UI Browser Automation using Appium with Visual Studio Android Emulator

Appium is an open source cross platform automation tool for native/hybrid and mobile web based apps.


You can use Appium with various language like c#, java, Objective C with Selenium driver. Thus a truly cross platform automation tool!


Machine which is running the web driver scripts communicates with Appium server through Http/JSON and in turn the Appium sends/receives the command to Devices/Emulators of Android or IOS platforms.














Here we will discuss about Integration of Appium with Visual Studio using C#.

Pre Requisites:

  • JAVA_HOME: Pointing to the Java SDK folder\bin
  • ANDROID_HOME: Pointing to the Android SDK Folder.

Setting up the Visual Studio Android Emulator.

  • Search for the visual studio android emulator and open it.
  • Select the latest API level and download the emulator.
  • Run the Emulator.


Setting up the Appium Server

  • Launch the Appium.exe from the downloaded folder.


  • Click on Android Icon and change the settings as highlighted.



  • Click Play button.

How to get the Device Name ?

Goto Android SDK folder in command prompt. And type adb devices -l. This will list all the running devices.




Create a new Unit Test project in Visual Studio.


Under Reference in Solution Explorer, Click Add Manage Nuget Packages.


Search for ‘Appium’ and install.


Post installation, the references will be updated.


In the .cs file, enter the below code. Initially we instantiate the Appium web driver and set the desired capabilities.






We would perform the actions on the default browser. The action is to search the text ‘Microsoft’ in the http://www.bing.com website.







Most common Issues !

1. Unable to connect to remote server - no connection could be made because the target server actively refused it

Resolution : Ensure the Appium server is running. And the IP address is entered correct in the Appium server settings page. Verify the desired capabilities parameters.

2.  A new connection could not be created. An unknown server side error occurred while processing the command. Unknown error. Device <IP address> is not online.


- Verify if the emulator/device is connected through adb devices -l in command prompt.

- Desired capabilities should be properly entered. Ex: devicename/platformversion/udid/platformname.

- Check for Appium settings. Restart the Appium server.


3. Could not find a connected Android device.


Ensure the android device or emulator is running. (goto command prompt, goto Android SDK\Tools\ and run adb devices -l)

Comments (4)

  1. Santosh says:

    I am getting following error.
    “Failed to start an Appium session, err was: Error: Activity used to start app doesn’t exist or cannot be launched! Make sure it exists and is a launchable activity”

    1. can you check whether the appium supports the android api version

  2. Phanindra says:

    Hi Ganesh ,
    The article is good and very informative.i have a small query when i use emulator to create a device i am not able to find its information like device name,udid .Can you any idea why this is happening.

    1. Hi Phanindra, you can run this command “adb devices -l” under your Android SDK\Tools folder. Emulator will also have a UDID. can you tell me the result when you run the above command? . is it empty?

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