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Provides a command line interface for aXe to run quick accessibility tests.

Getting Started

Install Node.js if you haven't already. This project requires Node 6+.

Install axe-cli globally: npm install axe-cli -g

Lastly, install the webdrivers of the browsers you wish to use. A webdriver is a driver for your web browsers. It allows other programs on your machine to open a browser and operate it. Current information about available webdrivers can be found at selenium-webdriver project. Alternatively, you could use Webdriver manager


After installing, you can now run the axe command in your CLI, followed by the URL of the page you wish to test:


You can run multiple pages at once, simply add more URLs to the command. If you do not specify the protocol, http will be used by default


Note: If you are having difficulty with the color scheme, use --no-color to disable text styles.

Running specific rules

You can use the --rules flag to set which rules you wish to run, or you can use the --tags to tell axe to run all rules that have that specific tag. For example:

axe --rules color-contrast,html-has-lang

Or, to run all wcag2a rules:

axe --tags wcag2a

A list of rules and what tags they have is available at:

Saving the results

Results can be saved as JSON data, using the --save and --dir flags. By passing a filename to --save you indicate how the file should be called. If no filename is passed, a default will be used. For example:

axe --save deque-site.json


axe --dir ./axe-results/

Defining the scope of a test

If you want to only test a specific area of a page, or wish to exclude some part of a page you can do so using the --include and --exclude flags and pass it a CSS seletor:

axe --include #main --exclude #aside

Custom axe-core versions

Axe-cli will look for locally available versions of axe-core. If the directory from where you start axe-cli has an axe.js file, or has a node_modules directory with axe-core installed in it. Axe-cli will use this version of axe-core instead of the default version installed globally.

Different browsers

Axe-cli can run in a variety of web browsers. By default axe-cli uses PhantomJS, which is installed as a dependency. But axe-cli is equally capable of testing pages using other web browers. Running in another browser requires that browser's webdriver to be installed. You can find a list of available webdrivers at:

To run axe-cli using another browser, pass it in as the --browser option:

axe --browser chrome

Or for short:

axe -b c

CI integration

Axe-cli can be ran within the CI tooling for your project. Many tools are automatically configured to halt/fail builds when a process exits with a code of 1.

Use the --exit flag, -q for short, to have the axe-cli process exit with a failure code 1 when any rule fails to pass.

axe --exit

Timing and timeout

For debugging and managing timeouts, there are two options available. With --timer set, axe-cli will log how long it takes to load the page, and how long it takes to run axe-core. If you find the execution of axe-core takes too long, which can happen on very large pages, use --timeout to increase the time axe has to test that page:

axe --timeout=120