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Version: 19.x

Migration Guide

Migration Guide

We are improving Detox API as we go along, sometimes these changes require us to break the API in order for it to make more sense. These migration guides refer to breaking changes. If a newer version has no entries in this document, it means it does not require special migration steps. Refer to the release notes of the latter builds to learn about their improvements and changes.


The release has a developer experience improvement – Detect pending in-flight requests (#3003, @jonathanmos). The feature adds extra logic that prevents forgotten await statements on asynchronous Detox APIs. That’s why you might see a new error like this:

DetoxRuntimeError: The pending request \#246 ("invoke") has been rejected due to the following error:

Detox has detected multiple interactions taking place simultaneously. Have you forgotten to apply an await over one of the Detox actions in your test code?

That should help you find forgotten awaits in your code that are a potential reason for flakiness in E2E tests. You’ll need to find those places and apply trivial fixes like shown below:

   await screenDriver.performSomeAction();
- expect(screenDriver.get.myElement()).toBeNotVisible();
+ await expect(screenDriver.get.myElement()).toBeNotVisible();


Version 19 is not really a breaking change!

We decided to bump Detox into a major version release, nonetheless, because it is breaking for projects that sport custom Detox drivers, such as detox-puppeteer.

If you are a maintainer of such a project, and you wish to upgrade your Detox dependency to 19 (kudos! 👏), follow this step-by-step migration guide; You can refer to this pull-request, which does that for the detox-puppeteer project.

Migrating Custom Drivers

The core of the change is that Detox' drivers framework is no longer a single monolith, responsible for everything platform-specific. Rather, it’s been broken down to these subresponsibilies:

  • Allocation: The process of launching / selecting a device over which the tests would run in the current execution.
  • Validation: Execution environment checkups.
  • Artifacts: Platform-based selection of build-artifacts implementation (e.g. screenshots).
  • Runtime

You can find a visual explanation, here.

In addition, the runtime driver is no longer state-less -- basically, allowing implementation to hold any state that is required in identifying and managing the associated device.

How to migrate

Everything here will be based on the changes made in the detox-puppeteer example - names included (please don’t use them as-is in your own implementation!).


  • Create a new class, called PuppeteerDeviceAllocation (change name to something that would make sense in your project).
  • Move everything currently in PuppeteerDriver.acquireFreeDevice() and .shutdown() onto PuppeteerDeviceAllocation.allocate() and .free(), respectively.
  • Create a POJO class called PuppeteerAllocCookie. This class should hold anything that would later be required in order to specify the specifically associated device (example: UDID for iOS simulators, adb names for Android devices).
  • Make .allocate() return an instance of your cookie class. Puppeteer example: here.
  • Delete PuppeteerDriver.acquireFreeDevice() and PuppeteerDriver.shutdown().

For a precise class c'tor and method signatures, see here.

Add the new allocation class to the module.exports list, under the name: DeviceAllocationDriverClass.


  • If you have any validations implemented in PuppeteerDriver.prepare(), create a class called PuppeteerEnvironmentValidator.
  • Move anything inside PuppeteerDriver.prepare() to PuppeteerEnvironmentValidator.validate().
  • Delete PupeteerDriver.prepare().

For a precise class c'tor and method signatures, see here.

Add the new (optional) class to the module.exports list, under the name: EnvironmentValidatorClass.


  • Move your implementation of PuppeteerDriver.declareArtifactPlugins() to the same method in a new class, called PuppeteerArtifactPluginsProvider.declareArtifactPlugins() (change name to something that would make sense in your project).

There are no changes in method signature in this case.

Add the new class to the module.exports list, under the name: ArtifactPluginsProviderClass.


  • Optionally rename your class from PuppeteerDriver to PuppeteerRuntimeDriver.
  • In the methods remaining in the class accepting the deviceId arg: remove the deviceId arg entirely. This might break your implementation - don’t worry, continue reading.
  • If applicable, change the signature of the class' c'tor to accept the cookie as its 2nd argument (instance previously allocated in PuppeteerAllocationDriver.allocate()). Save data from the cookie as part of the driver’s state, in order to unbreak your implementation, following the previous step.
  • Add two methods: getExternalId() and getDeviceName(). Implement them such that they would comply with the and API contracts, respectively.

