When automating web testing using Selenium with Java, one of the most critical aspects is managing synchronisation and waits. Web applications are dynamic, and elements may load at different times. In this blog post, we’ll search into various synchronisation strategies and wait for mechanisms to make your Selenium scripts more reliable and less prone to errors.

Why Synchronisation Matters?

Web pages often have multiple asynchronous components like AJAX calls, animations, and dynamic content loading. You’ll likely encounter unpredictable failures if your script interacts with elements before they’re fully loaded or available. Synchronisation techniques help ensure that your automation script waits for the appropriate conditions before proceeding, thus preventing timing-related errors.

Types of Waits in Selenium

Implicit Wait

Implicit waits set a global wait time for the WebDriver instance. It instructs the WebDriver to wait a certain amount before throwing a NoSuchElement exception if an element is not immediately available. 


Explicit Wait (WebDriverWait)

Explicit waits allow you to wait for specific conditions before proceeding. The WebDriverWait class provides more fine-grained control over delays. You can specify conditions like element visibility, clickability, and presence. This approach is generally recommended for precise synchronisation.

Examples of Using Explicit Wait:


Cimport org.openqa.selenium.By;

import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;

import org.openqa.selenium.WebElement;



// Initialize the driver and navigate to a webpage

WebDriverWait wait = new WebDriverWait(driver, 10);

// Wait for an element to be clickable

WebElement element = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(“elementId”)));

// Wait for element visibility

WebElement element = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.visibilityOfElementLocated(By.xpath(“//div[@class=’visible’]”)));


FluentWait for More Flexibility

FluentWait is an extension of WebDriverWait that provides additional flexibility. It lets you define your conditions, polling interval, and exception handling.


import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;

import org.openqa.selenium.WebElement;


import java. time.Duration;

import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit;

// Initialize the driver and navigate to a webpage

FluentWait<WebDriver> wait = new FluentWait<>(driver)

    .withTimeout(Duration.of seconds(20))



WebElement element = wait.until(driver -> driver.findElement(“elementId”)));


Handling Dynamic Content

When dealing with AJAX-driven content or elements that load asynchronously, you might need to wait for the content to be fully loaded before interacting. Use appropriate ExpectedConditions to wait for such scenarios.



Effective synchronisation and waits are indispensable in creating stable and reliable Selenium automation scripts. Implicit and explicit waits and FluentWait provide various options to handle synchronisation challenges.

Remember, the key to successful automation is interacting with elements and doing so at the right time. With synchronisation techniques, you can make your automated tests more adaptable to the dynamic nature of web applications.