dotCover 2024.1 Help

Execute tests and analyze results

dotCover provides several ways to execute unit tests. Whichever way you choose, execution progress, test results, and output are displayed in the Unit Test Sessions window , coverage results are shown in the Unit Test Coverage window .

Before running coverage analysis , make sure that the PDB information exists for all target assemblies. The safest choice would be to build your code with the Debug build configuration.

Different ways to run, debug or cover unit tests

Start test execution

  • Use one of the ways to execute tests in the current document.

  • Use one of the ways to execute tests in the project/solution.

  • If there are existing unit test sessions, you can run, debug or cover some or all tests in a session:

    • Select tests that you want to execute in the Unit Test Sessions window and click Run Unit Tests Run Unit Tests Control+T R/ Debug Unit Tests Debug Unit Tests Control+T D on the toolbar.

    • To run all tests in the session, click Run Current Session Run Current Session Control+T Y on the toolbar or alternatively, choose ReSharper | Unit Tests | Run Current Session from the main menu.

    • To cover tests in the selected node of the session, right-click this node and choose Cover Unit Tests Cover Unit Tests Control+T H.

    • To keep automatically starting and running selected tests until one of the tests fails, expand the selector at the Run Unit Tests Run Unit Tests Control+T R button and choose Run Unit Tests Until Fail.

As tests are running in a unit test session, the execution progress is shown in the status bar under the toolbar of the Unit Test Sessions window and the progress icon is displayed next to the currently executing test. You can run multiple unit test sessions simultaneously. However, when you debug tests, only one test session can be executed at a time.

If necessary, you can enable the Track Running Test ThemedIcon.TrackRun.Screen.(Gray).png option on the toolbar. If it is on, the selection in the test tree switches automatically to the test that is currently running and the output panel always shows output of the current test during the execution.

You can also enable the Auto Scroll Output When Running Test ThemedIcon.ScrollToBottom.Screen.(Gray).png option to follow output of tests as they are running.

Stop test execution

  1. Click Stop Execution ThemedIcon.StopTest.Screen.(Gray).png on the toolbar to abort execution or coverage analysis of the tests.

  2. dotCover will send the signal to the test runner to stop execution. Depending on the test framework, the execution can be aborted immediately, or the runner may try to finish the current test and stop after that.

  3. If the test runner continues executing the current test, the Stop Execution icon changes to ThemedIcon.Abort.Screen.(Gray).png. You can click it again to force quit the test runner process.

If necessary, you can always repeat execution or coverage analysis of the tests that you executed last by clicking Repeat Previous Run ThemedIcon.Rerun.Screen.(Gray).png on the toolbar, pressing Control+T T or choosing ReSharper | Unit Tests | Repeat Previous Run from the menu.

Apply coverage filters

dotCover supports two types of coverage filters that let you exclude code from coverage analysis: runtime filters (applied during a coverage session) and filters of coverage results. Learn more

Analyze execution results and output

When the execution is over, the results are visualized in the Unit Test Sessions window.

dotCover: Unit test sessions

The output pane (which you can place on the right or at the bottom using the Show Output Show Output button on the toolbar) displays output of the selected test. If the test is failed, dotCover also adds short information on the failure and/or displays the stack trace of an exception. You can use clickable links in the output pane to navigate directly to types and methods involved with the failure. If the output displays a link to a file that does not belong to the solution, you can click this link to open the file in an external application associated with the corresponding file type or Ctrl-click to open it in Visual Studio.

By default, dotCover wraps long lines in the output according to the current width of the output area. If necessary, you choose not to wrap long lines by clearing the Wrap long lines in Unit Test Session output checkbox on the Tools | Unit Testing page of dotCover options .

Use the Group by selector on the toolbar to change grouping of the tests — you can either choose one of the predefined grouping modes in the upper part of the selector, such as Test Hierarchy, Project Structure, and so on, or use the lower part of the selector to choose a custom set of grouping properties.

