worker process is assigned a unique sequential index that is accessible through the workerInfo object. Since each worker is a process, there also is a process-wide environment variable process.env.TEST_WORKER_INDEX that has the same value.


Playwright Test can shard a test suite, so that it can be executed on multiple machines. For that, pass --shard=x/y to the command line. For example, to split the suite into three shards, each running one third of the tests:

npx playwright test --shard=1/3
npx playwright test --shard=2/3
npx playwright test --shard=3/3

That way your test suite completes 3 times faster.