Export the runtime driver class in the module.exports list as RuntimeDriverClass, instead of DriverClass.


For issue related to these migrations, approach us by submitting an issue on GitHub. Please apply the Detox19 label.


Detox has normalized the configuration format, so that along with the combined configurations object you now can define your devices and apps separately. Please refer to the configuration doc to obtain more details. This change is backward-compatible, although the new format is now the recommended option.


Detox now uses a custom synchronization system on iOS, developed in-house; this is the second step in phasing out our Earl Grey usage. We have tested this system extensively internally, and are confident that it should work as expected. There are no known limitations with the new system.

If you are seeing issues with the new sync system, please open an issue.


  • iOS. Detox now requires iOS 13.0 and above iOS simulator runtimes, and iOS 12.x and below are no longer supported. This does not require that you drop support for iOS 12.x in your apps, just that tests will no longer work on iOS 12 and below. Please make sure your tests are running on iOS 13 or above
  • JS. ⚠️ Detox no longer launches the app automatically (even if asked to do so in configuration) — you have to launch your app explicitly:
+  beforeAll(async () => {
+ await device.launchApp();
+ });
  • JS (jest-circus). The DetoxCircusEnvironment provided from detox/runners/jest-circus package now requires two arguments in its constructor, so you have to update your descendant class signature:
class CustomDetoxEnvironment extends DetoxCircusEnvironment {
- constructor(config) {
- super(config);
+ constructor(config, context) {
+ super(config, context);
  • JS (iOS). device.launchApp({ launchArgs: { ... }) argument escaping has been improved. If you use complex launch args such as regular expressions, make sure you remove manual escaping from now on to avoid erroneous double escaping, e.g.:
 await device.launchApp({
launchArgs: {
- detoxURLBlacklistRegex: '(\\".**\\")' }`,
+ detoxURLBlacklistRegex: '(".**")' }`,
  • JS (internal). There is a breaking change for people writing custom Detox integrations. Environment variable naming schema has changed – now Detox uses prefix to distinguish its own environment variables (usually passed from detox test CLI), e.g.: recordLogs=all becomes DETOX_RECORD_LOGS=all, loglevel=trace becomes DETOX_LOGLEVEL=trace, and so on.


Fixes the issue from 17.4.7 (see below) - now the migration guide for 17.4.7 can be safely ignored.


This release was not meant to be breaking in any sense, but unfortunately there are two minor caveats that leaked in.


From now on, Detox explicitly depends on jest-cli package (marked as a peer dependency), that’s why if you see an error like the one below:

Cannot find module 'jest-cli/build/cli/args'

You should add jest-cli to your package.json’s devDependencies and rerun npm install, e.g.:

UPD: since detox@17.5.2 you can ignore this advice. The problem should go away without these edits:

 "devDependencies": {
"jest": "26.x.x",
+ "jest-cli": "26.x.x",


If you were using detox-cli global package, make sure to upgrade it before proceeding to detox@17.4.7.

npm install detox-cli --global

If you have an older version of detox-cli, then you might see the following error on an attempt to run detox test <...args>:

'jest' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.
detox[43764] ERROR: [cli.js] Error: Command failed: jest --config e2e/config.json --testNamePattern "^((?!:android:).)*$" --maxWorkers 1 e2e


In the context of introducing the element screenshots feature (#2012), we decided to slightly change the contract between Detox and externally-implemented drivers. These should be modified according to the follow diff-snippet:

class Expect {
- constructor(invocationManager) {
+ constructor({ invocationManager }) {
this._invocationManager = invocationManager;

class PluginDriver {
constructor() {
- this.matchers = new Expect(new invocationManager());

-module.exports = PluginDriver;
+module.exports = {
+ DriverClass: PluginDriver,
+ ExpectClass: Expect,


Detox for iOS now uses an entirely new, custom-built matcher, action and expectation infrastructure. This is the first step in our roadmap of removing Earl Grey as a dependency.

While the new system has been designed to be as compatible as possible with the existing system, some changes we made to existing APIs that may or may not require your attention.


