Troubleshooting Android Espresso UI Test Errors

Troubleshooting Android Espresso UI Test Errors

11 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Understanding Espresso Action Constraints

When conducting UI tests using the Espresso framework for Android applications, developers may encounter errors related to view action constraints. A common issue arises when an action, such as a button click, fails because the target view does not fulfill certain visibility constraints imposed by Espresso.

Specifically, Espresso requires that at least 90 percent of the view’s area must be displayed to the user before it will perform actions on it. This requirement ensures that any interaction with the UI elements reflects the user’s actual experience.

Diagnosing the Issue

If a test fails with an error indicating that the target view is not sufficiently displayed, there are several potential causes to consider:

  • The view might be partially obscured by other UI elements.
  • The view could be off-screen due to a scrollable layout such as ScrollView or ListView.
  • The layout configuration might not display the view completely on all device screens.

To address this, you can modify your test to ensure the target view is in the viewport before attempting to interact with it.

Resolving Visibility Issues

To ensure the target view is fully visible, you may need to adjust your test code. The following snippet demonstrates how you can scroll to the view before performing the click action:

    .perform(scrollTo(), click());

This approach ensures that the view is scrolled into view if it’s contained within a scrollable container.

Verifying Complete Display of Views

For a more robust solution, especially when working with different screen sizes, you can verify that a view is completely displayed before performing actions on it. Replace the isDisplayed() check with isCompletelyDisplayed() as shown below:


This check confirms that more than 90% of the view’s area is visible to the user, aligning with Espresso’s action constraints.

Additional Considerations

If the visibility issue persists, consider the following additional steps:

  • Run your test on a device with a larger screen to see if the problem is screen-size related.
  • Review your layout XML files to ensure that the views are not being partially hidden or obscured by other elements.
  • Check for any dynamic UI elements that may affect the layout during test execution.


Debugging Espresso tests requires a careful examination of both the test code and the application’s UI layout. By ensuring that target views are fully visible and by using the correct matchers and actions, most visibility-related issues can be resolved, leading to more stable and reliable UI tests.

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