Exploring Safari Browser Automation with WebDriver 

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Web content has become increasingly interactive, responsive, and complicated at the same time. Therefore web testers and QAs need to test their websites or web apps on different browsers and platforms to ensure good user experience and performance consistency across multiple platforms and browsers. They must ensure that web content is loaded, executed, and rendered correctly and that users can interact with the content as intended, no matter what browser, platform, hardware, or screen size they are using. 

No doubt, Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world, but Safari browser is also a significant browser that is positioned right after Chrome. A key reason behind its greater significance is that it is the default browser for all Apple devices. For this reason, web developers are constantly focussing on ensuring their websites are thoroughly tested and optimized for different versions of Safari. 

With the growing complexity of web applications, browser automation has become necessary for those who want to save time and increase productivity, including web developers. This is because different browsers have their way of interpreting different inputs, performing navigations, organizing windows and tabs, and so on. Manually testing every interaction and workflow of the website on each browser before deploying an update to production to ensure a good user experience is challenging, time-consuming, costly, error-prone, and quite impractical. 

Therefore to address this challenge, the first step is to choose an automation framework, and Selenium is one of them. In this article, we will explore Safari browser automation with WebDriver. But before we get into the details let’s first have a brief understanding of what Selenium and browser automation are, why and when browser automation is needed.


Selenium is an open-source browser automation framework created for developers that provides various tools and libraries and a common API for browser automation. Selenium supports web browsers like Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome, and multiple programming languages, including Ruby, python C#, Java, Perl, and PHP. 

Selenium consists of three main components- Selenium WebDriver, Selenium IDE, and Selenium Grid. They complement each other to perform automated tests on different browsers and environments. 

Selenium WebDriver is the core of the automated testing ecosystem, which is highly extensible, with a large number of third-party plugins and frameworks that can enhance its functionality. It is a cross-platform, cross-browser automation API that allows developers to write an automated test that exercises their web content and runs the test against any browser with a WebDriver-compliant driver. 

What is Browser Automation?

Before going through browser automation, it is important to consider the task needed to automate. See whether the web application allows API access, as well as whether the APIs do not change as often as the graphical user interfaces. Automating using APIs means automation scripts do not break as easily. 

Browser Automation tests web browsers using automated tools, aiming to reduce overall testing effort and deliver faster results efficiently. It helps in building better quality applications with fewer efforts involved.

Initially, there were fewer browsers to develop, test, or use. However, with the evolving web and technology, the number of operating systems, devices, and browsers has exceptionally increased. With that increase in browsers and their versions, it becomes difficult for the developers to deliver a seamless and consistent user experience on all of them because each of these browser’s versions renders the web application differently. 

As a result, it requires the development teams to develop cross-browser-compatible applications and their web pages, and for that, they need to perform cross-browser testing so that they can test the application across all available browsers to ensure its consistency and smooth behavior on all browser-device-platform combinations. This is where browser automation comes into play; it helps to cover the different actions where the website interacts with the browser during testing.

Why is Browser Automation needed?

Manual testing is an important standard testing method because no machine can observe what a human can do about the application. However, it is no longer sufficient due to a steady increase in several browsers, devices, and operating systems combinations. For example, it’s not very efficient to have a person manually do the regression testing by executing the same steps again and again to check regression issues, if any. 

Browser Automation has proved beneficial to achieving wider test coverage across various browsers, devices, and platforms in a limited period; it allows running the same tests across any number of browsers or devices. 

There are multiple uses of browser automation including web scraping, data mining, testing, and debugging web applications online. It allows performing repetitive tasks quickly and accurately without human intervention. This helps in reducing errors and increasing the efficiency of web-based processes.

Additionally, browser automation not only reduces the risk of human errors but also saves time and effort, which can be easily utilized in extending the application functionalities. 

How is browser automation done?

Browser automation is done through a software application known as a driver that manages and controls the browser just like a human would do but executes instructions written in code. 

Selenium supports all major browsers, such as Chrome/Chromium, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Opera. Using the Selenium framework for browser automation testing requires a corresponding browser driver, like, Chrome WebDriver for Chrome and Geckodriver for Firefox installed on the system. However, for Safari browser automation with WebDriver, downloading the Safari driver for Selenium WebDriver separately is not required.

