Testing Limitations: What Are They and How to Overcome

This article reviews some of the most common limitations in software testing and provides insight into the challenges testers face and how to effectively address them.

What Is Testing Limitations

In general, testing limitations are constraints that cause differences between tests. Due to the different environment and expected operating environment, test results may differ from those in the expected operating environment. Testing can be limited when it is impossible to ascertain the truth or assess the results with certainty. Test coverage may be limited due to insufficient testing resources in all relevant operating environments. Other limitations may include changes in procedures due to security concerns, limited testing infrastructure, lack of threat substitution, insufficient target reality, or immaturity of the system or subsystem. Here, we listed different limitations of manual and tool-assisted testing.

Testing Limitations of manual testing:


1. Manual tests are the least accurate.

2. Running recursive tests repeatedly takes too long, delaying projects and causing incomplete tests.

3. Differences in size and color combinations of GUI objects are two major measures that are very difficult to determine in manual testing.

4. Not suitable for large or time-sensitive projects. Comparing large amounts of data is impractical from a manual testing perspective.

5. When it comes to software maintenance, processing change requests takes a lot of time. 

Testing Limitations of testing tools:


1. Unrealistic expectations of tools.

2. Testers often make the mistake of underestimating factors such as the time, cost, and effort required to deploy a tool in the first place.

3. Testers repeatedly misjudged the amount of time and effort required to gain meaningful benefit from the tool.

4. Testers underestimate the effort it takes to maintain tool-generated test resources.

5. Test teams rely heavily on tools. 

How to Eliminate Limitations of Software Testing

The first thing to understand is that these limitations exist in all software ever released. The best applications built by the most dedicated developers had these limits when tested, so you'll quickly find that you don't have to worry about them. Rather, knowing how to mitigate them is critical to meeting deadlines and producing quality products that meet customer needs.

Here, we provided several proven solutions for the common testing limitations for you to refer to.


1. Testing usually cannot reveal what is missing or unknown.

The obvious solution to this problem is to know as much as possible what will happen. However, given that testing is as complex and difficult as the engineering process itself, it makes sense to assign a similarly skilled team to the testing process. There will always be unknowns, but having an experienced testing tool, like WeTest, will give you a wealth of insight into what to expect and what to test, which greatly reduces the number of unknown bugs that go unnoticed.

2. It is impossible to test all conditions.

The key to solving this problem is finding a balance between testing speed, accuracy, coverage, and budget for a particular software. Automation solves many problems with small tests that are run multiple times. Once you've allocated sufficient resources to your test team, many problems can be solved by identifying which conditions need to be tested.

Modern software tends to be too complex to be tested in every way and released on a competitive schedule. Therefore, it is important to prioritize the requirements and features that are most likely to contain critical bugs. Another important point to keep in mind is that the requirements specification may change later. Designing tests with maintenance in mind also addresses many future testing needs.

3. Testing usually does not provide insight into the root cause of the error.

This requires that the testing methodology includes, or at least takes into account root cause analysis. This typically involves defining the problem, brainstorming possible root causes, and implementing corrective actions to address the problem. From there, you should change your testing process so that the root cause doesn't repeat itself.

Of course, the best way to avoid this process is to test early and often and build your software with as few bugs as possible. However, when mistakes are inevitable, it's important to use them as a learning curve and know how to improve the process. To get around this limitation, you must align your testing approach with the most powerful tools. Whether you have an experienced test team or a state-of-the-art automation solution, it's generally important to do the best you can in a given situation.


Understanding these testing limitations enables software development teams to make informed decisions and implement strategies to improve the overall quality of their products. By the way, to make your test teamwork more efficient, a sophisticated testing tool like WeTest is recommended. It enables you to automatically detect the software and find the error preciously.

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