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Upgrading to Selenium 4 for Sauce Labs Testing

This doc will guide you through how to upgrade to Selenium 4, which was released in late 2021.

Selenium 4 is designed to be a straightforward drop-in replacement for previous versions, however, you'll need to be aware of the new and deprecated features that may impact your Sauce Labs automated tests. This is especially important if you've built custom functionalities in your testing framework.

What You'll Learn

  • How to adjust your tests and dependencies to work with Selenium 4
  • How to prevent and resolve potential issues that could arise during your upgrade to Selenium 4

What You’ll Need

  • A Sauce Labs account (Log in or sign up for a free trial license)
  • A working development environment for one of the supported Selenium 4 programming languages: JavaScript, Java, Python, Ruby, or C#.

Although Selenium 4 has JavaScript bindings, we recommend using WebdriverIO instead when running tests on Sauce Labs.

W3C WebDriver-Compliant Sessions

Selenium 4 deprecates support for legacy JSON Wire Protocol (JWP). As part of this change, Selenium is moving away from the less-structured Desired Capabilities classes to Browser Options classes. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Facilitates creation of W3C WebDriver-compliant capabilities.
  • Simplifies the configuration needed to start a new session.
  • Allows you to set both defined W3C Capabilities and browser-specific settings.
  • Reduces the chances of browser misconfiguration.


You can use the following defined W3C WebDriver-compliant capabilities in your Sauce Labs tests:

  • browserName
  • browserVersion
  • platformName
  • acceptInsecureCerts
  • pageLoadStrategy
  • proxy
  • timeouts
  • unhandledPromptBehavior

Any capability not listed above must include a vendor prefix (i.e., moz:firefoxOptions, goog:chromeOptions, ms:edgeOptions). This rule applies to both browser-specific capabilities and Sauce Labs-specific capabilities.

As an example, Firefox-specific capabilities need to be nested inside of moz:firefoxOptions or other moz:<xyz> keys. If you use a Browser Options class, no additional action is required. For Sauce Labs testing, however, you'll need to create a Hash or Dictionary of Sauce Labs-specific settings and place it inside of a sauce:options object. See the examples in the next section.

Converting Capabilities to Options

In the snippets below, Recommended Code contains our recommendations for Selenium 4, while those marked Deprecated contain code commonly used in Selenium 3.x or below.

All valid sauce:options parameters listed in the snippets are described in our Test Configuration Options documentation.


Use our Platform Configurator to auto-generate test configuration options in the language of your choice to copy and paste into your Selenium source code.

Recommended Code
Deprecated Code
DesiredCapabilities caps = DesiredCapabilities.firefox();
caps.setCapability("platform", "Windows 10");
caps.setCapability("version", "92");
caps.setCapability("build", myTestBuild);
caps.setCapability("name", myTestName);
WebDriver driver = new RemoteWebDriver(new URL(sauceUrl), caps);

Remote WebDriverBuilder

Java only

An alternative way to start your session in Java is with the RemoteWebDriverBuilder. This class has a few advantages for Sauce Labs users, including automatic driver augmentation (this is required for several of the new features below), and the ability to set HTTP Client settings like read timeouts.

RemoteWebDriverBuilder example

New Features

Here are the new Selenium 4 features that you can use in your Sauce Labs tests, along with code snippet examples for each supported programming language.

Relative Locators

Relative locators allow you to identify elements in relationship to each other as they are displayed on the page, using natural, language-friendly terms, such as “above”, “below”, “left of”, “right of”, and “near”.


If you change the browser window size or add/remove anything on your webpage, this could change which element is located.

Relative Locators

New Window

This feature allows you to create and switch to a new (blank) tab or window.

Create New Window
Create New Tab

This feature allows you to print a page as a PDF in Chrome, Firefox and Edge. You can apply customizations including (but not limited to) page size, range, margins, background, and shrink-to-fit. Here are code examples with the defaults:


For Chrome and Edge, this only works in Headless mode.

Print Page

Element Attribute vs Property

The Selenium 3.x method for getting an element's attribute does not actually give you the element's attribute.

Selenium 4 better clarifies the difference between an element and an attribute, and provides you with the value you likely intended. Because this magic can not be precisely specified for W3C WebDriver capabilities, two new methods were created.

The original method hasn't changed, but using it will be slightly less performant on Sauce Labs, as well as less precise. The new methods are named slightly differently in each language.

Below are some examples showing the behavior of these attribute and property methods.

Attributes vs Properties

Chromium Edge Options

Selenium 4 allows you to apply custom Chromium Edge Options.

When the latest version of Selenium 3 was released, Microsoft Edge was still being implemented with the now-deprecated EdgeHTML browser engine. None of the custom options for working with the Chromium version of Edge were available in Selenium 3.

Chromium Edge Options

Timeout Getters

This is a long-requested feature. Selenium 3 allowed you to set timeouts whenever you liked, but did not provide a way to query the driver for the current timeout values. Selenium 4 provides that ability now.


Best practice is to set the timeout values in the Options class when starting the session and then ignore them during the test (i.e., do not use the setters or getters).

