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Session Settings

Appium has a set of extension APIs that allow you to adjust parameters for a given session during the session itself. Called "Settings", these parameters are similar to Capabilities, but while Capabilities cannot be adjusted once a session has started, Settings can be adjusted any number of times during the course of a session.

There are 3 important points to the concept of Settings:

  • Settings are mutable; they can be changed during a session using the Settings API
  • Settings are only relevant during the session in which they are set. They are typically reset for each new session, though depending on the driver, some settings may persist between sessions
  • Settings only adjust the way the Appium server behaves during test automation. They do not affect the device or app under test

An example of a setting would be the ignoreUnimportantViews setting recognized by the UiAutomator2 driver. The driver can be instructed to ignore elements in the view hierarchy which it deems irrelevant. Changing this setting to true can cause tests to run faster. But if later in the same session you want to access elements which would be ignored under this setting, you can always change it back to false.

Settings are implemented via the following API endpoints:

Params Description Returns
Update Settings POST /session/:id/appium/settings settings (Record<string, any>) Update the provided setting values null
Get Settings GET /session/:id/appium/settings Return the current settings settings (Record<string, any>)

The settings object must be a set of keys and values, where the key is the setting name, and the value is any documented valid value for that setting.


Settings are driver-specific, so refer to your driver's documentation for a list of supported settings

Initializing Settings via Capabilities

If you want to start an Appium session with a setting in a non-default state, you can do so by including a capability of the form appium:settings[<name>] with the appropriate value. So to turn on the ignoreUnimportantViews setting mentioned above from the very beginning of a session, you would construct a set of capabilities that includes the following in its JSON representation:

    "appium:settings[ignoreUnimportantViews]": true

Also, since Appium 2.1, there is a possibility to provide multiple settings in a single appium:settings capability value:

    "appium:settings": {
        "ignoreUnimportantViews": true,
        "allowInvisibleElements": true

Of course, initializing a setting via capabilities doesn't prevent you from changing it later on via the Settings API. To learn more about how to use the Settings API in the context of your specific client library, visit the documentation for that client.