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How to: Run Tests from Microsoft Visual Studio

This topic is about how to use Visual Studio to run automated tests, which include unit tests, coded UI tests, ordered tests, generic tests, and load tests. You can run automated tests from both the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) and at a command prompt. For more information about how to run tests at a command prompt, see Running automated tests from the command line.

Note Note

When you run one or more tests in Visual Studio, if the test contents are new or have been changed but not saved, they are automatically saved before the test is run. Similarly, if the code of a unit test has been edited but the project that contains the test has not been re-built, Visual Studio builds the project before you run the test.

However, if you want to plan out your testing effort and run your tests as part of a test plan, you can use Microsoft Test Manager. For more information about how to use Microsoft Test Manager, see Defining a Test Plan [retired].

Note Note

Microsoft Test Manager is provided as part of Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium and Visual Studio Test Professional products.

Running Automated Tests in Visual Studio

Visual Studio provides different ways to run tests. You can choose the way that best suits your current needs:

  • Run Tests From Test Explorer. You can run automated tests including unit, coded UI, ordered, and generic in your solution from Test Explorer. Test Explorer easily lets you run and monitor the status of all the automated tests in your solution.

  • Run load tests from the load test editor. Load tests and web performance tests are run from either the Load Test Editor, the Web Performance Test Editor, or from the Visual Studio Ultimate LOAD TEST menu. For more information, see Running Load and Web Performance Tests.

  • Run Tests From Your Source Code Files. By using the keyboard, you can run tests from any text-based file in your solution. In particular, you can run tests while editing a file that contains your code under test. This lets you change source code and immediately test it without using a window or a menu.

  • Run Tests From Files in Your Test Code Files. By using the mouse or the keyboard, you can run tests from the file that contains your test code. This lets you change a test and then run it immediately without using a window or a menu.

Note Note

After you run a test in Visual Studio, the results of all the tests that were executed in that run are saved automatically on your computer in a test run file. How many test runs are saved depends on a setting in the Options dialog box.

Run Tests In a Specific Order

You can also run tests in a specific order if you create an ordered test. For more information about ordered tests, see Setting Up Your Test Run Sequence Using Ordered Tests.

Unit Test Explorer running automated tests

To run tests from Test Explorer

  • In Test Explorer, choose Run All. Or, select the tests you want to run, right-click, and then choose Run Select Tests.

    The automated tests will run and indicate if they passed or failed.

    Tip Tip

    You can also choose the drop-down list under Run for other options including Run Failed Tests, Run Not Run Tests, Run Passed Tests, Repeat Last Run, and Analyze Code Coverage.

    Note Note

    To view Test Explorer from the Test menu, point to Windows and then choose Test Explorer.

To run tests from source code files in your solution, by using the keyboard

  1. In Visual Studio, open a source code file anywhere in your solution.

  2. You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to run tests from that file.

    Keyboard Shortcut

    Description

    Ctrl + R, then press A

    Runs all the tests in all test projects.

    Ctrl + R, then press D

    Runs all tests that were run in the last test run.

    Ctrl + R, then press F

    Runs all tests in the last test run that did not pass.

Note Note

You can use these shortcuts in your source code file that contains the test methods.

To run tests from your test code files, by using the keyboard

  1. In Visual Studio, open the source-code file that contains your test methods.

  2. Place the cursor in the file and press Ctrl + R, then press C.

To run tests from your test code files by using the mouse

  1. In Visual Studio, open the source-code file that contains your test methods.

  2. Right-click in a test method, in a test class, or outside the scope of a test class, and then choose Run Tests.

    This command runs the tests in the current scope. That is, it runs the current test method, all the tests in the current test class, or all the tests in the current namespace, respectively.

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