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Command line tools

Playwright comes with the command line tools.


# Use the tools.
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 --help

Install browsers

Playwright can install supported browsers.

# Running without arguments will install default browsers
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 install

You can also install specific browsers by providing an argument:

# Install WebKit
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 install webkit

See all supported browsers:

pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 install --help

Install system dependencies

System dependencies can get installed automatically. This is useful for CI environments.

# See command help
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 install-deps

You can also install the dependencies for a single browser only by passing it as an argument:

pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 install-deps chromium

It's also possible to combine install-deps with install and install by that the browsers and OS dependencies with a single command. This would do both for Chromium, but you can also leave it out.

pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 install --with-deps chromium

Generate code

pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 codegen

Run codegen and perform actions in the browser. Playwright CLI will generate JavaScript code for the user interactions. codegen will attempt to generate resilient text-based selectors.

Preserve authenticated state

Run codegen with --save-storage to save cookies and localStorage at the end. This is useful to separately record authentication step and reuse it later.

pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 codegen --save-storage=auth.json
# Perform authentication and exit.
# auth.json will contain the storage state.

Run with --load-storage to consume previously loaded storage. This way, all cookies and localStorage will be restored, bringing most web apps to the authenticated state.

pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 open --load-storage=auth.json
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 codegen --load-storage=auth.json
# Perform actions in authenticated state.

Codegen with custom setup

If you would like to use codegen in some non-standard setup (for example, use BrowserContext.RouteAsync()), it is possible to call Page.PauseAsync() that will open a separate window with codegen controls.

using Microsoft.Playwright;

using var playwright = await Playwright.CreateAsync();
var chromium = playwright.Chromium;
// Make sure to run headed.
var browser = await chromium.LaunchAsync(new BrowserTypeLaunchOptions { Headless = false });

// Setup context however you like.
var context = await browser.NewContextAsync(); // Pass any options
await context.RouteAsync("**/*", route => route.ContinueAsync());

// Pause the page, and start recording manually.
var page = await context.NewPageAsync();
await page.PauseAsync();

Open pages

With open, you can use Playwright bundled browsers to browse web pages. Playwright provides cross-platform WebKit builds that can be used to reproduce Safari rendering across Windows, Linux and macOS.

# Open page in Chromium
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 open
# Open page in WebKit
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 wk

Emulate devices

open can emulate mobile and tablet devices from the playwright.devices list.

# Emulate iPhone 11.
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 open --device="iPhone 11"

Emulate color scheme and viewport size

# Emulate screen size and color scheme.
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 open --viewport-size=800,600 --color-scheme=dark

Emulate geolocation, language and timezone

# Emulate timezone, language & location
# Once page opens, click the "my location" button to see geolocation in action
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 open --timezone="Europe/Rome" --geolocation="41.890221,12.492348" --lang="it-IT"

Inspect selectors

During open or codegen, you can use following API inside the developer tools console of any browser.


Query Playwright selector, using the actual Playwright query engine, for example:


Same as playwright.$, but returns all matching elements.


Reveal element in the Elements panel (if DevTools of the respective browser supports it).


Query Playwright element using the actual Playwright query engine, for example:


Generates selector for the given element.

Take screenshot

# Wait 3 seconds before capturing a screenshot after page loads ('load' event fires)
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 screenshot \
--device="iPhone 11" \
--color-scheme=dark \
--wait-for-timeout=3000 \ twitter-iphone.png
# Capture a full page screenshot
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 screenshot --full-page wiki-full.png

Generate PDF

PDF generation only works in Headless Chromium.

# See command help
pwsh bin/Debug/netX/playwright.ps1 pdf wiki.pdf