Solving the Problem of WebDriverWait not working as expected


If you are working with Selenium for web scraping or automation, you might come across situations where you need to wait for certain elements to appear before performing actions on them. One way to achieve this is by using the WebDriverWait class with an expected condition. However, there might be cases where the WebDriverWait does not work as expected, and this article aims to provide a solution to this problem.

The Issue

The problem described in the question involves a button on a web page that opens a new window or element when clicked. The new window sometimes takes some time (around 5 seconds) to appear. To handle this delay, the original code uses WebDriverWait with a delay of 20 seconds. But, occasionally, the code fails to find elements on the new window, even if the elements are visible.

Understanding the Problem

There can be multiple reasons why the WebDriverWait does not work as expected in this scenario:

  • The visibility condition used in the expected condition might not be accurate for the specific element.
  • The delay specified might not be sufficient for the new window to appear.
  • There might be other factors, such as network latency, that affect the timing of element visibility.


To solve the problem of WebDriverWait not working as expected, try the following solution:

  1. Identify a more accurate expected condition for element visibility on the new window. Sometimes, the default expected condition may not work correctly for specific elements. For example, instead of using EC.presence_of_element_located, try using EC.visibility_of_element_located or EC.element_to_be_clickable. Choose the expected condition that suits your specific scenario.
  2. Increase the delay time in WebDriverWait to allow sufficient time for the new window to appear. Instead of using a fixed delay, consider implementing a dynamic delay that adjusts according to the average time taken for the new window to appear. This can be done by adding additional code to measure the time taken for the new window to open and updating the delay variable accordingly.
  3. If the above steps do not solve the issue, consider implementing a retry mechanism. Sometimes, due to network latency or other external factors, the element visibility may not be consistent. By adding a retry mechanism, you can increase the chances of finding the elements on the new window. For example:

def wait_for_elem_xpath(self, delay=None, xpath=""):
    if delay is None:
        delay = self.delay

    max_retries = 3
    retries = 0
    while retries < max_retries:
            myElem = WebDriverWait(self.browser, delay).until(EC.visibility_of_element_located((By.XPATH, xpath)))
            return myElem
        except TimeoutException:
            print("xpath: Loading took too much time!")
            retries += 1
    return None



The problem of WebDriverWait not working as expected can be solved by adjusting the expected condition for element visibility, increasing the delay time, or implementing a retry mechanism. By following the steps outlined in this article and making the necessary modifications to your code, you should be able to handle delays in element visibility effectively.