Difference between Manual testing and Automation testing

Difference between Manual testing and Automation testing

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Updated on Oct 10, 2022 19:41 IST

This article includes the difference between manual and automation testing with real life examples.


Software testing is a huge field, but it can be broadly divided into two areas: manual testing and automated testing.Both manual and automated testing have advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to know the difference and when to use one for the best results. Manual testing is the execution of test cases manually (i.e. by humans) without the support of tools or scripts. However, automated testing uses tools, scripts, and software to execute test cases. Testing is an integral part of any successful software project. The type of testing (manual or automated) depends on many factors, including project requirements, budget, schedule, expertise and suitability. Of course, the three most important factors in any project are time, cost, and quality. The goal of any successful project is to reduce the cost and time required to complete the project successfully while maintaining the quality of the results.In this article we will discuss about Difference between Manual testing and Automation testing.

Table of contents

Difference between Manual testing and Automation testing

Parameter Manual testing Automation testing
Human observation Manual testing allows for human
observation, which may be more useful if
the goal is user-friendliness or improved customer experience.
Automation tests do not require human observation and cannot guarantee usability or a positive customer experience.
Accuracy/reliability Manual tests are not always accurate due to human error and are therefore unreliable.  Automation tests are more reliable because they are run by tools and scripts.
Speed Manual testing is time consuming and staff intensive.  As automation testing is performed by software tools, it is much faster than manual approaches. 
Test case Manual testing only makes sense if the test case runs once or twice and doesn’t need to be repeated often.  Automation testing is a viable option when test cases are executed repeatedly over a long period of time. 
Requirement Manual testing requires human resources because it is the people who test the software, not the software tools. Automation testing requires an investment in automated tools, as testing is done by some software tools.
Programming language No programming knowledge is required for manual testing.  Automation testing requires programming knowledge. 

What is Manual testing?

Manual testing is software testing where testers execute test cases manually without using automated tools. Manual testing identifies bugs, problems, and defects in software applications. For example, testers can interpret specific symptoms of a bug and suggest ways to fix it. This is very useful during development. Manual software testing is the most primitive of all testing types and helps find critical bugs in software applications.

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Example of Manual testing

For example, if you’re starting an e-commerce website, you’ll need to make sure:

  • Optimizing for different browsers and devices
  • Hassle-free checkout 
  • Load high-resolution images quickly
  • Links to social media channels
  • In manual testing, testers review the code that controls each of these functions to ensure that it works as intended by the customer. Manual testers can also comment on the website’s appearance and evaluate it from the user’s perspective.

 Application of Manual testing

Testers check all functionality of the application. In this case, the tester plays the end-user role and tests all aspects of the application to ensure that all functionality works correctly. In this testing methodology, testers often follow a written test plan that guides them through a set of crucial test cases.

  • Exploratory Testing: This type of testing requires the tester’s knowledge, experience, analytical/logical skills, creativity, and intuition.
  • Usability Testing: This is the area where you need to measure how easy, efficient, and useful your software or product is for end users.
  • AdHoc Testing: There is no specific approach for this scenario.This is a completely unplanned testing method where the tester’s understanding and insight are the only factors that matter. 

What is Automation testing?

Automation testing is a software testing method that utilizes computerized devices to perform tests. This test ensures the device or software is working as designed. Test for bugs, defects, and other issues during product development. There are several purposes for automating tests- one is to ensure that a software product functions as expected when the software is released to the public. Automation testing has several advantages over manual testing; it’s faster, more efficient, and reduces the chances of human error.

Example of Automation testing

When performing web testing, simulating web traffic is essential in ensuring that websites work as expected. However, not all tests are as complicated; a dynamic test mimics how a system responds to user interaction or inputs, while a static test focuses on assessing how an application functions without user interaction.

Application of Automation testing

  • Test your application under a load of 100,000 users.
  • Test your application in parallel on different browsers and different operating systems.
  • Compare two spreadsheets with thousands of rows and columns.
  • Compare two images pixel by pixel.

Key Points about Manual testing and Automation testing

  • Automated tests are faster and less expensive than manual testing. Manual tests require a tester to perform all the actions on the target system manually- this can be time-consuming and expensive.
  • Manual tests require human intervention to run and execute, leading to inaccurate results. 
  • Automated testing reduces costly human intervention and makes sure nothing goes wrong during testing. This is especially helpful when testing large systems with many functions.
  • Automation tests are more complicated than manual tests. They’re less complicated than developing new software features.


Testing plays an essential part in software development; there’s no way software can be created without it. Both manual and automated methods help ensure that newly created software works as expected. However, test automation tools are much better at building automated tests- this is why they’re typically used when creating manual tests is too difficult or time-consuming.

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