I hope this day finds you well.

I'm working on an automation suite and I've run into an annoying problem when it comes to switching windows. I have a script which clicks a button which opens in a new window. I'm able to switch to that new window but only intermittently. Here's my code:

    mainWindowHandle = driver.getWindowHandle();

    Set<String> handles = driver.getWindowHandles();
    System.out.println("This is the main handle " + mainWindowHandle);

    for(String winHandle : handles){
        System.out.println("In the loop " + handles);

This seems to be the standard way of doing things. The script saves the current window handle, then gets all handles, loops over them until it finds the one which isn't the current window and the driver switches to it. And this works.....sort of. Often when I run the script it won't switch to the new window, leading to failed tests and badness. I've scattered sysouts through the code as you can see and I've noticed that on failure I'm only getting one handle in the handles set, not both. What seems to be happening is that the system is charging ahead and the set is being created before Selenium can get both handles.

I'm able to get this to run reliably if I make a Thread.sleep(1000) call prior to creating the set but I really don't like having to do this. It seems inelegant and I've not seen this being necessary elsewhere. If anyone has any better solutions or knows why I'm having to hack the system like this I would greatly appreciate it.

Running Selenium 2.45.0 MacOS 10.9.

2 Answers 2


Instead of using a sleep I would wait until more then one window is present. driver.getWindowHandles().size() returns the number of windows, it should be one more then before the clickButtonForNewWindow action.

long endTime = System.currentTimeMillis() + 10000
while(driver.getWindowHandles().size() >= 1 && System.currentTimeMillis() < endTime) {
  // loops for 10s
  • This works, thank you. Adding the conditional gets around problems with an endless loop which was a sticking point for me. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 15:42

i just landed here, may be late but i just want to share my solution for the above issue.

i also faced same issue window switch is failed, i just used a recursive method so until it finds the window it will loop.

public void selectNewWindow(WebDriver driver) {
        if(driver.getWindowHandles().size() > 1) {
            String parentWindow = driver.getWindowHandle();
            Set<String> handles = driver.getWindowHandles();
            for (String windowHandle : handles) {
                if (!windowHandle.equals(parentWindow)) {
        } else {

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