Manual Testing & Automation Testing - Differences, Pros, and Cons

We live in a digital world where software systems and applications are crucial to our personal and professional lives. As such, it's essential to ensure these systems are functional, reliable, and user-friendly.

The best way to do so is through software testing, which is classified into two main categories: manual testing and automation testing. Different factors can determine which approach is most suitable for a project, including test case complexity, frequency of execution, and development cycles, to name a few.

That's why to achieve the best possible result, it is crucial to evaluate and compare both approaches in-depth and see which one fits the project's requirements. In this post, we'll discuss manual and automation testing differences with their pros and cons.

What Is Manual Testing?

Manual testing is the traditional approach to testing software, in which human testers write and operate various test scripts without the use of any automated tools. In other words, developers hire manual testers to simulate end-users and report any errors or defects discovered during the process.

The more common approach nowadays is to operate manual testing as a part of a comprehensive service along with other methods such as exploratory, usability, and acceptance testing.

What Is Automation Testing?

In test automation services, testers employ a set of automated tools to perform a test case suite on the system. With this technique, testers can reduce the time and effort required to execute test codes manually and accelerate the testing process significantly.

Automated testing tools trigger functional validations by replicating a user's actions when interacting with the software, ensuring that it meets the standards. These test tools offer highly accurate analysis outputs and testing results, which are later reported to testers to identify issues and bugs.

Difference Between Manual Testing & Automation Testing

The difference between manual testing and automation testing is significant, even though they are both critical parts of a comprehensive testing strategy.


Manual testing services are performed by humans, which makes them susceptible to errors and inaccurate results. Automation testing, on the other hand, can operate a test multiple times to offer accurate and consistent results.


If you have a small project with low-scale requirements, then manual testing is an efficient choice, while with large and complex systems, test automation services is by far the better option.


Manual testing requires constant human intervention, making it a slow and cumbersome process. In contrast, automated tools can perform and repeat hundreds of test scripts within minutes.


While in manual testing services, testers have to rewrite test scripts manually for each project, automation testing scripts can be reused for multiple applications.


Automation testing is generally considered more cost-effective due to its speed, reusability, and accuracy. However, in the initial stages, it requires a notable resource for hardware, automation tools, and a skilled team. But for smaller projects, manual testing can be a more cost-effective option as it doesn't require any expensive tools or hardware.


To ensure accurate results, automated testing tools require periodic maintenance and updates. Alternatively, as manual testing is rewritten for every project, it doesn`t require any maintenance.

to know manual testing and automation testing consult our experts

So far, we discussed the differences between manual and automation testing. But which one is most suitable for your software development? To answer this question, first, you need to weigh the advantages and limitations of each type.

Manual Testing Pros and Cons

To test your user experience and ensure it offers reliable performance, manual testing is an excellent choice. Providing testers with insight into users' perspectives, this approach allows them to identify any potential problems users may encounter.

Manual testing is also highly efficient for areas of uncertainty and complex scenarios. This approach is more flexible than automation testing, allowing testers to adapt to changing requirements and identify obscure errors.

All said, when you have a large-scale testing project, manual testing is not the optimal option. Complex testing projects usually require multiple testers to execute test cases simultaneously, which is difficult to replicate and can be time-consuming and costly.

And, of course, as humans are prone to errors, so is manual testing. Human testers can overlook a defect, while an automated tool detects minor details regularly.

Automated Testing Pros and Cons

Test automation services utilize advanced software tools that can automatically execute high volumes of test cases. Tests that would otherwise take hours and even days can be finished in minutes.

Aside from the speed, this approach is highly scalable, meaning testers can increase their testing resources quickly when necessary. Moreover, automation testing tools can repeat the same test over and over, ensuring accurate and consistent results.

This helps developers to recognize small issues and inconsistencies that usually go undetected in manual testing.

When discussing manual and automation testing differences, we mentioned that automation testing is often a more cost-effective option. However, this method requires a high initial investment of time and money to develop effective and comprehensive test cases, which are only justifiable if in large projects.

In addition, automated test cases require costly maintenance and revisions to remain suitable and up-to-date with new software versions.

Another problem some automation testing tools have is the difficulty of detecting graphical anomalies, such as alignments, font sizes, and color schemes that affect usability. This can lead to false errors or undetected issues in later stages.

Automation testing may also generate false positive test results caused by software issues or data inconsistencies.

Final Words

Manual and automation testing are both used to guarantee the optimal functionality and reliability of a software system. But they have notable differences that companies should consider to determine the best option for their specific requirements.

By considering their differences, pros, and cons, the testing team can come up with a suitable and comprehensive approach to meet your project needs, goals, and resources. In many cases, this strategy includes utilizing a combination of manual and automated testing. This allows testers to ensure that the final product caters to the end user's needs and contributes to the overall success of the project.

Boasting extensive experience as a leading software testing provider, PixelQA offers a range of services, including test automation services, performance testing, and mobile testing.

We work with clients to develop comprehensive testing plans that identify and isolate software defects accurately. Hire manual testers to get real-world testing, enabling you to identify and address issues before software releases.