VSTest.Console.exe command-line options

VSTest.Console.exe is the command-line tool to run tests. You can specify several options in any order on the command line. These options are listed in General command-line options.


The MSTest adapter in Visual Studio also works in legacy mode (equivalent to running tests with mstest.exe) for compatibility. In legacy mode, it can't take advantage of the TestCaseFilter feature. The adapter can switch to legacy mode when a testsettings file is specified, forcelegacymode is set to true in a runsettings file, or by using attributes such as HostType.

To run automated tests on an ARM architecture-based machine, you must use VSTest.Console.exe.

Open Developer Command Prompt to use the command-line tool, or you can find the tool in %Program Files(x86)%\Microsoft Visual Studio\<version>\<edition>\common7\ide\CommonExtensions\<Platform | Microsoft>.

General command-line options

The following table lists all the options for VSTest.Console.exe and short descriptions of them. You can see a similar summary by typing VSTest.Console/? at a command line.

Option Description
[test file names] Run tests from the specified files. Separate multiple test file names with spaces.
Examples: mytestproject.dll, mytestproject.dll myothertestproject.exe
/Settings:[file name] Run tests with additional settings such as data collectors. For more information, see Configure unit tests using a .runsettings file
Example: /Settings:local.runsettings
/Tests:[test name] Run tests with names that contain the provided values. This command matches against the full test name, including the namespace. To provide multiple values, separate them by commas.
Example: /Tests:TestMethod1,testMethod2
The /Tests command-line option cannot be used with the /TestCaseFilter command-line option.
/Parallel Specifies that the tests be executed in parallel. By default, up to all available cores on the machine can be used. You can configure the number of cores to use in a settings file.
/Enablecodecoverage Enables data diagnostic adapter CodeCoverage in the test run.
Default settings are used if not specified using settings file.
/InIsolation Runs the tests in an isolated process.
This isolation makes the vstest.console.exe process less likely to be stopped on an error in the tests, but tests might run slower.
/UseVsixExtensions This option makes the vstest.console.exe process use or skip the VSIX extensions installed (if any) in the test run.
This option is deprecated. Starting from the next major release of Visual Studio this option may be removed. Move to consuming extensions made available as a NuGet package.
Example: /UseVsixExtensions:true
/TestAdapterPath:[path] Forces the vstest.console.exe process to use custom test adapters from a specified path (if any) in the test run.
Example: /TestAdapterPath:[pathToCustomAdapters]
/Platform:[platform type] Forces the given platform to be used, instead of the platform determined from the current runtime. This option is able to force only x86, and x64 platforms on Windows. The ARM option is broken and will result in x64 on most systems.
Do NOT specify this option to run on runtimes that are not in the list of valid values such as ARM64.
Valid values are x86, x64, and ARM.
/Framework: [framework version] Target .NET version to be used for test execution.
Example values are Framework35, Framework40, Framework45, FrameworkUap10, .NETCoreApp,Version=v1.1.
TargetFrameworkAttribute is used to automatically detect this option from your assembly, and defaults to Framework40 when the attribute is not present. You must specify this option explicitly if you remove the TargetFrameworkAttribute from your .NET Core assemblies.
If the target framework is specified as Framework35, the tests run in CLR 4.0 "compatibility mode".
Example: /Framework:framework40
/TestCaseFilter:[expression] Run tests that match the given expression.
<Expression> is of the format <property>=<value>[|<Expression>].
Example: /TestCaseFilter:"Priority=1"
Example: /TestCaseFilter:"TestCategory=Nightly|FullyQualifiedName=Namespace.ClassName.MethodName"
The /TestCaseFilter command-line option cannot be used with the /Tests command-line option.
For information about creating and using expressions, see TestCase filter.
/? Displays usage information.
/Logger:[uri/friendlyname] Specify a logger for test results. Specify the parameter multiple times to enable multiple loggers.
Example: To log results into a Visual Studio Test Results File (TRX), use
[;LogFileName=<Defaults to unique file name>]
/ListTests:[file name] Lists discovered tests from the given test container.
Note: The /TestCaseFilters option has no effect when listing tests; it only controls which tests get run.
/ListDiscoverers Lists installed test discoverers.
/ListExecutors Lists installed test executors.
/ListLoggers Lists installed test loggers.
/ListSettingsProviders Lists installed test settings providers.
/Blame Runs the tests in blame mode. This option is helpful in isolating problematic tests that cause the test host to crash. When a crash is detected, it creates a sequence file in TestResults/<Guid>/<Guid>_Sequence.xml that captures the order of tests that were run before the crash. For more information, see Blame data collector.
/Diag:[file name] Writes diagnostic trace logs to the specified file.
/ResultsDirectory:[path] Test results directory will be created in specified path if not exists.
Example: /ResultsDirectory:<pathToResultsDirectory>
/ParentProcessId:[parentProcessId] Process ID of the Parent Process responsible for launching current process.
/Port:[port] The Port for socket connection and receiving the event messages.
/Collect:[dataCollector friendlyName] Enables data collector for the test run. More information.


The options and values are not case-sensitive.


The syntax for running vstest.console.exe is:

vstest.console.exe [TestFileNames] [Options]

By default, the command returns 0 when it exits normally, even if no tests are discovered. If you want to return a non-zero value if no tests are discovered, use <TreatNoTestsAsError>true</TreatNoTestsAsError> runsettings option.

The following command runs vstest.console.exe for the test library myTestProject.dll:

vstest.console.exe myTestProject.dll

The following command runs vstest.console.exe with multiple test files. Separate test file names with spaces:

vstest.console.exe myTestFile.dll myOtherTestFile.dll

The following command runs vstest.console.exe with several options. It runs the tests in the myTestFile.dll file in an isolated process and uses settings specified in the Local.RunSettings file. Additionally, it only runs tests marked "Priority=1", and logs the results to a .trx file.

vstest.console.exe myTestFile.dll /Settings:Local.RunSettings /InIsolation /TestCaseFilter:"Priority=1" /Logger:trx

The following command runs vstest.console.exe with the /blame option for the test library myTestProject.dll:

vstest.console.exe myTestFile.dll /blame

If a test host crash happened, the sequence.xml file is generated. The file contains fully qualified names of the tests in their sequence of execution up to and including the specific test that was running at the time of the crash.

If there is no test host crash, the sequence.xml file will not be generated.

Example of a generated sequence.xml file:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
  <Test Name="TestProject.UnitTest1.TestMethodB" Source="D:\repos\TestProject\TestProject\bin\Debug\TestProject.dll" />
  <Test Name="TestProject.UnitTest1.TestMethodA" Source="D:\repos\TestProject\TestProject\bin\Debug\TestProject.dll" />

UWP example

For UWP, the appxrecipe file must be referenced instead of a DLL.

vstest.console.exe /Logger:trx /Platform:x64 /framework:frameworkuap10 UnitTestsUWP\bin\x64\Release\UnitTestsUWP.build.appxrecipe