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Browser Test


Browser tests are scenarios executed by Datadog on your web applications. They run at configurable periodic intervals from multiple locations around the world, and from multiple devices. These checks verify both that your applications are up and responding to requests, and that any conditions defined in your scenarios are met.


Test details

Define the configuration of your browser test.

  1. Starting URL: The URL from which your browser test starts the scenario.

    • Advanced Options (optional): Set custom request headers, cookies, or authenticate through Basic Auth.
      • Headers: Defined headers override the default browser headers. For example, set the User Agent in the header to identify Datadog scripts.
      • Authentication: Authenticate through HTTP Basic Authentication with a username and a password.
      • Cookies: Defined cookies are added to the default browser cookies. Set multiple cookies using the format <COOKIE_NAME1>=<COOKIE_VALUE1>; <COOKIE_NAME2>=<COOKIE_VALUE2>.
  2. Name: The name of your browser test.

  3. Select your tags: The tags attached to your browser test. Use the <KEY>:<VALUE> format to filter on a <VALUE> for a given <KEY> on the Synthetics page.

  4. Devices: The devices to run your check on. Available devices are Laptop Large, Tablet, and Mobile Small.

  5. Locations: The Datadog managed locations to run the test from. Many AWS locations from around the world are available. The full list is retrievable through the Datadog API. You can also set up a Private Location to run a Synthetics Browser test on a private URL not accessible from the public internet.

  6. How often should Datadog run the test? Intervals are available between every 15 minutes to once per week. Contact support to enable additional frequencies for your test.

Alert conditions

An alert is triggered if any assertion fails for <INSERT_NUMBER> minutes from any <INSERT_NUMBER> of <NUMBER_OF_CHOSEN> locations.


To configure your notifications:

  1. Enter a message for the browser test. This field allows standard Markdown formatting. Notification messages include the message defined in this section and information about which assertion failed and why.
  2. Choose your services and/or team members to notify.
  3. Click Save Details and Record Test to save your browser test.
  4. Start to record your test.

Record test

Tests can be only recorded from Google Chrome. To record your test, download the Datadog Record Test extension for Google Chrome.

  1. Optionally, select Open in a pop-up at the upper right of the page to open your test recording in a separate pop-up window in order to avoid sizing issues in the displayed window within Datadog’s interface.
  2. Click on Start recording to begin recording your browser test.
  3. Your actions are recorded and used to create steps within your browser test scenario. You can record the uploading of files as an action, though this is limited to 10 files, with a limit of 5MB each.
  4. Use the actions available in the upper left corner to enrich your scenario:

    Note: Your last browser test step must be an Assertion, otherwise there is nothing to check.

  5. Once you have finished your Scenario, click on Save and Launch Test.



Assertions allow you to check if an element, a content, or some text is available in the current page. The default timeout for each step is approximately 60 seconds. You can override the timeout for Assert that an element is present on the page by expanding the step and changing the Timeout value (in seconds).

Assert that an element is present on the pageAsserts that an element (such as a specific span, div, h, a, etc.) is present on the current page.
Check an element's contentSelect any element and check if it contains a specific value. For instance, you could select a div and check whether it contains the word “hello”.
Assert that some text is present anywhere on the pageAsserts that some specific text is present on the current page.
Assert that some text is nowhere on the pageAsserts that some specific text is NOT present on the current page.
Check main page URL's contentThis takes the URL of the last page that was interacted with, then asserts whether a specific value (string, number, regex) is present within it.

Advanced options for assertions allow you to specify an X-path or a CSS class or ID that you want to use to perform the element selection for any HTML element. For example, div, h1, or .hero-body. Once you define an element, hit Test, and it will highlight the element in the recording on the right.

The navigation action allow you to:

  • Refresh the current page of the scenario.
  • Follow a specific link.

Note: In the “Enter link URL” box, users must prepend URLs with http or https.


This browser test step isn’t added through an actual hovering mechanism (otherwise each element you are hovering would be added as a step) but using a dedicated action with a click.

After selecting the Hover action, click on the element you want to choose to create a new step.


Create a variable

To create a variable, first give it a name then define its value from:

  • An Element: Create a variable out of a span, div, etc. content by extracting the text of this element.
  • A Secure Credential: Store and use secure credential through Synthetics Settings)
  • A Pattern:
{{ numeric(n) }}Generates a numeric string with n digits.
{{ alphabetic(n) }}Generates an alphabetic string with n letters.
{{ alphanumeric(n) }}Generates an alphanumeric string with n characters.
Use the variable

Once created, use your variable to set an input text on a form or search bar. Use the little hand on your variable box to create an input step:

You can also use your variables in some assertions, including:

  • Check an element’s content
  • Assert text is present on the page
  • Assert the page does not contain text
  • Check main page URL’s content

To use your variables in one of your assertions, hit Use Variable and select the variable you want to use:


By default, Datadog waits for a page to be fully loaded before performing an action or a next step—with a timeout after 60 seconds. In some cases, however, you may wish to set a custom waiting time. For instance, if you know that a page or a page element is taking more than 60 seconds to load, you can leverage the wait step in order to extend that default timeout. If you choose to use this functionality, the value for your wait step must not exceed 300 seconds.

Note: This additional time is systematically added to each run of your browser test scenario.

Test failure and errors

A test is considered FAILED if it does not satisfy its assertions or if the request failed for another reason. You can view specific browser test errors by clicking on the error in the step results.

Common failure reasons include:

Element located but it's invisibleThe element is on the page but cannot be clicked on—for instance, if another element is overlaid on top of it.
Cannot locate elementThe element cannot be found in the HTML.
Select did not have optionThe specified option is missing from the dropdown menu.
Forbidden URLThe test likely encountered a protocol that is not supported. Reach out to Datadog support for further details.
General test failureA general error message. Contact support for further details.

Further Reading