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Screenshots and Videos

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What you'll learn

  • How Cypress captures screenshots of test failures automatically
  • How to manually capture your own screenshot
  • How Cypress can record a video of the entire run
  • Some options of what to do with screenshot and video artifacts
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Debugging Cypress Cloud Test Runs?

Don't rely on artifact representations or reproducing failing conditions locally. Replay the test as it executed during the recorded run with full debug capability using Test Replay.

Screenshots

Cypress comes with the ability to take screenshots, whether you are running via cypress open or cypress run, even in CI.

To take a manual screenshot you can use the cy.screenshot() command.

Additionally, Cypress will automatically capture screenshots when a failure happens during cypress run. Screenshots on failure are not automatically taken during cypress open.

Capturing of screenshots when a test fails can be turned off entirely by setting screenshotOnRunFailure to false from within the Cypress configuration or by setting screenshotOnRunFailure to false in the Cypress.Screenshot.defaults().

Screenshots are stored in the screenshotsFolder which is set to cypress/screenshots by default.

Cypress clears any existing screenshots before cypress run. If you do not want to clear your screenshots folder before a run, you can set trashAssetsBeforeRuns to false.

Videos

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Currently, Cypress supports video recording for supported Chromium-based browsers (Chrome/Electron/Edge). Support for Firefox can be tracked in this issue.

Video recording is disabled by default, but can be turned on by setting video to true from within your configuration.

If enabled, Cypress records a video for each spec file when running tests during cypress run. Videos are not recorded during cypress open.

const { defineConfig } = require('cypress')

module.exports = defineConfig({
video: true,
})

Videos are stored in the videosFolder which is set to cypress/videos by default.

When using the --record flag while running your tests, videos are processed, compressed, and uploaded to Cypress Cloud after every spec file runs, successful or not. To change this behavior to only process videos in the case that tests fail, see how to delete videos for specs without failing or retried tests. Deleting the video will cause the video to not be uploaded to Cypress Cloud.

Cypress clears any existing videos before a cypress run. If you do not want to clear your videos folder before a run, you can set trashAssetsBeforeRuns to false.

Video encoding

After a video is recorded, Cypress encodes the video to a commonly digestable format. Part of this encoding process includes video compression.

Compression is disabled by default, meaning this step will be skipped completely, so the file size of the video will be larger, but the encoding process is faster. Setting videoCompression to true will coerce the video compression value to 32 Constant Rate Factor (CRF), which takes longer to process, but results in a smaller video.

Enabling compression

const { defineConfig } = require('cypress')

module.exports = defineConfig({
videoCompression: true,
})

If your spec files have a long run duration and videoCompression is enabled, you might notice a time gap between a finished spec and a new spec starting during cypress run. During this time, Cypress is encoding the captured video and possibly uploading it to Cypress Cloud.

Change compression value from 32

const { defineConfig } = require('cypress')

module.exports = defineConfig({
videoCompression: 15,
})

In addition to enabling or disabling video compress, you can specify the CRF value used to compress the video. Here are some common scenarios:

  • If the machine is encoding the video slowly (which is often the case for virtual machines that use less CPU cores), try increasing the CRF value.

  • If your videos are extremely low quality, try decreasing the CRF value.

A lower videoCompression value will spend less time compressing and result in a bigger video file size and higher quality video.

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If you are an FFmpeg pro and want to see all the settings and debug messages during the encoding, run Cypress with the following environment variable: DEBUG=cypress:server:video cypress run

Control which videos to keep and upload to Cypress Cloud

You may want to have more control over which videos you want to keep and upload to Cypress Cloud. Deleting videos after the run can save resource space on the machine as well as skip the time used to process, compress, and upload the video to Cypress Cloud.

To only process videos in the case that a test fails, you can delete videos for specs without failing or retried tests, which will not upload the video of passed runs to Cypress Cloud.

For more fine grained control, you can use Cypress's after:spec event listener that fires after each spec file is run and delete the video when certain conditions are met.

Delete videos for specs without failing or retried tests

The example below shows how to delete the recorded video for specs that had no retry attempts or failures when using Cypress test retries.

const { defineConfig } = require('cypress')
const fs = require('fs')

module.exports = defineConfig({
// setupNodeEvents can be defined in either
// the e2e or component configuration
e2e: {
setupNodeEvents(on, config) {
on('after:spec', (spec, results) => {
if (results && results.video) {
// Do we have failures for any retry attempts?
const failures = results.tests.some((test) =>
test.attempts.some((attempt) => attempt.state === 'failed')
)
if (!failures) {
// delete the video if the spec passed and no tests retried
fs.unlinkSync(results.video)
}
}
})
},
},
})

Now What?

So you are capturing screenshots and recording videos of your test runs, now what?

Share Them With Your Team

Something you can take advantage of today is Cypress Cloud: our companion enterprise service that stores your artifacts for you and lets you view them from any web browser, as well as share them with your team.

Visual Regression Test / Screenshot Diffing

Another possibility is visual regression testing: comparing screenshots of past runs with the current run to ensure that nothing changed. Read about how to implement visual testing.

See also