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Run manual tests with Microsoft Test Manager

TFS 2017 | TFS 2015
Visual Studio 2017 | Visual Studio 2015


Microsoft Test Manager has been deprecated. It has been replaced with Azure Test Plans, a fully featured test management solution. Microsoft Test Manager 2017, which shipped with Microsoft Visual Studio 2017, is the last version available.

Microsoft Test Runner sits at the side of the screen while you test your application. It displays the steps you planned and the results you expected, and you check them off as you work. It can record your actions along with comments, screenshots, and other data, so that if you find a bug, it's easy to reproduce.

To use all the features described in this article, you must have one of the following subscriptions:

Or, configure Basic + Test Plans access level.

See Manual testing permissions and access.

The web portal or Microsoft Test Runner? Use the web-based test runner in Azure Test Plans or the Test hub in TFS when you want to test web applications, and Microsoft Test Runner for desktop applications. You can launch Microsoft Test Runner from Azure Test Plans or the Test hub in TFS, instead of using Microsoft Test Manager.

Running test cases with Microsoft Test Runner

  1. Get ready to test. Here are a few things you might need to do before running your tests:

  2. Run a test case.

    Run a test case

    TIP If you are already looking at a test case in the web portal, you can start Test Runner directly from there by choosing Run in Client.

    Test Runner appears at the side of the screen. It will stay there while you work with your application.

  3. Create an action recording so that you can quickly repeat the test later.

    Start your application, then the test run

  4. Follow the steps in the test. Mark each step as either Passed or Failed. When a step fails, add a comment to describe what was wrong. You can attach screenshots, too.

    Add comments and snapshots to the test run log

    If you have to attend to something else, Pause iconPause the test. You don't want your emails or password included in the recording.

  5. Create a bug if you find a problem.

    Report a bug from the test run

  6. Name the bug and describe the failure.

    Give the bug a title

    You can assign the bug if you know who'll fix it.

  7. End the test and save the results.

    Complete the test run

    Now the results are stored in Azure DevOps or TFS.

Replay previous tests

If you ran a test before, you can repeat it quickly by replaying the same actions.
(This works with most applications, though not all).

  1. Start the test. Don't overwrite the recording.

    Uncheck Overwrite recording. Click Start.

  2. Play your recorded actions. You have to verify the results of each step.

    Click Play

Track the progress of your tests

Monitor the progress of your project by seeing how many tests have passed.
Tests begin in the Active state, meaning that they are ready to run. When a bug has been fixed, you can set the state of a failed test back to Active.

View test results and reset a test ready to re-run


Q: Can I record a test in one test plan and play it back in another?

A: Yes, this is a great way to do regression tests quickly and accurately. If you want to repeat some tests you did in a previous sprint, just add those test cases to the test plan for the current sprint. The recording is linked to the test case, not to its appearance in any particular test plan or suite.

Q: Can I record a test in one test configuration and play it back in a different configuration? The tests for different configurations show up as separate tests in the Run page.

A: Yes, the recording is linked to the test case, so you can play it back from any instance of that test case, even in different test configurations, test suites, or test plans.

Q: Some or all of my actions aren't recorded, or the playback doesn't work properly. Why?

A: Action recording works best for apps in which each user interface field has a unique ID, and for basic actions such as keystrokes, clicks, and menu selections. It doesn't work for some apps and web browsers. See Supported configurations and platforms for coded UI tests and action recordings. To learn how to develop your app so that it's easier to record tests, see Enable coded UI testing of your controls.

Q: Record and playback is great. But can I completely automate a test, including verifying the results?

A: Yes, see Automate system tests.

See Also

Help and support

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