Testing with Jest in WebStorm

Posted on by Ekaterina Prigara

Jest, the testing platform developed by Facebook, is becoming more and more popular with each day, especially for testing React applications. Jest is fast, easy to get started with, and has lots of features (such as snapshot testing and test coverage) available out of the box.

In WebStorm we wanted to streamline the whole testing workflow and make writing, running, and debugging tests with Jest even smoother and easier. Let’s see how WebStorm can help you test your app with Jest.

As an example, we’ll use the react-dropzone project that uses Jest and Enzyme. Enzyme helps you manipulate your React components while testing.

We won’t go into the details of installing and setting up Jest in a project. For that, we recommend Jest’s official documentation and this blog post on testing React apps.

Configure code completion

You might have noticed that some of the global Jest methods (like describe and beforeEach) in JavaScript files are marked as unresolved in the editor. To fix that, install the TypeScript type definition files for Jest: Go to Preferences | Languages & Frameworks | JavaScript | Libraries, click Download on the right-hand side of the dialog, then search for Jest in the list and click Install. Or add @types/jest to devDependencies in project’s package.json.

JavaScript libraries configuration dialog in WebStorm

This happens because Jest defines these methods in the global scope – so you don’t need to import them in each test file. But it also makes it harder for WebStorm to learn about them from the static analysis of the Jest sources – that’s why they are marked by default as unresolved.

Run tests

Create a run configuration to run all tests in the project
First, let’s run all the tests we have in our project. We need to create a run/debug configuration:

  • in the menu Run, select Edit configurations
  • then click + and select Jest from the drop-down list

Usually, you don’t have to change anything in the configuration, but if there’s a Jest configuration file in the project or you need to pass additional flags to Jest, you should do so in this configuration.

Run debug configuration for running all Jest tests

For now, we will just select All tests at the bottom of the dialog and click OK to save the configuration. You will immediately see the new configuration at the top right corner of the IDE – now click the green icon next to it to run it.

Run configuration from the IDE toolbar

View test results

In the test tool window that opens, you can track the test progress and see all the test results (you can also see the test result in the editor, right next to the test). All the tests will be listed in a tree view on the left side of the tool window. On the right, you will see a stack trace for the tests that failed.

Test results in the tool window

Double-click the test name in the list to open it in the editor. In WebStorm 2018.3, for failed tests, it will open the line that was at the top of the stack trace.

Use the icons at the top of the tool window to hide all the passed and ignored tests from the results.

Show only failed tests

If you want to find a particular test in the test results, just start typing its name and then use the up and down arrows to jump between the matched test names.

Quick search in the test tool window

Run a single test, test suite, or file

If you have lots of tests and you only want to run some of them, you have a bunch of options available.

In the editor, next to each test and test suite you can see an icon – it shows the test status for the tests that you have recently run. If you click it, you can select whether you want to run or debug this particular test or suite.

Run or debug a single test

This way, we can very quickly run or debug a test – there is no need to create a new run/debug configuration yourself. WebStorm will use the template for the new Jest run configuration that can be modified in the menu Run | Edit configurations – Default configurations – Jest.

If you want to run the whole test file with Jest, right-click it and select Run.

Run or debug a test file

Rerun only failed tests

If you have implemented a fix for the failed tests and now want to rerun them to check the fix, click the Rerun failed tests button in the tool window.

Rerun only failed tests

Run tests in watch mode

One of the greatest features that Jest has is a watch mode for running tests. In this mode, once you’ve made changes to the test or related files, the tests will be restarted automatically. By default, WebStorm doesn’t enable the watch mode when running all tests, but it’s very easy to enable it.

Open the Jest run/debug configuration that we created earlier and add --watchAll to the Jest options field, save the configuration, and then run it again.

Now, if you fix our failing test or add a new test and save the changes, Jest will rerun the tests and you will see the new results in the test tool window.

Running Jest tests in watch mode

This is particularly handy if you’re doing test-driven development and you first develop the tests and then add the feature they cover – you will see how your tests turn from red to green in the test view without having to restart them every time.

By the way, you can quickly jump from the file to its test file and back using the shortcut Cmd-Shift-T / Ctrl-Shift-T. This navigation works if the files follow one of the popular naming conventions (e.g. are named app.js and app.spec.js or app.test.js).

Note that the individual tests started from the editor will not be run in the watch mode until you add --watch to the template for the Jest configuration.

Snapshot testing

Another feature provided by Jest is snapshot testing. Snapshot files describe the DOM elements in a special format, so your tests can check the UI against these snapshots and the IDE will warn you if the UI component changes unexpectedly.

