The AndroidJUnitRunner class is a JUnit test runner that lets you run JUnit 3- or JUnit 4-style test classes on Android devices, including those using the Espresso and UI Automator testing frameworks.

The test runner handles loading your test package and the app under test to a device, running your tests, and reporting test results. This class replaces the InstrumentationTestRunner class, which only supports JUnit 3 tests.

This test runner supports several common testing tasks, including the following:

Write JUnit tests

The test runner is compatible with your JUnit 3 and JUnit 4 (up to JUnit 4.10) tests. However, you should avoid mixing JUnit 3 and JUnit 4 test code in the same package, as this might cause unexpected results. If you are creating an instrumented JUnit 4 test class to run on a device or emulator, your test class must be prefixed with the @RunWith(AndroidJUnit4.class) annotation.

The following code snippet shows how you might write an instrumented JUnit 4 test to validate that the add operation in the CalculatorActivity class works correctly:

public class ChangeTextBehaviorTest {

    private static final String mStringToBeTyped = "Espresso";

    public ActivityTestRule<MainActivity> mActivityRule =
            new ActivityTestRule<>(MainActivity.class);

    public void changeText_sameActivity() {
        // Type text and then press the button.
                .perform(typeText(mStringToBeTyped), closeSoftKeyboard());

        // Check that the text was changed.

Use Android Test Orchestrator

When using AndroidJUnitRunner version 1.0 or higher, you have access to a tool called Android Test Orchestrator, which allows you to run each of your app's tests within its own invocation of Instrumentation.

Android Test Orchestrator offers the following benefits for your testing environment:

  • Minimal shared state. Each test runs in its own Instrumentation instance. Therefore, if your tests share app state, most of that shared state is removed from your device's CPU or memory after each test.

    To remove all shared state from your device's CPU and memory after each test, use the clearPackageData flag.

  • Crashes are isolated. Even if one test crashes, it takes down only its own instance of Instrumentation, so the other tests in your suite still run.

To use Android Test Orchestrator, complete the following steps:

  1. Download the necessary packages.
  2. Enable Android Test Orchestrator, either in Android Studio or from the command-line.

Enable from Gradle

To enable Android Test Orchestrator using the Gradle command-line tool, complete these steps:

  1. Add the following statements to your project's build.gradle file:

    android {
      defaultConfig {
       testInstrumentationRunner ""
       // The following argument makes the Android Test Orchestrator run its
       // "pm clear" command after each test invocation. This command ensures
       // that the app's state is completely cleared between tests.
       testInstrumentationRunnerArguments clearPackageData: 'true'
      testOptions {
    dependencies {
      androidTestImplementation ''
      androidTestUtil ''
  2. Run Android Test Orchestrator by executing the following command:

    ./gradlew connectedCheck

Enable from Android Studio

Support for Android Test Orchestrator is available with Android Studio 3.0 and higher. To enable Android Test Orchestrator in Android Studio, add the statements shown in Enable from Gradle to your app's build.gradle file.

Enable from command line

To use Android Test Orchestrator on the command line, run the following commands in a terminal window:

# Install the test orchestrator.
adb install -r path/to/m2repository/com/android/support/test/orchestrator/1.0.2/orchestrator-1.0.2.apk

# Install test services.
adb install -r path/to/m2repository/com/android/support/test/services/test-services/1.0.2/test-services-1.0.2.apk

# Replace "com.example.test" with the name of the package containing your tests.
# Add "-e clearPackageData" to clear your app's data in between runs.
adb shell 'CLASSPATH=$(pm path app_process / \ am instrument -w -e \
  targetInstrumentation com.example.test/ \'

As the command syntax shows, you install Android Test Orchestrator, then use it directly.

Note: If you don't know your target instrumentation, you can look it up by running the following command:

adb shell pm list instrumentation


The Orchestrator service APK is stored in a process that's separate from the test APK and the APK of the app under test, as shown in Figure 1:

Figure 1. Android Test Orchestrator APK structure

Android Test Orchestrator collects JUnit tests at the beginning of your test suite run, but it then executes each test separately, in its own instance of Instrumentation.

Access instrumentation information

You can use the InstrumentationRegistry class to access information related to your test run. This class includes the Instrumentation object, the target app Context object, the test app Context object, and the command line arguments passed into your test. This data is useful when you are writing tests using the UI Automator framework or when writing tests that have dependencies on the Instrumentation or Context objects.

Filter tests

In your JUnit 4.x tests, you can use annotations to configure the test run. This feature minimizes the need to add boilerplate and conditional code in your tests. In addition to the standard annotations supported by JUnit 4, the test runner also supports Android-specific annotations, including the following:

  • @RequiresDevice: Specifies that the test should run only on physical devices, not on emulators.
  • @SdkSupress: Suppresses the test from running on a lower Android API level than the given level. For example, to suppress tests on all API levels lower than 23 from running, use the annotation @SDKSupress(minSdkVersion=23).
  • @SmallTest, @MediumTest, and @LargeTest: Classify how long a test should take to run, and consequently, how frequently you can run the test.

Shard tests

The test runner supports splitting a single test suite into multiple shards, so you can easily run tests belonging to the same shard together as a group, under the same Instrumentation instance. Each shard is identified by an index number. When running tests, use the -e numShards option to specify the number of separate shards to create and the -e shardIndex option to specify which shard to run.

For example, to split the test suite into 10 shards and run only the tests grouped in the second shard, use the following command:

adb shell am instrument -w -e numShards 10 -e shardIndex 2


To learn more about using this test runner, see the API reference.

To use the AndroidJUnitRunner class, include it as one of your project's packages.