  • pinch()—new API for pinching elements, replacing the deprecated pinchWithAngle() (iOS)
  • getAttributes()—new API for obtaining element properties (iOS)
  • not—new API for inverting expectation logic (iOS, Android)

Modified API (Potentially Breaking Changes)

The following APIs have changed and require attention

  • by.text()—matching elements by text actually uses the element’s text value instead of using the accessibility label (iOS)
  • by.traits()—the supported trait values have changed (iOS)
  • atIndex()—matched elements are now sorted by x and y axes to allow for stability between tests; indices will most likely change after upgrading to this version of Detox (iOS)
  • tap()—this method now accepts an optional point to tap (iOS, Android)
  • setColumnToValue()—this method no longer supports date pickers; use setDatePickerDate() to change picker dates (iOS)
  • setDatePickerDate()—in addition to normal date formats, a new special case is introduced for ISO 8601 formatted date strings: "ISO8601" (iOS)

Deprecated API

The following APIs have been deprecated, but is still available

  • tapAtPoint()—the API has been consolidated with tap(point) (iOS, Android)
  • pinchWithAngle()—this API has been replaced with pinch() (iOS)
  • toBeNotVisible()—deprecated in favor of not.toBeVisible() (iOS, Android)
  • toNotExist()—deprecated in favor of not.toExist() (iOS, Android)

Make sure to read the API reference for matchers, actions and expectations.

If you see unexpected results, make sure to open an issue.


Detox now comes as a prebuilt framework on iOS, thus lowering npm install times and saving some build issues that happen due to unexpected Xcode setups.

To support this, Detox needs Swift 5 support, so the iOS requirements have changed slightly:

  • Xcode: 10.2 or higher
    • iOS Simulator Runtime: iOS 12.2 or higher

This does not require that your app require iOS 12.2, only that you build and run your app on Xcode 10.2 or above, and use an iOS 12.2 or above simulator.


It is recommended to change "name" string to "device" object in your configurations, like shown below:


"ios.sim.debug": {
"type": "ios.simulator",
"name": "iPhone 11 Pro"
"android.emu.release": {
"type": "android.emulator",
"name": "Nexus_5X_API_29"
"android.att.release": {
"type": "android.attached",
"name": "YOGAA1BBB412"


"ios.sim.debug": {
"type": "ios.simulator",
"device": { // one of these or a combination of them
"id": "D53474CF-7DD1-4673-8517-E75DAD6C34D6",
"type": "iPhone 11 Pro",
"name": "MySim",
"os": "iOS 13.0",
"android.emu.release": {
"type": "android.emulator",
"device": { // only avdName is supported at the moment
"avdName": "Nexus_5X_API_29",
"android.att.release": {
"type": "android.attached",
"device": { // only adbName is supported at the moment
"adbName": "YOGAA1BBB412",


Detox 14.0.0 drops support for iOS 9.x simulators, and thus it also drops support for any API that is deprecated in iOS 10 and above. This includes legacy remote and local notifications handling API. These APIs have been deprecated since iOS 10, and we believe we’ve given app developers enough time to use the modern APIs. Make sure you transition to the UserNotifications framework as soon as possible.

Please note that for React Native apps, PushNotificationIOS (RCTPushNotificationManager) is severely outdated and does not support these modern APIs. It is recommended to transition to a more modern solution. While it is sad that such an important app feature is let to stagnate so much by Facebook, it cannot be the concern of Detox. It is up to RN users to keep their apps up to date with the latest Apple APIs.

Our own React Native notifications solution supports these modern APIs.

See #1514.

Migrating to 12.7.0 from older (nonbreaking)

This is only relevant to those running Detox using Jest as the test runner!

In 12.7.0 we’ve greatly improved our support in Jest - trying to tackle these two caveats which hold developers back from embracing it:

  1. Jest file-level summary logs take precedence over 'plain' output, which makes them and all other logs (e.g. user in-test logging) seem cluttered.
  2. Plain logs output is batched, and thus often does not show in real-time as the test is run. This is particularly annoying when running tests on the local computer.
  3. Jest offers no spec-level logging => no way to tell what’s running "right now" and which test created what log-outputs.

Put in simple words, Jest is optimized for running tests concurrently using multiple workers. This isn’t the case when writing/debugging tests on a local machine.

In 12.7.0 we’ve worked out a configuration scheme that aims at solving these by streamlining all test-related outputs. Please follow the updated Jest installation guide, to set it up.