The first time you run the test that has a .toMatchSnapshot() method, Jest creates a snapshot file in the __snapshots__ folder. You can jump from the test to the related snapshot by clicking the camera icon next to it:

Go to snapshot

Then, if the tested component has changed and it no longer matches the snapshot, the test will fail.

To make it easier to spot the difference between the actual and expected results, we’ve added a diff view for snapshots. Click the link in the test output next to the stack trace to see the diff.

Diff view for Jest snapshots

If the change was actually intentional, you can update the snapshot by clicking another link in the tool window:

Update snapshot

Debug tests

To investigate why a test is failing, you can debug it in WebStorm. Click the gutter icon next to the test in the editor, and then select Debug

to debug just one test. Alternatively, click the green debug icon next to the All tests configuration that we created earlier.

The breakpoint can be set either in the test file or in the source code that is tested. Once the breakpoint is hit, you can step through the code, see the call stack and variables, use the console, and so on.

Debug Jest tests

When using Jest with JavaScript and the babel-jest package, the inline source maps that are needed for debugging should work out of the box. If using them with TypeScript, don’t forget to add these options to your tsconfig.json: "sourceMap": true, and "inlineSourceMap": true.

Test coverage

To make sure that all your source code is well tested, you can build a code coverage report. All you need to do is to click the ‘Run with coverage’ button next to the run/debug configuration. The report will show how many files were covered with tests and what percentage of lines in those files are covered.

Run tests with coverage

From this report, you can jump to the file and see which lines were covered (marked green) and which ones were not (marked red).

Tes coverage report

That’s it! We hope you find this guide useful and have a great experience testing with Jest in WebStorm. If you run into any problems or would like to share your suggestions, feel free to submit an issue in our tracker.

Your WebStorm Team

Comments below can no longer be edited.

34 Responses to Testing with Jest in WebStorm

  1. Kyle says:

    October 31, 2018

    Is there any way to create a test file when one isn’t found such as documented here:



    • Ekaterina Prigara says:

      November 1, 2018

      No, sorry, WebStorm doesn’t have a feature like that.

  2. Sergey Zarouski says:

    November 4, 2018

    Great to see how Webstorm makes it easier to work with Jest!

    I want to ask something not directly relevant to the article, but relevant to the blog as a whole. I see there are no meta tags for blog posts and that makes it a bit harder to share articles on twitter. Something like https://developer.twitter.com/en/docs/tweets/optimize-with-cards/guides/getting-started.html can be very helpful and I’m sure will benefit jetbrains products as well as people like me who want to share articles 😉

    • Ekaterina Prigara says:

      November 12, 2018

      Hello Sergey,
      Thanks for the feedback! We’ll see what we can do with it.

  3. Stephen O says:

    November 16, 2018


    It seems that the latest release of vue-cli 3 has broken Webstorm Jest integration. When running tests I get the following error.

    “C:\Program Files\JetBrains\WebStorm 2018.2.4\bin\runnerw.exe” “C:\Program Files\nodejs\node.exe” C:\dev\package-test\vue-msal\tests\unit\plugin\VueMSAL\AzureAuthService.spec.js
    (function (exports, require, module, __filename, __dirname) { import AzureAuthService from ‘@/plugin/VueMSAL/AzureAuthService’

    SyntaxError: Unexpected identifier
    at new Script (vm.js:73:7)
    at createScript (vm.js:245:10)
    at Object.runInThisContext (vm.js:297:10)
    at Module._compile (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:657:28)
    at Object.Module._extensions..js (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:700:10)
    at Module.load (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:599:32)
    at tryModuleLoad (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:538:12)
    at Function.Module._load (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:530:3)
    at Function.Module.runMain (internal/modules/cjs/loader.js:742:12)
    at startup (internal/bootstrap/node.js:266:19)

    The debug plugin @vue/cli-plugin-unit-jest says:

    “Note that directly running jest will fail because the Babel preset requires hints to make your code work in Node.js, so you must run your tests with vue-cli-service test:unit.”

    Any suggestions how to get the Jest integration working again?

    • lena_spb says:

      November 24, 2018


      looks as if you are using Node.js run configuration to run your specs, passing test files directly to Node.js instead of using Jest test runner. Please make sure to use Jest run configuration

  4. Artem says:

    May 20, 2019

    Unfortunately all that didn’t work for my project.
    I have added @types/jest to the libraries, tried to add index.d.ts directly from jest node modules. Nothing worked for me..
    I am still having compiling issues in the WebStorm “Cannot find name ‘jest'”

    in VS Code everything works fine, but in WebStorm not. So disapoiting 🙁

    • Ekaterina Prigara says:

      May 20, 2019

      Can you please provide a bit more information about the problem? What exactly doesn’t work for you? Where do you see this compilation error? Do you use Jest with TypeScript?

