When developing a desktop application, it must have stable and reliable code. One way to do this is by using automated tests. Doing so helps catch errors with your code before they become an issue for your users.

And if you don’t know how to start testing desktop applications, this quick guide will help you out.

But first, discover the difference between automated desktop testing and web testing.

Desktop Testing vs. Web Testing

Confused which one is right for you? Here’s a breakdown of desktop testing vs. web testing.

Desktop TestingWeb Testing
FunctionEnsures the software of your desktop computer is working correctlyChecks if the website is functioning perfectly
Required OSOught to test on a handful of OS and hardware combinationsRequires many different browsers and devices that users might use
FocusDesktop tests often focus on functional tests and verify if a feature works as expected.Web tests focus on functional tests but also consider performance and security issues.
UsesChecks buttons and links for compatibility with different browsers and operating systemsChecks broken links, tests the payment gateway, and checks the site’s security

4 Best Desktop Application Testing Tools in the Market

Now that you’re 100% positive that you want to do desktop testing, here are some of the top tools you can use for desktop application automation:


With this software, you can quickly test desktop apps on Windows 10 and 8.1 using any testing framework. Doing so ensures your apps are working correctly before releasing them to the public.

Besides that, this open-source tool is excellent for testing:

  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
  • Windows Forms
  • Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps

To use WinAppDriver, you need to have the following:

  • A Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 machine
  • Visual Studio 2015 or later
  • The Windows application driver installer
  • A testing framework of your choice (MSTest, NUnit, etc.)

Once you have the prerequisites installed, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install the WinAppDriver tool from Microsoft.
  2. Follow the instructions on the Microsoft website to set up your environment.
  3. Once you have everything set up, launch the WinAppDriver tool.
  4. In the WinAppDriver tool, specify the path to your application under test and click “Start.”
  5. WinAppDriver will now launch your application and start recording user actions. To stop recording, click “Stop.”
  6. You can now view the recorded actions in the WinAppDriver tool. From here, you can edit or delete steps as needed.
  7. To run your test, click “Run.” WinAppDriver will now execute the recorded actions on your application under test.


This software allows you to control GUI components on your desktop. You can use it to automate tasks, test applications, and even create simple games.

To use SikuliX for desktop automation, you must:

  1. Install SikuliX on your computer.
  2. Launch SikuliX and create a new project.
  3. Add an image of the element you want to automate. For example, if you automate clicking on a button, add a photo of that button.
  4. Write a script to tell SikuliX which actions you want it to perform. For example, you could tell it to click on the button image whenever it appears on the screen.
  5. Run your script and watch SikuliX perform the automated task.


Pywinauto is a tool that lets you automate Windows desktop applications. It’s great for functional testing, regression testing, and desktop automation.

Plus, this tool is super easy to use and doesn’t require any coding skills. You can use it to automate any Windows desktop application, including those that don’t have an API.

Here’s a quick guide on using Pywinauto for your testing needs:

  1. Download and install Pywinauto.
  2. Create a new Python script file.
  3. Import Pywinauto and create a Pywinauto Application object.
  4. Use the Application object to get references to individual Windows in your application.
  5. Call methods on those Windows objects to control the application’s UI.
  6. Check the application’s UI state to verify if it’s working as expected.
  7. Repeat step five as needed to automate your test case.
  8. Call the application object’s close “()” method to clean up.
  9. Rerun your script with different input data to test different scenarios.
  10. Modify your script to add new functionality or improve its reliability.
  11. Share your results with your team.


Jubula is an automated functional GUI testing tool to test desktop java applications. It’s developed and maintained by BREDEX GmbH.

This desktop test automation tool has two components:

  1. Jubula Functional Test Tool. It consists of an Eclipse-based IDE to create and run automated functional GUI tests.
  2. Jubula Test Automation Server. It runs the actual tests (i.e., the part that interacts with the AUT).

Here are some tips on how to get the most out of Jubula:

  1. Create a test project for your desktop application. Doing so will help you keep track of all your tests in one place.
  2. In your test project, create a test suite for each window or dialog in your application. This step will help you organize your tests and make them easy to find.
  3. Record a ‘test case’ by performing the steps manually to automate a test. Jubula will then generate code to replay the steps automatically.
  4. Create ‘test suites’ groups of related test cases. Test suites can run together or individually as needed.
  5. Once you have created some test cases and suites, run them using the ‘Execution Scheduler.’ Doing so will ensure your tests are always up-to-date.

By following this guide, you won’t let your desktop applications break. And remember to use automated tests to guarantee your desktop apps run correctly.

Taylor Gilbert is the admin and freelance writer at How About Tech since 2020. He primarily writes Tech articles, How-to guides and Entertainment as well.