5 Best Ways to Handle Plugin Blocked Pop-up Using Selenium with Python

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πŸ’‘ Problem Formulation: When automating web browsers with Selenium in Python, encountering a “plugin blocked” pop-up can disrupt the flow of your script, leading to incomplete executions or failures. This article discusses methods to bypass or deal with such pop-ups. As an input, you have a Selenium WebDriver instance encountering a blocked plugin pop-up. The desired output is a seamless continuation of the test script without manual intervention.

Method 1: Configure Browser Preferences

One efficient way to prevent plugin blocked pop-ups is to configure the browser settings before initializing the WebDriver. Most modern browsers allow users to disable such prompts through preferences which can be set programmatically using Selenium.

Here’s an example:

from selenium import webdriver

options = webdriver.ChromeOptions()
options.add_experimental_option("prefs", {"profile.default_content_setting_values.plugins": 1})
driver = webdriver.Chrome(chrome_options=options)
driver.get('http://example.com')

Output: WebDriver initializes with modified settings, bypassing the plugin blocked pop-up.

In the code snippet above, ChromeOptions are used to set preferences that disable plugin blocked pop-ups by default. The ‘plugins’ setting is set to ‘1’ which allows plugins to run.

Method 2: Explicit Waits

Selenium’s Explicit Waits can be used to wait for a certain condition to be met before proceeding. In this case, you can wait until the pop-up is displayed and then execute the required action to dismiss it.

Here’s an example:

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.by import By
from selenium.webdriver.support.ui import WebDriverWait
from selenium.webdriver.support import expected_conditions as EC

driver = webdriver.Chrome()
driver.get('http://example.com')
wait = WebDriverWait(driver, 10)
close_popup = wait.until(EC.element_to_be_clickable((By.ID, 'close-popup')))
close_popup.click()

Output: WebDriver waits for the pop-up and clicks the ‘close’ button as soon as it becomes clickable.

The code above uses WebDriverWait to wait for the pop-up element to be clickable (using the ID of the pop-up close button). Once clickable, the ‘click()’ method is used to dismiss the pop-up.

Method 3: Switch to Pop-up

If the plugin blocked pop-up is displayed as a separate window or alert, Selenium can be instructed to switch context to the pop-up, interact with it, and close it so the main content can be accessed.

Here’s an example:

from selenium import webdriver

driver = webdriver.Chrome()
driver.get('http://example.com')
driver.switch_to.alert.accept()

Output: WebDriver switches to the alert and closes it, returning control to the main window.

This snippet utilizes the ‘switch_to.alert’ method of Selenium WebDriver which switches the context to the pop-up alert (assuming it is one). ‘accept()’ is then used to close the alert.

Method 4: Custom JavaScript Execution

Using Selenium, you can execute custom JavaScript to either suppress the pop-up or forcibly close it. This method requires some understanding of the web page’s scripts and may not be reliable for all types of pop-ups.

Here’s an example:

from selenium import webdriver

driver = webdriver.Chrome()
driver.get('http://example.com')
driver.execute_script("return window.stop();")

Output: Execution of JavaScript stops all elements from loading, preventing the pop-up.

This code snippet leverages WebDriver’s ability to execute arbitrary JavaScript, using the ‘return window.stop()’ JS call to halt any further loading of page elements, including the pop-up.

Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Disable Plugins

A quick and somewhat brute-force method is to launch the browser with plugins disabled. It is simple but may not be suitable for tests that require plugin functionality.

Here’s an example:

from selenium import webdriver

options = webdriver.ChromeOptions()
options.add_argument("--disable-plugins")
driver = webdriver.Chrome(options=options)
driver.get('http://example.com')

Output: WebDriver starts with all plugins disabled, thus no pop-up appears.

The concise code provided uses ChromeOptions to add the ‘–disable-plugins’ argument, which starts Chrome with all plugins disabled, avoiding the pop-up.

Summary/Discussion

  • Method 1: Configure Browser Preferences. Robust. Requires knowledge of browser-specific settings.
  • Method 2: Explicit Waits. Reliable for known pop-ups. Can increase script execution time.
  • Method 3: Switch to Pop-up. Effective for genuine browser alerts. May not work for custom-designed pop-ups.
  • Method 4: Custom JavaScript Execution. Powerful and flexible. Can be complex and brittle against DOM changes.
  • Bonus Method 5: Disable Plugins. Simple to implement. Not suitable if plugins are essential for the application under test.