Debug Tests in WebStorm

This topic describes how to debug TestCafe tests in WebStorm with a Node.js debugger.

Step 1 - Install TestCafe

Execute the following command to install TestCafe locally and add it to the devDependencies section in package.json:

npm install --save-dev testcafe
    "devDependencies": {
        "testcafe": "*"

Step 2 - Add a Command To Debug TestCafe

Add a debug script to the scripts section in package.json. This script contains a command that runs TestCafe and specifies the target browser.

    "scripts": {
        "debug": "testcafe $NODE_DEBUG_OPTION chrome"

    "devDependencies": {
        "testcafe": "*"

The $NODE_DEBUG_OPTION placeholder marks a place where Node.js debugger options are inserted before execution.

The path to test files is specified in the debug configuration (step 4).

Step 3 - Create a Debug Configuration

Open WebStorm. If no build or run configuration is set up, click Add Configuration in the top-right corner to invoke the Run/Debug Configurations dialog.

Click Add Configuration

Otherwise, open the configuration drop-down menu and select Edit Configurations....

Edit Configurations

In the Run/Debug Configurations dialog, click the + button to create a new configuration from a template.

Create Configuration

In the list of templates, select npm.

Create Configuration

This creates a default npm configuration.

Create Configuration

Step 4 - Specify Configuration Options

Select the npm script (debug) in the Scripts field.

Select Debug

  • WebStorm version prior to 2018.3

    Specify the path to the test file you wish to debug in the Arguments field.

    Enter File Path

    Change this setting later to debug a different file.

  • WebStorm version 2018.3 and newer

    Click the + button in the Arguments field to insert a macro.

    Click Add Macro Button

    This invokes the Macros dialog.

    Select FilePath to insert the path to the current file.

    Select Macro

    Click Insert. A macro $FilePath$ is inserted to the Arguments field.

    Enter Macro

    This allows WebStorm to debug the currently opened test file.

Click OK to save changes.

Step 5 - Debug Tests

Open the file you wish to debug and put a breakpoint into it.

Select the debug configuration you have created and click Debug.

Press Debug

TestCafe runs the test and stops at the breakpoint.

Stop on Breakpoint

Now you can use WebStorm debugging tools to inspect the code, step over to the next command, etc.

The debugger may consider a TestCafe action chain as a single command and therefore fail to correctly step between these actions. In this instance, put a breakpoint at each chained action.