Migrating from Detox 12.4.x to 12.5.0 (nonbreaking)

Starting Detox 12.5.0, we ship Android with precompiled sources under a .aar file. The complete configuration process is thoroughly described in the Android setup guide - but it mostly fits new projects. For existing projects, migrating is strongly recommended; here’s the diff:

Root settings.gradle file:

-include ':detox'
-project(':detox').projectDir = new File(rootProject.projectDir, '../node_modules/detox/android/detox')

Root buildscript (i.e. build.gradle):

allprojects {
repositories {
// ...
+ maven {
+ url "$rootDir/../node_modules/detox/Detox-android"
+ }

App buildscript (i.e. app/build.gradle):

 dependencies {
- androidTestImplementation(project(path: ":detox"))
+ androidTestImplementation('com.wix:detox:+') { transitive = true }

ProGuard Configuration

If you have Detox ProGuard rules integrated into the app/build.gradle, be sure to switch to an explicit search path:

     buildTypes {
release {

proguardFiles getDefaultProguardFile('proguard-android.txt'), ''
- proguardFile "${project(':detox').projectDir}/"
+ proguardFile "${rootProject.projectDir}/../node_modules/detox/android/detox/"


Migrating from Detox 12.3.x to 12.4.0

The deprecation of "specs" (in package.json) introduced in 12.1.0 is no longer relevant. It is valid now, like it was before, but from now on the semantics has been slightly changed - it acts as a fallback for the default root for your Detox E2E specs, in cases when you don’t specify it explicitly, e.g.:

detox test   # translates to: mocha <...args> e2e
detox test e2e/01.sanity.test.js # translates to: mocha <...args> e2e/01.sanity.test.js

Between 12.1.x and 12.3.x, it was buggy and used to work like this:

detox test   # translates to: mocha <...args> e2e
detox test e2e/01.sanity.test.js # translates to: mocha <...args> e2e e2e/01.sanity.test.js

Migrating from Detox 12.0.x to 12.1.x

This is not a breaking change yet, but starting from detox@12.1.0 you’ll start seeing warnings like:

detox[21201] WARN:  [deprecation.js] Beware: -f, --file will be removed in the next version of Detox.
detox[21201] WARN: [deprecation.js] See the migration guide:

In the next major version --file and --specs will be treated as unknown arguments and therefore passed as-is to your appropriate test runner. That allows to avoid name conflict with the respective --file option in Mocha runner itself and other potential collisions.

So, if you have been using CLI arguments like --file e2e or --specs e2e, please drop the preceding --file and --specs, so that:

detox test --file e2e/01.sanity.test.js


detox test e2e/01.sanity.test.js

UPDATE: It was decided not to deprecate "specs" in package.json, so the text below is not relevant to a large extent. Please ignore the guide below.

To get rid of this warning:

  • find "specs" or "file" entry in your project’s package.json and empty it (e.g. "e2e""");
  • update your detox test scripts — make sure they have an explicit path to your Detox tests folder, e.g. detox test e2e.

For example, if it were a package.json before:

"name": "your-project",
"scripts": {
"e2e:ios": "detox test -c ios.simulator.release"
"detox": {
"specs": "e2e"

Then this is how it should look like afterwards:

"name": "your-project",
"scripts": {
"e2e:ios": "detox test -c ios.simulator.release e2e"
"detox": {
"specs": ""

Notice that we appended e2e to the e2e:ios test script and emptied "specs" property in detox configuration.

In a case if you had no "specs" property in your detox configuration in package.json, then please add it temporarily like this:

"specs": ""

Migrating from Detox 11.0.1 to 12.0.0

The new version explicitly requires Xcode 10.1 or higher in order to run tests on iOS (#1229).

Migrating from Detox 11.0.0 to 11.0.1 (nonbreaking)

React Native versions older than 0.46 are no longer supported, so the missingDimentsionStrategy can be removed from android/app/build.gradle:

android {
defaultConfig {
// ...
- missingDimensionStrategy "minReactNative", "minReactNative46"

Migrating from Detox 10.x.x to 11.x.x

Step 1


android {
defaultConfig {
// ...
- testInstrumentationRunner ""
+ testInstrumentationRunner "androidx.test.runner.AndroidJUnitRunner"

dependencies {
implementation "com.facebook.react:react-native:+" // From node_modules
androidTestImplementation(project(path: ":detox"))
androidTestImplementation 'junit:junit:4.12'
- androidTestImplementation ''
- androidTestImplementation ''

Step 2

Rewrite your file according to the updated Android setup guide.

Migrating from Detox 9.x.x to 10.x.x

If your project does not already use Kotlin, add the Kotlin Gradle-plugin to your classpath in android/build.gradle:

buildscript {
// ...
ext.kotlinVersion = '1.3.0'

dependencies {
// ...
classpath "org.jetbrains.kotlin:kotlin-gradle-plugin:$kotlinVersion"

Note: most guides advise of defining a global kotlinVersion constant - as in this example, but that is not mandatory.

IMPORTANT: Detox aims at a playing fair with your app, and so it allows you to explicitly define the Kotlin version for it to use - so as to align it with your own; Please do so - in your root android/build.gradle configuration file:

buildscript {
ext.kotlinVersion = '1.3.0' // Your app’s version
ext.detoxKotlinVersion = ext.kotlinVersion // Detox' version: should be 1.1.0 or higher!

Note that Detox has been tested for version 1.1.0 of Kotlin, and higher!

Migrating from Detox 8.x.x to 9.x.x

Detox 9.0.0 brings the latest Espresso (3.0.2), and React Native 56 support on Android. Espresso 3.0.2 has a few mandatory dependency changes, which break the current setup for Detox users on Android.

Use this to diff to upgrade your dependencies, and follow Android Studio’s in-editor guidance/lint support.


dependencies {
- implementation ""
+ implementation ""
implementation "com.facebook.react:react-native:+" // From node_modules
androidTestImplementation(project(path: ":detox"))
androidTestImplementation 'junit:junit:4.12'
- androidTestImplementation ''
- androidTestImplementation ''
+ androidTestImplementation ''
+ androidTestImplementation ''


dependencies {
- classpath ''
+ classpath ''

An example for the above changes can be found on demo-react-native project

More details about Espresso dependencies here

Migrating from Detox 7.x.x to 8.x.x

Detox 8.x.x brings support for test artifacts (videos, screenshot, logs), and to learn more about it, you can refer to Artifacts documentation and to Detox CLI documentation.

Changes to e2e/init.js

In order for Detox to be able to create artifacts, detox.beforeEach(testSummary) and detox.afterEach(testSummary) must be called with a current test summary object (test title, full test name, test status).

Detox 8 introduces adapters for both Mocha and Jest, wrapping the original detox.beforeEach(testSummary) and detox.afterEach(testSummary) functions, for easier integration.

you are encouraged to reuse the examples of ./e2e/init.js for mocha and jest. The gist is brought in the following sections:

const detox = require('detox');
const adapter = require('detox/runners/mocha/adapter');

before(async () => {
await detox.init();

beforeEach(async function () {
await adapter.beforeEach(this);

afterEach(async function () {
await adapter.afterEach(this);

after(async () => {
await detox.cleanup();

NOTICE: Make sure you use ES5 functions in beforeEach and afterEach. this refers to mocha’s test object, using arrow functions will result with failure to acquire a correct this inside the adapter.


beforeEach(() => { /* ... your content ... */ }); // won’t work
afterEach(() => { /* ... your content ... */ }); // won’t work


beforeEach(function ( /* ... your content ... */ ) {});
afterEach(function ( /* ... your content ... */ ) {});
const detox = require('detox');
const adapter = require('detox/runners/jest/adapter');

jasmine.getEnv().addReporter(adapter); // don’t forget this line

beforeAll(async () => {
await detox.init();

beforeEach(async () => {
await adapter.beforeEach();

afterAll(async () => {
await adapter.afterAll();
await detox.cleanup();

NOTICE: Make sure to register the adapter as a Jasmine reporter in init.js like this:

  • Jest adapter requires a hook to afterAll:
afterAll(async () => {
await adapter.afterAll();
await detox.cleanup();
Note regarding detox.beforeEach and detox.afterEach

API of these methods is subject to change in future versions due to complexity behind composing test summary objects (as in the case with Jest test runner). If you have reasons to make direct calls to detox.beforeEach and detox.afterEach (e.g. you’re adding support for another test runner), please refer to detox object documentation.

