Custom cypress commands to inject axe-core and test for a11y

Usage no npm install needed!

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  import christianvCypressAxe from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/@christianv/cypress-axe';



All Contributors

This package provides three simple Cypress commands to help test your applications for accessibility issues using axe-core.

Install and configure

Add as a dev dependency:

npm i -D cypress-axe

Install peer dependencies:

npm i -D cypress

NOTE: axe-core is now bundled and doesn't need to be installed as a peer dependency

Include the commands

Update Cypress/support/index.js file to include the cypress-axe commands by adding:

import 'cypress-axe'

Add a task to log the messages to the terminal when the cypress executes the spec files

Example - configuring log task



This will inject the axe-core runtime into the page under test. You must run this after a call to cy.visit() and before you run the checkA11y command.

You run this command with cy.injectAxe() either in your test, or in a beforeEach, as long as the visit comes first.

beforeEach(() => {



To configure the format of the data used by aXe. This can be used to add new rules, which must be registered with the library to execute.


User specifies the format of the JSON structure passed to the callback of axe.run

Link - aXe Docs: axe.configure

it('Has no detectable a11y violations on load (custom configuration)', () => {
  // Configure aXe and test the page at initial load
    branding: {
      brand: String,
      application: String
    reporter: 'option',
    checks: [Object],
    rules: [Object],
    locale: Object


This will run axe against the document at the point in which it is called. This means you can call this after interacting with your page and uncover accessibility issues introduced as a result of rendering in response to user actions.

Parameters on cy.checkA11y (axe.run)

context (optional)

Defines the scope of the analysis - the part of the DOM that you would like to analyze. This will typically be the document or a specific selector such as class name, ID, selector, etc.

options (optional)

Set of options passed into rules or checks, temporarily modifying them. This contrasts with axe.configure, which is more permanent.

The keys consist of those accepted by axe.run's options argument as well as a custom includedImpacts key.

The includedImpacts key is an array of strings that map to impact levels in violations. Specifying this array will only include violations where the impact matches one of the included values. Possible impact values are "minor", "moderate", "serious", or "critical".

Filtering based on impact in combination with the skipFailures argument allows you to introduce cypress-axe into tests for a legacy application without failing in CI before you have an opportunity to address accessibility issues. Ideally, you would steadily move towards stricter testing as you address issues.

violationCallback (optional)

Allows you to define a callback that receives the violations for custom side-effects, such as adding custom output to the terminal.

NOTE: This respects the includedImpacts filter and will only execute with violations that are included.

skipFailures (optional, defaults to false)

Disables assertions based on violations and only logs violations to the console output. This enabled you to see violations while allowing your tests to pass. This should be used as a temporary measure while you address accessibility violations.

Reference : https://github.com/avanslaars/cypress-axe/issues/17


Basic usage

// Basic usage
it('Has no detectable a11y violations on load', () => {
  // Test the page at initial load

// Applying a context and run parameters
it('Has no detectable a11y violations on load (with custom parameters)', () => {
  // Test the page at initial load (with context and options)
  cy.checkA11y('.example-class', {
    runOnly: {
      type: 'tag',
      values: ['wcag2a']

it('Has no detectable a11y violations on load (filtering to only include critical impact violations)', () => {
  // Test on initial load, only report and assert for critical impact items
  cy.checkA11y(null, {
    includedImpacts: ['critical']

// Basic usage after interacting with the page
it('Has no a11y violations after button click', () => {
  // Interact with the page, then check for a11y issues

Using the violationCallback argument

The violation callback parameter accepts a function and allows you to add custom behavior when violations are found.

This example adds custom logging to the terminal running Cypress, using cy.task and the violationCallback argument for cy.checkA11y

In Cypress plugins file

This registers a log task as seen in the Cypress docs for cy.task as well as a table task for sending tabular data to the terminal.

module.exports = (on, config) => {
  on('task', {
    log(message) {

      return null
    table(message) {

      return null

In your spec file

Then we create a function that uses our tasks and pass it as the validationCallback argument to cy.checkA11y

// Define at the top of the spec file or just import it
function terminalLog(violations) {
    `${violations.length} accessibility violation${
      violations.length === 1 ? '' : 's'
    } ${violations.length === 1 ? 'was' : 'were'} detected`
  // pluck specific keys to keep the table readable
  const violationData = violations.map(
    ({ id, impact, description, nodes }) => ({
      nodes: nodes.length

  cy.task('table', violationData)

// Then in your test...
it('Logs violations to the terminal', () => {
  cy.checkA11y(null, null, terminalLog)

This custom logging behavior results in terminal output like this:

Custom terminal logging with cy.task and validationCallback

Standard Output

When accessibility violations are detected, your test will fail and an entry titled "A11Y ERROR!" will be added to the command log for each type of violation found (they will be above the failed assertion). Clicking on those will reveal more specifics about the error in the DevTools console.

Cypress and DevTools output for passing and failing axe-core audits


Thanks goes to these wonderful people (emoji key):

Samuel Custer

💻 📖

Michael Toth


Nicholas Boll


Mike Davis



💻 📖

Adrien courdavault


Brett Zamir


This project follows the all-contributors specification. Contributions of any kind welcome!