Clear text from textarea with selenium


I’ve got some tests where I’m checking that the proper error message appears when text in certain fields are invalid. One check for validity is that a certain textarea element is not empty.

If this textarea already has text in it, how can I tell selenium to clear the field?

something like:

Asked By: Isaac



Answered By: Isaac

In the most recent Selenium version, use:

Answered By: Union find

Option a)

If you want to ensure keyboard events are fired, consider using sendKeys(CharSequence).

Example 1:

 from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys
 # ...
 webElement.sendKeys(Keys.CONTROL + "a")

Example 2:

 from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys
 # ...
 webElement.sendKeys(Keys.BACK_SPACE)  //do repeatedly, e.g. in while loop


There are many ways to get the required WebElement, e.g.:

  • driver.find_element_by_id
  • driver.find_element_by_xpath
  • driver.find_element

Option b)


If this element is a text entry element, this will clear the value.

Note that the events fired by this event may not be as you’d expect. In particular, we don’t fire any keyboard or mouse events.

Answered By: Fenix

It is general syntax

driver.find_element_by_id('Locator value').clear();
driver.find_element_by_name('Locator value').clear();
Answered By: iamsankalp89

for java




If this element is a text entry element, this will clear the value.

Answered By: vaibhavcool20

With a simple call of clear() it appears in the DOM that the corresponding input/textarea component still has its old value, so any following changes on that component (e.g. filling the component with a new value) will not be processed in time.

If you take a look in the selenium source code you’ll find that the clear()-method is documented with the following comment:

/** If this element is a text entry element, this will clear the value. Has no effect on other elements. Text entry elements are INPUT and TEXTAREA elements. Note that the events fired by this event may not be as you’d expect. In particular, we don’t fire any keyboard or mouse events. If you want to ensure keyboard events are fired, consider using something like {@link #sendKeys(CharSequence…)} with the backspace key. To ensure you get a change event, consider following with a call to {@link #sendKeys(CharSequence…)} with the tab key. */

So using this helpful hint to clear an input/textarea (component that already has a value) AND assign a new value to it, you’ll get some code like the following:

public void waitAndClearFollowedByKeys(By by, CharSequence keys) {
    LOG.debug("clearing element");
    wait(by, true).clear();
    sendKeys(by, Keys.BACK_SPACE.toString() + keys);

public void sendKeys(By by, CharSequence keysToSend) {
    WebElement webElement = wait(by, true);"sending keys '{}' to {}", escapeProperly(keysToSend), by);
    webElement.sendKeys(keysToSend);"keys sent");

private String escapeProperly(CharSequence keysToSend) {
    String result = "" + keysToSend;
    result = result.replace(Keys.TAB, "\t");
    result = result.replace(Keys.ENTER, "\n");
    result = result.replace(Keys.RETURN, "\r");

    return result;

Sorry for this code being Java and not Python. Also, I had to skip out an additional “waitUntilPageIsReady()-method that would make this post way too long.

Hope this helps you on your journey with Selenium!

Answered By: ShadowGames

I ran into a field where .clear() did not work. Using a combination of the first two answers worked for this field.

from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys

#...your code (I was using python 3)

driver.find_element_by_id('foo').send_keys(Keys.CONTROL + "a")
Answered By: Jortega

In my experience, this turned out to be the most efficient

driver.find_element_by_css_selector('foo').send_keys(u'ue009' + u'ue003')

We are sending Ctrl + Backspace to delete all characters from the input, you can also replace backspace with delete.

EDIT: removed Keys dependency

Answered By: m0h17

driver.find_element_by_xpath("path").send_keys(Keys.CONTROL + u'ue003') worked great with FireFox

  • u’ue003′ is a BACK_SPACE for those like me – never remembering it)
Answered By: Victoria

Am using selenium==3.141.0 and I don’t know why


is not working.

I used

WebElement.send_keys(Keys.CONTROL, 'a')

Which perfectly worked for me.

Answered By: gitaoh

from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys

element = driver.find_element_by_css_selector(‘foo’)
element.send_keys(Keys.CONTROL + Keys.BACKSPACE)

Answered By: Natan Lieberman

The CTRL+A send_keys solution did not work for me in react. Testing in the browser directly, CTRL+A just sends the cursor to the start of the text element. Instead, this seems to be reliable for selecting all content in the element.

preferred_name_field.send_keys(Keys.SHIFT, Keys.ARROW_UP)
Answered By: Kevin Campbell


driver.find_element_by_xpath('Path').send_keys(Keys.CONTROL + "a")      
Answered By: Abubakar Ijaz

If clear() is not working, you can simulate the press of Backspace multiple times using: driver.get_element_by_id('foo').send_keys(Keys.BACKSPACE)

To execute this multiple times, use:

from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys

# Replace 100 with the number of time you want to press backspace.
for i in range(0, 100): 
Answered By: Anuroop Singh

I recommend:

WebElement.send_keys([Keys.BACKSPACE] * 1000)

This is much faster and more elegant than a while loop.
And Keys.BACKSPACE works on Mac.
These all didn’t work for me on Chrome on Mac:

WebElement.send_keys(Keys.CONTROL, 'a')
while _ in range(1000):
Answered By: UFO

First find the element

element = driver.find_element_by_id('your element id')

Clear text in Input or Textarea: If the element is input or textarea, you can directly remove the using clear() function.


Reset Radio button or Checkbox: Just click again the radio button or checkbox item.

Deselect the Dropdow: In select, you can deselect using following ways.

Select select = new Select(element);

Answered By: Samiya Khan

Try using this

text=((Keys.BACKSPACE*20)+(Keys.DELETE * 20))
Answered By: Rajeev Kumar