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How to: Run Manual Tests

Running manual tests using Test Runner can help you identify problems in your application. Problems that are typically identified when you run manual tests include incorrect functionality or bugs, poor performance, and security and connectivity issues. The outcome, resolutions, and comments that you can enter during a manual test are saved as test results.


  • Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Test Professional

This procedure describes how to run a manual test that is ready for use. Before you run a manual test, you must first create a manual test. For more information, see How to: Create a Manual Test Case.

Selecting test to run in Microsoft Test ManagerStart test dialogRunning tests with Test Runner

For more information about keyboard shortcuts to use when you run a manual test, see Keyboard Shortcuts for Microsoft Test Manager.


To record audio, you must have an audio recording device configured on your computer. If you access Test Runner from a remote device, you might have to configure remote audio. For more information, see Enable Audio Capture.

To run a manual test

  1. Open Microsoft Test Manager.


    To display the Microsoft Test Manager window, choose Start, and then choose All Programs. Point to Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 and then choose Microsoft Test Manager.

  2. On the center group switcher, choose the down-arrow and then choose Testing Center.

  3. In the center group menu bar, choose Test.

  4. In the menu under the center group menu bar, choose Run Tests if it is not already selected.

  5. In the left pane, under Run Tests, select either the test plan or the test suite listed under the test plan containing the test that you want to run.


    You can choose Filter to help you search for test matching. You can use the Tester drop-down list box to filter by to whom tests are assigned, or you can filter by Configurations.

    The right side pane displays the test cases within the selected test suite.


    When you run the tests from the test suite, the tests will be listed in Test Runner in the order shown in your test suite. You can change the order of the test in Microsoft Test Manager. For more information, see How to: Change the Order of Test Cases in a Test Suite.

  6. Choose the test case and then choose Run.


    Select Run with options to specify a build to run the test on, or to override the test settings and environment settings for the test plan. For more information about this, see How to: Override Settings in Your Test Plan for Test Runs.

    Test Runner opens.


    If this is the first time that you have tried to run a test after you installed Microsoft Test Manager and you have not restarted your machine after you complete the installation, you will be prompted to restart your computer and start your test again.

  7. In Test Runner, you are prompted to Start Test with the option to Create action recording. Leave the Create action recording clear and choose Start Test.

    You can increase the speed and efficiency of tests using action recordings. For more information about how to use the Create action recording option, see How to: Create an Action Recording.


    If you have configured test settings to create an action log for the test being run, selecting the Create action recording option will use the settings that you configured. If you did not configure the actions diagnostic data adapter in your test settings, then the default values are used to create your action recording. For more information, see How to: Choose the applications that are recorded in a manual test.


    If your test setting includes collecting IntelliTrace data, you must start the application after the tests are loaded in Test Runner. For more information, see How to: Collect IntelliTrace Data to Help Debug Difficult Issues.

  8. Perform the steps in the test.


    If any of the steps in your test uses parameters, you will see this information displayed in the test steps. You can copy this data and use it in your application under test. For more information, see How to: Run Multiple Iterations of a Test Using Different Data Parameters.

    During each step of the test, you can optionally perform the following tasks provided by the toolbar in Test Runner.



    End the manual test and save the result

    To end the test at any time, click End test. To save the results and return to Microsoft Test Manager, choose Save and Close.

    If you end the test before you have completed all the steps, the test will be recorded as Failed.

    Discard the test

    Close the Test Runner window.

    Pause and resume the manual test

    To suspend the test at any time, choose Pause. If you are recording the test, choosing Pause also pauses the video recording or any other diagnostic data adapters. To resume the test, video recording and any other diagnostic data adapters, choose Resume.

    [Visual Studio 2012.1 – Visual Studio and TFS] While the test is paused, you can choose Save and Close to return to Microsoft Test Manager. You can do other work, including running other tests, before resuming the paused test.

    Inspect and edit the test case definition

    Click the name of the test case.

    Reset the manual test

    During a test, you can reset the test using Reset and start the test over again. For more information, see How to: Reset a Manual Test

    Submit a bug

    If you discover a defect in the application during a test step, you can create a bug using Create bug. For more information, see How to: Submit a Bug using Test Runner

    Capture a screenshot

    To help clarify issues discovered during a test, you can optionally include screenshots while you are testing an application using Capture rectangular screen shot. For more information, see How to: Capture a Screenshot while Running a Test

    Add a comment

    For each step in the test, you can optionally include comments to provide details and useful information that you discover using Add comment to step result. For more information, see How to: Add a Comment while Running a Test

    Attach a relevant file

    During a test, you can optionally attach a file associated with the application you are testing, for example an output file that the application generated. To attach a file to the test, use Add attachment to step result. For more information, see How to: Attach a File while Running a Test

    Take environmental snapshot

    If you are running your test using an SCVMM environment, you can optionally attach a snapshot of the environment while you are performing a test using Take environment snapshot. Fore more information, see How to: Run Manual Tests and Create Reproducible Bugs in SCVMM Environments.

  9. To mark the result of a test step, choose the drop-down arrow next to the active icon (with a blue vertical line) to the right of the test step and then choose either Pass or Fail.


    You can select multiple steps and mark them as either passed or failed. Additionally, you can mark the entire test as either passed or failed.

    You can use the following global shortcut keys to mark a test step without changing the input focus from the application under test:

    • Pass test step: Win+Ctrl+Q

    • Fail test step: Win+Ctrl+W


    If it is a validation test step and you do not mark the test step as passed or failed, the test result is automatically marked as failed. You should verify the expected results for all validation test steps and mark the test step based on the actual results.

  10. When you have finished testing, choose End Test.

  11. In the toolbar at the top of Test Runner choose Save and Close to save your test results to the Team Foundation Server and close Test Runner.

    You can view the test results in the testing center in Microsoft Test Manager. For more information, see How to: View Manual Test Case Results Using Microsoft Test Manager.

See Also


How to: Reset a Manual Test

How to: Create an Action Recording

How to: Use Shared Steps while Running a Test

How to: Include Recordings of the Screen and Voice During Tests Using Test Settings


Running Manual Tests Using Test Runner

Recording and Playing Back Manual Tests