Safari Browser provides native support for the Selenium WebDriver API protocol. It acts as the link between Selenium tests and the Safari Browser. SafariDriver has been developed as a plugin in the Safari browser, providing a perfect match of client and server machine where SafariDriverServer acts as server and Selenium-language binding as client.

When Browser Automation can be used?

Browser automation is used when greater time and effort is required for repetitive tasks. It can significantly reduce the test execution time. It can be used in various scenarios when-

  • To run the same set of test cases repeatedly across different browsers or devices and catch bugs in the application during the development process. This helps to quickly and efficiently validate that the application works correctly across multiple browsers and platforms.
  • When users report browser or device-specific issues.
  • Browser automation is used when it is needed to ensure cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility across different devices for a consistent user experience. 
  • When a website needs to be monitored and tracked for changes or errors and to ensure that the site is always up and running. Scrape Websites.
  • When the time needed for performing cross-browser testing is exponentially larger as compared to executing a test case once.
  • When tasks involve entering the same data repeatedly, such as filling out a web form or entering data into a spreadsheet, browser automation can be useful. In addition, it can reduce errors and improve accuracy by ensuring that a large number of test data is entered consistently and correctly.
  • When the application has multiple versions and releases and needs to be shipped to the users frequently, in such cases, manual testing can be really expensive and can have a lot of other issues.

Safari Browser Automation with WebDriver

The Safari browser is one of the prominent and well-known web browsers, making it vital for web developers and QA to perform web tests. Therefore knowing how to perform Selenium tests on Safari is essential.

Safari Browser automation with WebDriver is similar to running Selenium tests in other browsers. Safari browser is represented by a class called SafariDriver that comes with the default Safari browser. Since Safari provides built-in support for the WebDriver API, there’s no need to download a separate driver for browser automation with WebDriver. 

But before automating a Selenium test case using the Safari browser, the browser must be set up to understand commands from the Selenium WebDriver.  Setting up the Safari browser and writing the first test case requires a few steps in the Safari browser.

Downloading and installing the latest version of the Safari browser extension is the first step in running Selenium tests in the Safari browser.

The next step is to enable WebDriver Browser Extension by going to the preferences window on the Safari browser and selecting Extension. Selenium web driver is listed in the same extensions list. After enabling the WebDriver it needs to restart the browser.

After enabling WebDriver Browser Extension, the next step is to write Selenium WebDriver code and execute it in the Safari browser, just like a regular WebDriver used for other browsers to test critical functionalities.

Browser automation using LambdaTest

Browser Automation for a single browser and test case is quite easy; however, when the number of test cases increases and it needs to explore critical bugs faster, the test cases must be run on multiple device-browser combinations for better scalability. This is where LambdaTest can help by providing a wide range of real browser-device combinations to create and run automated browser tasks simultaneously with its user-friendly and intuitive interface.

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that allows running both manual and automated testing of web and mobile applications. It provides testers access to more than 3000 environments, real devices, and browser combinations to test their websites under real user conditions so that they can identify every possible bug that can show up in the application in real-world usage, thus, delivering a seamless and consistent user experience. 

Additionally, testers can use its cloud Selenium grid for executing automated Safari tests on actual iOS and macOS environments in parallel to accelerate test build execution speeds and achieve better coverage and scalability in less time.


In conclusion, it can be said that Safari is a well-known default browser for all Apple devices. It is the second most popular web browser worldwide. For Safari browser automation there is no need to install driver versions separately because SafariDriver comes automatically with it.

Selenium is a popular browser-based testing and automation library that allows testing against Safari via SafariDriver, which uses a standards-based WebDriver API for cross-browser testing. Automating Safari browsers with WebDriver is hassle-free and simple since it does not require installing the SafariDriver.

Various automation platforms like LambdaTest provide hosting for virtualized MacOS servers that allow building and running of Safari tests in controllable infrastructure without any installation maintenance of Apple hardware.

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Amara Elvita
Amara Elvita
Amara Elvita is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her boundless imagination and passion for storytelling make her a gifted writer.