TestCafe includes a user role mechanism that allows you to emulate user actions to log in to a website. You can also use HTTP Basic and NTLM authentication.

User Roles

Many test scenarios involve activity from more than one user. TestCafe allows you to isolate test actions required to authenticate a user (e.g., enter credentials, click ‘Sign in’). During the test, you can switch between user accounts with a single method call.

A role contains code that logs in a particular user. You can define a role for each user account in a test.

Why Use Roles

Unlike page models or helper functions, roles are designed for login operations and provide the following dedicated features:

  • Object-based API. Authentication data and logic are stored in an object that is easy to pass and activate when needed.
  • Single login. Login actions are not repeated when you switch to a previously used role within the same session. If you activate a role in the beforeEach hook, login actions run once before the first test. Subsequent tests reuse authentication data so that it happens instantly.
  • Automatic return. The browser automatically navigates back to the page that was active when you last switched roles. (You can disable this with the preserveUrl option.)
  • No logout needed. Authentication data is automatically cleared when you switch between roles.
  • Multiple authentication support. If you log in to different services/websites during a test, authentication data from cookie and browser storage accumulates in the active role. When you switch back to this role within the same test, you are automatically logged in to all websites.
  • Anonymous role. A built-in role that logs out of all accounts.

Roles can access authentication data in cookie and browser storage. If your authentication system stores data elsewhere, you may not be able to use roles.

Create and Apply Roles

Use the Role constructor to create and initialize a role. Pass the login page URL and sign-in actions to Role.


Relative URLs in Role are not supported. Use absolute URLs when you define roles.

import { Role } from 'testcafe';

const regularAccUser = Role('', async t => {
    await t
        .typeText('#login', 'TestUser')
        .typeText('#password', 'testpass')

const facebookAccUser = Role('', async t => {
    await t
        .typeText('#email', '')
        .typeText('#pass', 'testpass')

const admin = Role('', async t => {
    await t
        .typeText('#login', 'Admin')
        .typeText('#password', 'adminpass')

Role initialization code is executed only once when the role is used for the first time.

After you create roles, you can switch between users at any time except role initialization.

If you switch to a role for the first time in a test run, the browser navigates from the original page to a login page where role initialization code is executed. Then, the original page is reloaded with new credentials. (Use the preserveUrl option to disable the redirect to that page.) If you switch to a role that was already initialized, TestCafe simply reloads the current page with corresponding credentials.

To activate a role, use the t.useRole function.

import { Selector } from 'testcafe';

const entry        = Selector('#entry');
const removeButton = Selector('#remove-entry');

fixture `My Fixture`
    .page ``;

test('test that involves two users', async t => {
    await t

Roles can be shared across tests and fixtures. You can create roles in a separate helper file and use them in any test fixture that references this file.

When you switch to a role for the first time, TestCafe internally creates a branch of this role for this particular test run. All cookies set by your further actions will be appended to this branch. This branch will be used whenever you switch back to this role from the same test run.

For instance, assume that you switch to a role that logs you in on website A. After you switch to this role, you log in to website B in test code. TestCafe adds a new cookie to the role branch. If you switch to a different role and then back to the initial role in the same test run, you will be logged to both website A and B. If you switch to this role in a different test, you will be logged in to website A only.

Anonymous Role

You can use an anonymous role to switch back to an unregistered user. This role is returned by the static Role.anonymous() function.

import { Selector, Role } from 'testcafe';

fixture `My Fixture`;

test('Anonymous users can see newly created comments', async t => {
    await t
        .typeText('#comment', 'Hey ya!')

    const comment = await Selector('#comment-data');

    await t.expect(comment.innerText).eql('Hey ya!');

HTTP Authentication

TestCafe allows you to test web pages that are protected with HTTP Basic or Windows (NTLM) authentication. Use the test.httpAuth method to specify individual test credentials and the fixture.httpAuth method to define credentials for the entire fixture.

fixture `My fixture`
    .page ``
        username: 'username',
        password: 'Pa$$word',

        // Optional parameters; can be required for NTLM authentication.
        domain:      'CORP-DOMAIN',
        workstation: 'machine-win10'

test('Test1', async t => {});          // Logs in as username

test                                   // Logs in as differentUserName
        username: 'differentUserName',
        password: 'differentPa$$word'
    ('Test2', async t => {});


Test Actions Fail After Authentication

This issue can be caused by the browser’s page caching.

In order to guarantee seamless test execution, browsers that run TestCafe tests should always fetch the tested page from the TestCafe proxy server. This ensures that automation scripts on the page are in sync with the server side.

However, if the browser uses a cached copy of the page, automation mechanisms may be interrupted. Among other issues, this could reset authentication data in the cookies, local and session storage during navigation.

If tests fail unexpectedly after authentication, try the following:

  • Enable the preserveUrl option to disable automatic navigation.
  • If preserveUrl does not fix the issue, disable page caching. Note that this slows down test execution.

Use the fixture.disablePageCaching and test.disablePageCaching methods to disable caching during a fixture or test:

    .disablePageCaching `My fixture`
    .page ``;
    ('My test', async t => { /* ... */ });

To disable page caching during the entire test run, use either of the following options: