Setup Selenium with Java on Visual Studio Code

This tutorial will focus on how to setup Selenium to run tests in Java using Visual Studio Code IDE.

Setup Visual Studio Code For Java

  • Install Java Extension Pack for Visual Studio Code

  • create new standalone Java project
    • click “Create Java Project”
    • select standalone (no build tools)
    • name the project
    • a new Visual Studio Code window will be created with the new project; the new project will have a lib and src folder, “Hello World” java file and a Readme

Setup Selenium WebDriver

  • Download the latest stable Selenium Web Driver for Java – this will be a zip file: (e.g.
  • unzip the file and there will be multiple jar files – it’s important to add ALL the jar files to the project’s dependencies
    • we need client-combined-3.141.59.jar for compiling our Selenium code
    • we need the rest of the jars for running Selenium
  • add all six jars to the project by clicking the “+” next to Referenced Libraries

Setting up ChromeDriver

  • Download ChromeDriver. The ChromeDriver major version has to match your Chrome version. In my case, my Chrome version is 89.0.4389.90 so I downloaded ChromeDriver version 89.0.4389.23 
  • unzip ChromeDriver zip and move it to a central folder that will be referenced by multiple projects (e.g. ~/dev/selenium/bin/ on a Mac)
  • configure ChromeDriver to be discoverable by WebDriver in one of two ways:
    • option1 – add ChromeDriver binary to the PATH variable
      • export PATH=$PATH:~/dev/selenium/bin/ (Mac)
      • test that it’s set correctly by executing “chromedriver” from another directory – you should see ChromeDriver start and you can press CTRL-C to stop it; this will allow multiple projects to use the same ChromeDriver binary
    • option 2 – add the path to ChromeDriver in your test code:
      • System.setProperty(“”, “~/dev/selenium/bin/chromedriver”);


Run Selenium

Now that all the setup is in place, we’re ready to develop and run Selenium code.

We’ll first develop a simple Selenium script that opens a Chrome browser and navigates to and then quits.

import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;

public class App {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        System.out.println("Hello, World!");
        WebDriver driver = new ChromeDriver();

There are a few way to run a Java project in Visual Studio Code:

Option 1 – run from Java Projects view.  When you hover over your project name a play button will appear that will run the code.

Option 2 – Directly from your code’s main method.