Automation Testing Vs. Manual Testing – What’s the Difference?

Software TestingAutomation TestingTesting Tools

What is the definition of manual testing?

Manual testing is software testing in which tests are run manually by a QA Analyst. It's used to find problems in software that's still in development.

In manual testing, the tester examines all of the application's or software's critical features. Without the use of any automated software testing technologies, software testers run test cases and create test reports in this procedure.

It is a traditional approach for all forms of testing that aids in the discovery of faults in software systems. Complete the software testing process, it is usually done by an experienced tester.

What is Automation Testing and How Does It Work?

Testers produce code/test scripts to automate test execution in Automated Software Testing. Testers create test scripts and evaluate the software using suitable automation technologies. The objective is to finish testing in a shorter period regularly.

Automated testing is based solely on a pre-scripted test that runs automatically and compares the actual findings to the predicted ones. This assists the tester in determining whether an application runs as planned.

You may use automated testing to do repetitive tasks and regression tests without the need for a human tester. Even if all operations are automated, the creation of the first testing scripts necessitates some human work.

Manual Testing Vs and Automated Testing

Let’s look at the major differences between manual and automated testing.

  • A QA analyst (human) does manual testing, while a tester (computer) performs automated testing using a script, code, and automation tools.

  • Manual testing is ineffective due to the possibility of human mistakes, but automation is dependable due to its code and script-based nature.

  • Manual testing takes a long time, however, automation testing is quite quick.

  • Manual testing may be done without knowing how to program, while automation testing cannot be done without knowing how to program.

  • Random Testing is possible with manual testing, but not with automation testing.

ParameterAutomation TestingManual Testing
DefinitionAutomation Testing executes test cases with the help of automation technologies.A human tester and software perform test cases in manual testing.
Time to processAutomated testing is much quicker than manual testing.Manual testing takes time and requires human resources.
Exploratory TestingAutomated testing does not allow for exploratory testing.Manual Testing allows for exploratory testing.
Initial investmentAutomated testing requires a larger initial expenditure. Though, in the long term, the ROI is superior.In comparison to automated testing, manual testing requires a lesser initial expenditure. In the long term, Automation testing has a lower ROI than manual testing.
ReliabilityAutomated testing is a dependable way since it is carried out by tools and scripts. Fatigue cannot be tested.Because of the risk of human mistakes, manual testing is less reliable.
UI ChangeAutomated Test Scripts must be changed to operate as anticipated even if the AUT's UI changes just a little.Small changes to a button's id, class, or other properties would not prevent a manual tester from running.
InvestmentsInvestments are necessary for both testing tools and automation engineers.Human resources need investment.
Cost-effectiveFor low-volume regression, it is not cost-effective.For large volume regression, it is not costeffective.
Visibility of Test ReportsAll stakeholders may connect to the automation system and verify test execution outcomes using automation testing.Manual tests are often documented in Excel or Word, with test results not easily accessible.
Human observationAutomated testing does not take into account human factors. As a result, it can never guarantee userfriendliness or a great client experience.Manual testing allows for human observation,which might be beneficial in developing a userfriendly system.
Performance TestingPerformance tests like load testing, stress testing, spike testing, and so on must all be run using an automated tool.Manual performance testing is not possible.
Parallel ExecutionThis testing may be run in parallel on many operating systems, reducing test execution time.Manual testing can be run in tandem, but you'll need to hire more people, which is costly.
Batch testingBatch testing allows you to run many Test Scripts for nightly execution.There is no way to batch manual testing.
Programming skillsProgramming skills are required for automated testing.Manual Testing does not need programming.
SetupAutomated testing necessitates a simpler test execution setup.Manual testing necessitates a simpler test execution environment.
EngagementTool-assisted engagement. It's precise and never gets old!Manual test execution may become tedious and error-prone over time.
Ideal ApproachWhen doing the same set of test cases regularly, automation testing is a good option.When a test case simply has to run once or twice, manual testing comes in handy.
Build Verification TestingBuild Verification Testing is aided by automation testing (BVT).In manual testing, doing Build Verification Testing (BVT) is very complex and time-consuming.
DeadlinesAutomated Tests have no chance of missing a predetermined test due to deadlines.Manual testing has a greater chance of missing the predetermined test deadline.
FrameworkFrameworks such as Data- Driven, Keyword, and Hybrid are used in automated testing to speed up the process.Manual testing does not employ frameworks, but it does use standards, checklists, and strict methods to create test cases.
DocumentationAutomated Tests serve as a teaching tool, particularly for automated unit test cases. A fresh developer may rapidly comprehend the codebase by looking at unit test cases.There is no training benefit in manual test cases.
Test DesignAutomated Unit Test Design Test Driven Development Design is enforced/driven by tests.Manual Unit Tests do not influence the coding process in any way.
DevOpsAutomated tests are an important aspect of the DevOps cycle and aid with Build Verification Testing.DevOps' automatic build concept is defeated by manual testing.
When Should You Use It?Automated testing is appropriate for Regression Testing, Performance Testing, Load Testing, and highly repeatable functional test cases.Exploratory, Usability and Adhoc Testing may all benefit from manual testing. It should also be employed in situations when the AUT is regularly changing.

Pros and Cons of Manual Testing

The advantages of Manual Testing include the following −

  • Receive immediate and accurate visual feedback.

  • It is less costly since you do not have to invest money in periods regularly in technologies and processes.

  • The manual aspect always benefits from human judgment and intuition.

  • An automated test would need code, which might be time-consuming for testing a minor change. You could test manually on the fly if you wanted to.

The drawbacks of Manual Testing include the following −

  • Because it is done by a person, it is a less dependable testing procedure. As a result, it is prone to errors and blunders at all times.

  • Because the manual testing method cannot be documented, the manual test cannot be reused.

  • Certain activities are difficult to accomplish manually in this testing approach, which may demand more time during the software testing process.

Pros and Cons of Automated Testing

The advantages of Automated Testing include the following −

  • When compared to a human tester, automated testing helps you identify more flaws.

  • You may have a quick and efficient approach since the majority of the testing process is automated.

  • It is possible to record the automation process. This enables you to reuse and run the same testing activities over and over again.

  • Unlike manual testing, automated testing is carried out utilizing software tools, thus it does not tire or weary the tester.

  • Because it gives quick and precise testing results, it may readily boost productivity.

  • Various applications benefit from automated testing.

  • Because of automated testing tools, testing coverage may be expanded. Never forget to verify even the tiniest unit.

The drawbacks of Automated Testing include the following −

  • It's impossible to get insight into visual features of your UI like colors, typeface, sizes, contrast, or button sizes without a human element.

  • Automation testing tools may be costly, which might drive up the cost of the testing project.

  • The automation testing tool isn't completely foolproof yet. Each automation technology has its own set of restrictions that limit the breadth of automation.

  • Another big challenge in automated testing is debugging the test script. The expense of test maintenance is high.


Manual testing is still as significant as automation in the testing area. There are numerous sorts of testing for which an automation tool is ineffective, and we must resort to manual testing. Tool scripts are created by hand. The tool was created by hand; tools do not need human interaction, but they do require a command from a person.

Any equipment or software can only accomplish what it was programmed to do, and this is its restriction (or sometimes advantage as it can not act smarter than us). Automation tools have their own set of restrictions, but they will improve and become smarter over time.

Manual and automation testing both have advantages and disadvantages, and which one to use depends on the project's needs, timeline, and most significantly, money. Finally, we may argue that manual testing is appropriate when competent testers are required, whereas automation is appropriate when the test case must be automated.

Updated on 29-Nov-2021 06:25:05