On the status bar, you can see the total number of tests in the session as well as number of tests in different states:

Unit test filters

By default, tests in all states are shown, but you can click the corresponding icons to filter tests by their state. You can also Ctrl-click several icons to display tests in several different states.

Status of each test in the Unit Test Sessions window is displayed with one of the following icons:


Unit test is currently executing


Unit test is scheduled for execution in the current run


Unit test was not executed


Unit test passed in the lats test run


Unit test failed in the lats test run


Unit test was ignored in the last test run

Either it has the corresponding attribute (for example Ignore for NUnit tests) or it is included in a category that is ignored in dotCover settings.


Unit test was aborted in the last test run


Unit test was started but dotCover could not read the test runner output. This normally happens when you abort test execution, but could also be a sign of an error occurring in the test runner.

The same icons are used to display status of grouping items (classes, projects, and so on)

The icons are also used on each session's tab to display the overall execution result of the sessions.

The corresponding icons above the test session tree show how many tests are in each of the states. The ThemedIcon.UnitSession.Screen.(Gray).png icon shows the total number of tests in the session.

Using these icons, you can filter the tree so that only tests in the corresponding status are displayed.

Status icon

There is one more way you can control unit test results.

Test status on Visual Studio status bar

The icon on the status bar of the main Visual Studio window will notify you if there are any failed tests or tests that were changed. Note that the icon notifies you about the results of all tests from all sessions. If the continuous testing mode is enabled for a session, the icon will also notify you about outdated tests from this session.


All tests have passed. There are no changed or outdated tests.


Some tests have failed in the last test run, and there were no more changed or outdated tests.


Some tests were changed or became outdated after the last test run. This status icon may appear together with the 'failed' icon if there were failed tests in the previous run.


Running tests is in progress.

For status bar icons other than 'passed', dotCover displays the number of tests in this status. You can subsequently click this number to navigate to these tests in the editor.

You can also double-click the status icon to see details. dotCover will open the Unit Test Sessions window. If there are changed or failed tests, dotCover will automatically navigate you to the relevant ones.

Analyze coverage results

After running coverage analysis of unit tests, you can study coverage results in the opened Unit Test Coverage window. The window displays the code coverage tree of the whole solution. You can also switch to the hot spot view by clicking Hot Spots on the toolbar.

dotCover: Unit test coverage

Different ways of exploring coverage results are described in the Work with Coverage Results section.

Customize execution process

By default, dotCover uses unit test project settings to define which .NET Framework version and processor architecture should be used when executing tests.

When tests in your project use (sometimes indirectly or implicitly) an assembly based on CLR2 and your project already targets CLR4, errors may occur during test execution. You can avoid such situation, by specifying explicitly what CLR (.NET Framework) should be used. To do so, use the Default .NET Framework version selector on the Tools | Unit Testing page of dotCover options Alt+R, O. This preference affects tests running under NUnit, XUnit and MSpec test frameworks. It has no effect on tests running under MSTest yet.

You can also change the platform architecture (32-bit or 64-bit) using the Default platform architecture selector on that options page.

If necessary, you can override these settings for specific unit test session using the Options selector on the toolbar.

Study execution log

Unit Test Sessions window includes test execution log that lets you separate problems related to test execution process from unit tests results.

You will normally need to check execution log if some of your tests have the 'Inconclusive' state after execution, which could be a sign of an error occurring in the test runner.

If you have errors reported either by the test runner or dotCover, the number of errors is displayed on the right side of the window's status bar, else OK is shown.

To display or hide the execution log, click the Log ThemedIcon.SessionLog.Screen.(Gray).png button.

By default, only events with the 'Error' severity level are logged. If necessary, you can change the minimum severity level. To do so, either right-click the log area and choose the desired severity level or use the Maximum severity of log entries selector on the Tools | Unit Testing | General page of dotCover options Alt+R, O.

You can also copy the whole log to the clipboard by choosing the corresponding command in the context menu.

Last modified: 09 April 2024