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Debugging Selectors

Playwright will throw a timeout exception like Timeout 30000ms exceeded when an element does not exist on the page. There are multiple ways of debugging selectors:

Using Playwright Inspector

Open the Playwright Inspector and click the Explore button to hover over elements in the screen and click them to automatically generate selectors for those elements. To verify where selector points, paste it into the inspector input field:

Selectors toolbar

Using DevTools

You can also use the following API inside the Developer Tools Console of any browser.

When running in Debug Mode with PWDEBUG=console, a playwright object is available in Developer tools console.

  1. Run with PWDEBUG=console
  2. Setup a breakpoint to pause the execution
  3. Open the console panel in browser developer tools


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

> playwright.$('.auth-form >> text=Log in');

<button>Log in</button>


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

> playwright.$$('li >> text=John')

> [<li>, <li>, <li>, <li>]


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

> playwright.inspect('text=Log in')


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

> playwright.locator('.auth-form', { hasText: 'Log in' });

> Locator ()
> - element: button
> - elements: [button]


Highlight the first occurrence of the locator:

> playwright.highlight('.auth-form');


> playwright.clear()

Clear existing highlights.


Generates selector for the given element.

> playwright.selector($0)

"div[id="glow-ingress-block"] >> text=/.*Hello.*/"

Verbose API logs

Playwright supports verbose logging with the DEBUG environment variable.

DEBUG=pw:api mvn test