The $ command is a short way to call the findElement command in order to fetch a single element on the page similar to the $ command from the browser scope. The difference when calling it from an element scope is that the driver will look within the children of that element. You can also pass in an object as selector where the object contains a property element-6066-11e4-a52e-4f735466cecf with the value of a reference to an element. The command will then transform the reference to an extended WebdriverIO element.

Note: chaining $ and $$ commands only make sense when you use multiple selector strategies. You will otherwise make unnecessary requests that slow down the test (e.g. $('body').$('div') will trigger two request whereas $('body div') does literally the same with just one request)


For more information on how to select specific elements, check out the Selectors guide.

selectorString, Function, Matcherselector, JS Function, or Matcher object to fetch a certain element
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it('should get text a menu link', () => {
const text = $('#menu');
console.log(text.$$('li')[2].$('a').getText()); // outputs: "API"
it('should get text a menu link - JS Function', () => {
const text = $('#menu');
console.log(text.$$('li')[2].$(function() { // Arrow function is not allowed here.
// this is Element https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Element
// in this particular example it is HTMLLIElement
// TypeScript users may do something like this
// return (this as Element).querySelector('a')
return this.querySelector('a'); // Element
}).getText()); // outputs: "API"
it('should allow to convert protocol result of an element into a WebdriverIO element', () => {
const activeElement = browser.getActiveElement();
console.log($(activeElement).getTagName()); // outputs active element