  5. Demian says:

    September 26, 2019


    Thanks for the blog, excellent work!

    Regarding “The breakpoint can be set either in the test file or in the source code that is tested”, I find that I can stop in the testcode (foo.spec.ts) no problem but not on the code under test (foo.ts). Furthermore a stacktrace of an error would be like

    “at Function. (../src/foo/foo.ts:6088:64)” but foo.ts has only ~400 lines!

  6. John says:

    September 27, 2019

    Hi Ekaterina. First of all, thank you for the nice article!

    I have been testing with Webstorm and JEST for a while now. Today, I realized that there is a ‘Go to test’ option in Webstorm (Right Click in the editor -> Go to -> Test), which could be a very convenient feature for me. However, this menu option does not really go anywhere, as I never specified any explicit link between a test and the method it tests (imagining this is possible somehow), and Webstorm does not seem to do anything automatic about this either.

    I checked the JEST pages of Jetbrains for a way to link my tests to the methods/classes they test, but I had no luck. Do you think you could point me in the right direction?

    • Ekaterina Prigara says:

      September 27, 2019

      Hello John,
      At the moment WebStorm matches source files with test files based on the file name. It supports some common patterns, e.g from App.js you will be able to jump to a test file called App.test.js or App.spec.js. It also works when tests are located in the folder called test or __tests__.
      These patterns are not configurable. Please vote for this feature request if you want to be able to configure them: https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/WEB-29053

      Where are tests located in your project and how are they named?

  7. Felix says:

    October 1, 2019

    What About:

    [error] Error: Could not find the implementation for builder @angular-builders/jest:run
    at WorkspaceNodeModulesArchitectHost.resolveBuilder (C:\XXXX\node_modules\@angular-devkit\architect\node\node-modules-architect-host.js:49:19)
    at TestCommand.initialize (C:\XXXX\node_modules\@angular\cli\models\architect-command.js:134:55)
    at async TestCommand.validateAndRun (C:\XXXX\node_modules\@angular\cli\models\command.js:124:9)
    at async Object.runCommand (C:\XXXX\node_modules\@angular\cli\models\command-runner.js:186:24)
    at async default_1 (C:\XXXX\node_modules\@angular\cli\lib\cli\index.js:50:31)

    WebStorm 2019.3 EAP
    Build #WS-193.3519.19, built on September 18, 2019
    WebStorm EAP User
    Expiration date: October 18, 2019
    Runtime version: 11.0.4+10-b480.2 amd64
    VM: OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM by JetBrains s.r.o
    Windows 10 10.0
    GC: ParNew, ConcurrentMarkSweep
    Memory: 1967M
    Cores: 8
    Registry: ide.balloon.shadow.size=0
    Non-Bundled Plugins: AceJump, com.wangbailin.plugin.underscore_case_toggle_to_camel_case, quokka.js, wallaby.js

    • Ekaterina Prigara says:

      October 3, 2019

      Hello Felix,
      Can you please provide a bit more information about the problem? When and where do you see this message? Do you see it if you run your tests in the command line?
      If the problem occurs only in WebStorm and not in the terminal, please contact our tech support and share a sample project that we can use to reproduce the problem. Thank you!

  8. Peter Velkov says:

    October 16, 2019

    Is there a way to run only the changed tests – similar to how jest works in the terminal in “watch” model, where it will only run the affected tests since the last commit

    Once we’ve got more than 200 tests, even though they run quickly we would like to skip running unnecessary tests

    • Ekaterina Prigara says:

      October 16, 2019

      WebStorm integrates with the Jest watch mode – check out the “Run tests in watch mode” section of the blog post. Let me know if you have any questions!

      • Peter Velkov says:

        October 22, 2019

        “Open the Jest run/debug configuration that we created earlier and add –watchAll to the Jest options field, save the configuration, and then run it again.”

        We want to run only the tests related to the changed files.

        –watchAll -> will run all the test when something changes
        From jest docs: “Watch files for changes and rerun all tests when something changes. If you want to re-run only the tests that depend on the changed files, use the –watch option.”