Changes to detox test CLI

The --artifact-location argument became optional for detox test in the version 8.x.x. By default, it dynamically creates ./artifacts/{configuration}.{timestamp} directory in the project folder as soon as it has to save a recorded artifact.

Previously, to enable log recording you just had to specify --artifact-location arg. Currently, you need to tell that explicitly via a new CLI flag: --record-logs all or --record-logs failing.

Notice that --artifact-location became sensitive to whether you end your directory path with a slash or not. It has the next convention:

  • If you want to create automatically a subdirectory with timestamp and configuration name (to avoid file overwrites upon consequent reruns), specify a path to directory that does not end with a slash.
  • Otherwise, if you want to put artifacts straight to the specified directory (in a case where you make a single run only, e.g. on CI), add a slash to the end.

For more information see CLI documentation.

Migrating from Detox 4.x.x to 5.x.x

The clearest example for the 4->5 API changes is the change log of detox’s own test suite. Check detox test change log for a real life example.

Version 5.x.x breaks detox’s API in 4 different places

1. Promise based flow

All of the API calls are now promise based, and must use either promise chains or async-await.

Here’s an example of an async call to tap an element:

// <=4.x.x
beforeEach(() => {
// 5.x.x
beforeEach(async () => {
await element(by.text('Sanity')).tap();

Same thing with expectations

// <=4.x.x
it('should have welcome screen', () => {
expect(element(by.text('Say Hello'))).toBeVisible();
expect(element(by.text('Say World'))).toBeVisible();
// 5.x.x
it('should have welcome screen', async () => {
await expect(element(by.text('Welcome'))).toBeVisible();
await expect(element(by.text('Say Hello'))).toBeVisible();
await expect(element(by.text('Say World'))).toBeVisible();
2. detox object has a leaner API

Configure and init detox with just one promise based function.

// <=4.x.x
// 5.x.x
await detox.init(config);

No need to wait for test result after each test, you can safely remove detox.waitForTestResult

// <=4.x.x
afterEach((done) => {

cleanup is promise based

// <=4.x.x
// 5.x.x
await detox.cleanup();
3. simulator is now device

The global object simulator is now device, this change makes sense when thinking about multi-platform tests (Android support). Along with the new promise based API, this is how we now control the attached device

simulator.reloadReactNativeApp(done)await device.reloadReactNative()
simulator.relaunchApp(done)await device.relaunchApp()
simulator.sendUserNotification(params, done)await device.sendUserNotification(params)
simulator.openURL(url)await device.openURL(url)
4. Detox config scheme

In order for our API to support multiple platforms and devices, and to be able to provide a valid command line tool, we changed the Detox configuration scheme (in package.json)

Previous config looked like this:

"detox": {
"session": {
"server": "ws://localhost:8099",
"sessionId": "test"
"ios-simulator": {
"app": "ios/build/Build/Products/Release-iphonesimulator/",
"device": "iPhone 7 Plus"

The new configuration holds a dictionary of configurations.

  1. Each configuration must state type - currently only simulator is supported
  2. app is now binaryPath
  3. build - [optional] build command (either xcodebuild, react-native run-ios, etc...), will be later available through detox CLI tool.
  4. session object is not mandatory anymore, if is not provided detox will handle server creation by itself.
"detox": {
"configurations": {
"ios.sim.release": {
"binaryPath": "ios/build/Build/Products/Release-iphonesimulator/",
"build": "xcodebuild -project ios/example.xcodeproj -scheme example -configuration Release -sdk iphonesimulator -derivedDataPath ios/build",
"type": "ios.simulator",
"name": "iPhone 7 Plus"
3.1 Start using detox-cli

You will now be able to run builds and tests from your command line detox build and detox test, read more about CLI tools here

Migrating from Detox 3.x.x to 4.x.x

If you have integrated with Detox in version 3.x.x, you will need to clean your project from previously generated targets.

  • Use the provided cleanup_4.0.rb to remove unneeded changes made with Detox 4.x.x.

    ruby node_modules/detox/scripts/cleanup_4.0.rb
  • The script will delete previously configured project targets *_Detox. The targets are not used by detox anymore since the framework is now injected at runtime and doesn’t need to be linked in a different target.

  • Make sure to add changes performed by running this script to version control.