Troubleshooting UIAutomatorviewer Issues in Appium Testing

Troubleshooting UIAutomatorviewer Issues in Appium Testing

5 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When automating Android applications with Appium, a common tool for inspecting elements is the UIAutomatorviewer, which comes with the Android SDK. However, users may encounter an error message stating:

Error obtaining UI hierarchy
Reason: Error while obtaining UI hierarchy XML object doesn’t exist.

This error can be frustrating, but there are solutions to overcome this obstacle and continue with your testing process. In this article, we will explore practical steps to fix this issue and ensure a smooth inspection of elements within your Android app.

Solution: Ensuring Appium Server Is Not Running

The most common reason for encountering this error is attempting to use the UIAutomatorviewer while the Appium server is active. To resolve this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Stop the Appium server if it is running.
  2. Open the UIAutomatorviewer to inspect elements.
  3. After inspecting elements, you can restart the Appium server for further testing.

By ensuring that the Appium server is not running during your use of UIAutomatorviewer, you can avoid the error and successfully inspect UI elements.

Additional Tips for Troubleshooting

  • Restarting Devices: Sometimes, the simplest solution can be the most effective. Try restarting both your Android device and the UIAutomatorviewer.
  • Permissions Adjustment: Ensure that the permissions for the /data/local/tmp directory on your Android device are set correctly. This can be done by executing the command chmod 777 /data/local/tmp after switching to the root user in the Android device’s shell.
  • Screen State: Verify that the screen is static during the capturing process. Animated elements such as a blinking cursor can interfere with UIAutomator’s ability to capture the UI hierarchy.
  • Alternatives to UIAutomatorviewer: If you are unable to resolve the issue with UIAutomatorviewer, consider using other tools such as the Chrome browser’s Inspect Devices feature for inspecting web content on Android.

By following these guidelines and exploring alternative methods, you should be able to overcome the challenges associated with UI hierarchy inspection in Appium and continue developing your automated tests with confidence.

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