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Understanding the “cy…() failed because the element cannot be interacted with” Error in Cypress

The “cy…() failed because the element cannot be interacted with” error message frequently pops up in Cypress. This error signals that Cypress encountered difficulties interacting with a particular web page element during testing. Multiple factors can trigger this error; to address it, a blend of debugging and troubleshooting is often necessary.

In the following discussion, we’ll delve into the root causes of this error and guide you through comprehensive solutions to tackle it.

Understanding the Error

This error message basically says that Cypress command (cy…()) has failed because it tried to interact with an element on a webpage and could not. Here is why this might happen:

  • Element Not Found: Often, Cypress just can’t find the thing you’re pointing it to. A few reasons for this could be:
    • Maybe how you identify the element (its selector) is wrong or old.
    • The element is not yet present in the DOM when Cypress tries to interact with it.
  • Element Not Visible: Even if Cypress finds the element in the DOM, it may not be visible or interactable during the interaction. This can happen due to:
    • CSS properties like display: none or visibility: hidden.
    • The element is hidden beneath other items like pop-ups or overlays.
    • The element is disabled, such as a disabled input field.
  • Element Not Ready/ Enabled: Perhaps the element is not ready to be clicked or interacted with, preventing Cypress from interacting with it.
  • Timing Issues: There are instances when Cypress tries to engage with an element before it is fully set or the page has not fully loaded.

What is the Resolution?

Let’s dive into the solutions step by step:

Correct the Selector

  • Check the Selector: Double-check your selector to identify the element. Make sure that it is correctly targeting the element you intend to interact with.
  • Use Cypress’s cy.get() Command: Cypress has this handy tool called cy.get(), which waits until the element pops up in the DOM. Make sure to use this command so you are certain the element is there before you start working with it.
    // Wait for the element and then click

Handle Visibility and Interactability

  • Check Visibility: If the element is not visible, you can use the .should() command to wait for it to become visible:
  • Handle Disabled Elements: If the element is not active (is disabled), you can use .should() to wait for it to become ready and enabled again:
  • Deal with Elements Covered by Overlays: If there’s an overlay or pop-up in front of the element, make sure to close or get rid of it before you try to work with the hidden element.

Deal with Timing Issues

  • Wait for Page Load: If the element is not ready due to page loading, use Cypress’s cy.wait() command to wait for a specific event or a fixed amount of time. Nevertheless, it’s recommended to prioritize event-driven explicit waits when feasible.
    cy.wait(1000); // Wait for 1 second
  • Leverage Cypress’s Wait Commands: Cypress offers a bunch of handy commands like cy.wait(), cy.get().should(), and cy.contains() to wait for elements and actions patiently. Utilize these commands to ensure that your tests wait for elements to be intractable.


  • Logging and Debugging Practices: Use some console.log() statements or tap into Cypress’s native cy.log() function to dive deep into your tests.
Push your messages to the Cypress console. This way, you can keep an eye on your test as it runs and spot any hiccups.
cy.get('your-selector').should('be.visible').then(($element) => {
  cy.log('Element found and visible:', $element);
  • Cypress’s Playground Mode: Cypress has a built-in “Playground” mode that allows you to explore your application’s state during test execution interactively. You can open the Playground by adding cy.pause() in your test code.
    cy.get('your-selector').should('be.visible').then(($element) => {
      cy.pause(); // Opens Cypress Playground for interactive debugging

Intelligent Automation: Raising the Bar

Dealing with selector problems, visibility issues, timing discrepancies, and subsequent Cypress debugging can be taxing. Rather than concentrating on expanding test coverage and crafting robust tests, testers find themselves mired in troubleshooting tasks. This contributes to why Cypress is not viewed as a cutting-edge automation tool in today’s swiftly evolving web framework landscape.

Modern and intelligent test automation tools, such as testRigor, harness the power of AI-driven algorithms to sidestep timeout glitches and other Cypress-related issues. Let’s delve into some of the top features of testRigor:

  • Automatic Wait: testRigor’s intuitive wait handling manages synchronization challenges automatically. There is no need for manual input of explicit wait times, which efficiently solves ‘element not found’ errors and other synchronization-related issues Cypress faces.
  • Auto-generated Test Scripts: Powered by its generative AI engine, testRigor effortlessly auto-creates test scripts. Just input a test case title in the description, and the AI swiftly constructs the necessary test steps within moments.
  • Hosted in the Cloud: testRigor, a cloud-based automation tool, streamlines the process by removing the hassles of tool setup, environment creation, and dependency configuration. Once you have acquired the testRigor license, a straightforward sign-in gets you started, sparing you valuable time and energy.
  • Easy Test Script Creation/Maintenance – testRigor allows the crafting of test cases in plain English, eliminating the need for programming languages. This approach empowers anyone to create or modify test cases, simplifying the script debugging. testRigor’s self-healing capabilities automatically incorporate UI or element changes in the test scripts, saving enormous maintenance time and effort.
  • Cross-browser and Cross-platform Support – Modern apps require modern test automation solutions by testing it across various browsers, browser versions, and platforms. testRigor handles this task seamlessly.
  • Custom Element Locators – testRigor is independent of unreliable XPaths or CSS selectors. Instead, it employs a unique method of identifying elements called testRigor locators, powered by AI algorithms. You can easily specify an element by mentioning the text you see on the UI or its position in plain English, such as:
    enter "pants" in "search"
    click "search"
    click on the first "item"
    check that page contains button "add to cart"
    click "add to cart"

Know how testRigor can be a perfect alternative for Cypress.

Summing Up

Choosing an automation testing tool that stays ahead and resonates with current tech trends is always prudent. In the fast-paced worlds of Agile and DevOps, where time directly equates to money, using Cypress might have you losing precious moments. Navigating through selector challenges, element visibility hurdles, and timing inconsistencies, followed by debugging in Cypress, can be overwhelming.

testRigor stands out as a prime pick for test automation. It streamlines test scripts with its self-healing feature and offers a hassle-free, codeless approach to script creation to simplify complex tasks for you. To have a look, consider signing up for a free trial.

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