Get Timeouts

Network Conditions

Chrome and Edge only

Selenium 4 provides a set of parameters to modify network conditions, such as:

  • Going offline
  • Setting a latency for the connection
  • Altering the upload or download throughput

This can be useful to test web apps under different network conditions.


Sauce Labs also provides the ability to throttle network settings through our Extended Debugging feature.

Network Conditions

Full-Page Screenshots

Firefox only

Features like "infinite scroll" make it impossible to explicitly define what a "full page" entails for a W3C specification. As such, the default screenshot method in Selenium 3 only returns what is visible in the Viewport. For Selenium 4, Mozilla implemented a separate method to allow for a full-page screenshot in Firefox.

Full Page Screenshot

Install and Uninstall Add-ons

Firefox only

All other browser drivers except for Firefox allow you to install extensions with the Browser Options class. For Firefox, you'll need to install a separate method after the browser has been started.

Install and Uninstall Add-ons

Change Preferences During Session

Firefox only

In Selenium 3, you can only set preferences in the Capabilities at the beginning of a test. Firefox has provided a way in Selenium 4 to update things whenever you want during a session. This is done by toggling the context between "chrome" and "content".

Here are some examples of using the "chrome" context to change the default accepted language of the browser:


Most Selenium commands are not valid in the "chrome" context. Be sure to switch back after using it.

Change Context

Bidirectional APIs

We support all new Selenium 4 features except for Bidirectional APIs. While we're working hard to add full support, we do provide similar functionality through our Extended Debugging feature, which allows you to:

  • Intercept network requests to mock backends
  • Throttling performance of both network and CPU
  • Access console and network logs

Upgrading Your Dependencies

Check the sections below to install Selenium 4 and have your project dependencies upgraded.

The process of upgrading Selenium depends on which build tool is being used. We will cover the most common ones for JavaScript, Java (Maven and Gradle), Python, Ruby, and C#.

The selenium-webdriver package can be found at the Node package manager, npmjs. The latest JavaScript version can be found here. To install it, you could either:
  • Execute npm install selenium-webdriver
  • or update your package. json and run npm install:
    "name": "selenium-tests",
    "version": "1.0.0",
    "dependencies": {
    "selenium-webdriver": "^4.0.0"

Potential Errors and Deprecation Messages

Below are code examples that can help resolve deprecation messages you might encounter after upgrading to Selenium 4.

Find Element(s) Utility Methods

Java only

FindsBy interfaces, utility methods to find elements in the Java bindings, have been removed, as they were meant for internal use only. In Example 2, you'll see that all the findElements* have been removed as well.

Example 1


Example 2


Timeout Parameters

Java only

The parameters received in Timeout have switched from expecting (long time, TimeUnit unit) to expect (Duration duration).


Wait Parameters

Waits are also expecting different parameters now. WebDriverWait is now expecting a Duration instead of a long for timeout in seconds and milliseconds. The withTimeout and pollingEvery utility methods from FluentWait have switched from expecting (long time, TimeUnit unit) to expect (Duration duration).

new WebDriverWait(driver, Duration.ofSeconds(3))

Wait<WebDriver> wait = new FluentWait<WebDriver>(driver)

Merging Capabilities

Prior to Selenium 4, you could merge one set of capabilities into different set, and this would mutate the calling object. With Selenium 4, this is deprecated; you'll need to manually assign the result of the merge operation.

MutableCapabilities capabilities = new MutableCapabilities();
capabilities.setCapability("platformVersion", "Windows 10");
FirefoxOptions options = new FirefoxOptions();
options = options.merge(capabilities);
The result of the merge call needs to be assigned to an object.

Firefox Legacy

Before GeckoDriver was around, the Selenium project had a driver implementation to automate Firefox versions below 48. With the release of Selenium 4, this implementation is not needed anymore, as it does not work in recent versions of Firefox.

To avoid major issues when upgrading to Selenium 4, the setLegacy option will be shown as deprecated. We recommend relying only on GeckoDriver, rather than using the old implementation. The following code will show the setLegacy line deprecated after upgrading.

FirefoxOptions options = new FirefoxOptions();

Browser Interface

With Selenium 4, the BrowserType interface will be deprecated and replaced by the new Browser interface.

MutableCapabilities capabilities = new MutableCapabilities();
capabilities.setCapability("browserVersion", "92");
capabilities.setCapability("browserName", Browser.FIREFOX);


C# only

The AddAdditionalCapability capability is deprecated in Selenium 4. Instead, we recommend using AddAdditionalOption.

var browserOptions = new ChromeOptions();
browserOptions.PlatformName = "Windows 10";
browserOptions.BrowserVersion = "latest";
var sauceOptions = new Dictionary<string, object>();
browserOptions.AddAdditionalOption("sauce:options", sauceOptions);

More Information

Comprehensive Guide to S4

See Sauce Labs | A Comprehensive Guide to Selenium 4.

Frequently Asked Questions

See Frequently Asked Questions About Selenium 4.