        For example running the test in a terminal with –watchAll would take around a minute (for a re-run after a change), while running only the changes with –watch takes 2-3 seconds

        Adding the –watch option to the Jest “Run” configuration in Webstorm results in an error though:
        “–watch is not supported without git/hg, please use –watchAll”
        Even though the project uses git

        “jest –watch” or “npm test — –watch” works well in the terminal, but we prefer running the tests in Webstorm as it adds information inside the IDE (failed/passed tests, coverage…)

        Are there plans to support the “–watch” option?

        • Ekaterina Prigara says:

          October 22, 2019

          Hello Peter,
          It should work with --watch too. The error you see is reported by Jest. One of the possible reasons why it happens could be that git executable is not on your %PATH% when you start WebStorm. What OS do you have?

        • Peter Velkov says:

          October 24, 2019

          Thanks, you’re right --watch works too now

          I have this configuration for ages and it turns out git was not included in %PATH%

          I think it’s because it comes with the **Cmder** console emulator, which integrates fine with Webstorm by the way

  9. moshe says:

    November 26, 2019

    I’ve noticed that when I upgraded from jest 22.4 to jest 24.9 the webstorm debugger cannit stop suddenly on breakpoints. is there a resolution

    • Ekaterina Ryabukha says:

      November 27, 2019


      Could you create a new issue on our issue tracker (youtrack.jetbrains.com/issues/WEB) and share more details on your project setup there, please? Thanks!

  10. Bhishma Patel says:

    March 12, 2020

    Auto-Completion of jest in Webstorm has never worked for me (across several projects and 2 different Webstorm installations).

    I can confirm that I am in a Typescript monorepo (managed by Lerna). I have tried installing the Libraries manually as described in your first step (even though @types/jest is already in my devDependencies) and still no luck.

    Interestingly, even though the auto-completion does not work, Webstorm does NOT complain once the word is completed. i.e. desc WONT autocomplete to describe, but once describe is typed manually it won’t complain. I image this is because of env: jest being added to my .eslintrc.

    Any other troubleshooting tips for getting auto-completion of jest working in Webstorm?

  11. Achyut Jhunjhunwala says:

    April 17, 2020

    I am facing a peculiar problem.
    I have 2 Jest.config files. 1 at the root level to run the Unit Test and 1 inside the Integration test Folder.
    Now I cannot run individual tests in the Integration Folder. The reason being, the PLAY and DEBUG icon against each test always pick up the Root folder jest.config file. I have to go for each test, edit the configuration to point to the right file and only then they work.

    Is there no easy way where I can force Webstorm to pick 1 Jest.config file for all individual tests?

    • lena_spb says:

      April 17, 2020


      You can choose the desired config in Jest run configuration template (Run | Edit Configurations…, Templates/Jest) to have all new run configurations created from gutter using the right configuration file

      • Achyut Jhunjhunwala says:

        April 17, 2020

        aha, perfect. That worked like a charm. Thanks a lot for the help.

  12. Vladimir Varbanov says:

    May 6, 2020

    Hello there,
    this is really cool and convenient! Actually all features within the testing panes. I have one problem (which I believe is quite trivial) with import paths as the WebStorm says it can’t find the dependencies (probably because of the relative path alias or something in project configuration), but I have an error like:

    ● Test suite failed to run

    Cannot find module 'src/lib/state-provider' from 'state-provider.spec.js'

    > 1 | import { StateProvider, $imports } from 'src/lib/state-provider';

  13. Vladimir Varbanov says:

    May 6, 2020

    hi Lena,
    thank you for the quick answer! Yes indeed it could be from there and I’ll look at it right now. The tests are running fine thought the npm script, but they don’t when I try them from the test pane of WebStorm. That’s why I was looking at some setting probably.

  14. Vladimir Varbanov says:

    May 6, 2020

    Hi Lena,
    Yes, the post you sent me is explaining well, and after I checked my project jest config, I found that I actually have these. As I mentioned before, everything runs fine from the command line, but if I try to get an advantage of the test pane of the IDE, it throws the above error when trying to import.

  15. Vladimir Varbanov says:

    May 6, 2020

    Hello again,
    I think I fixed it for one test suite particularly and did it by doing the following:
    In the configuration dialog of the test suite, I’ve pointed the path for jest configuration, which was empty to mine, which is under a different folder an,d it worked. Do you know how this can be done for the tests of the whole project? I would be very thankful!

    • lena_spb says:

      May 6, 2020

      Existing run configurations have to be fixed manually one by one; but you can specify the right configuration file in Jest configuration template in Run > Edit configurations.. > Templates – new configurations created from gutter will use these settings

  16. Vladimir Varbanov says:

    May 6, 2020

    That’s awesome! It solved my issue.
    Thank you!