Section divider

Top 15 Best Exploratory Testing Tools (New 2023)

Top 15 Best Exploratory Testing Tools (New 2023)

Summary: This article lists our top 15 best exploratory testing tools to manage your exploratory test sessions, track ad-hoc testing and take rich notes & screenshots.

Exploratory testing has become an important part of every software team's testing strategy. It allows you to start testing earlier without pre-planning test cases or building automated tests. Our list of the best exploratory testing software covers different apps, helpers and management tools:

  • Improve session planning with mind maps and flow charts
  • Write down rich notes during testing to document & review your findings
  • Take screenshots, annotate images and record videos
  • Plan, assign & organize test sessions with test management tools
  • Document and track your sessions with note-taking apps

Many teams and testers will use a combination of different tools to manage & plan sessions, to record notes, to integrate with test management and to take screenshots. Here's our list of the top & best exploratory testing tools in 2023!

Best Exploratory Testing Tools (New 2023)

Category: Exploratory Test Management

The following full test management tools come with dedicated features to support exploratory testing. They allow you to plan test sessions, take notes, assign sessions, plus review & report on your exploratory sessions.

1. Testmo


Testmo is the first unified & full test management tool featuring dedicated exploratory testing & session features. Create, plan and assign your test sessions. Then enter notes, capture screenshots, track testing times and add issues (Jira, GitHub, GitLab & more). Testmo also comes with full test case management and test automation support for a complete testing & QA workflow. 🎬 Watch exploratory testing in the Testmo demo video.

  • Unified testing for manual, exploratory & automated tests
  • Manage all your testing activities with a fast & modern interface
  • Take rich notes, capture screenshots, add results & track test times
  • Fully customize your exploratory sessions, test cases & fields
  • Rich metrics, reporting & charts for all testing activities
  • Easily integrate with Jira, GitHub, GitLab and many more
Go to Testmo

2. PractiTest


PractiTest is a traditional test management tool that also comes with features for exploratory testing. It allows you to define exploratory tests so you can plan your testing goals and record your findings during testing. According to PractiTest, it is a centralized testing tool to provide complete visibility across all your testing activities. It also comes with built-in features to track issues and requirements, so you do not need to use external tools for this.

  • Track all your tests, issues, defects and requirements in a single tool
  • Special test types to track and record your exploratory tests
  • Also supports manual test cases and automated tests in the same application
  • Use advanced reporting features to improve your testing workflow
  • Customize, organize and structure your testing projects based on your needs
Go to PractiTest

3. Testuff


Testuff is a testing tool that can be used with both a desktop client and web browser. It supports tracking test cases, supports test automation and can also be used with exploratory testing. It was designed to help with the entire test lifecyle, so it also comes with built-in requirement management. This can be useful if you do not want to use tools such as Jira, GitHub or GitLab to track such details.

  • Test management solution that supports both a desktop and web client
  • Was designed to support the full test lifecycle, including requirement management
  • You can track requirements directly inside Testuff if you do not use Jira, GitHub, GitLab or similar for this
  • Testuff can also be used together with exploratory testing
  • Also includes advanced features for collaboration, test assignments and task management
Go to Testuff

Category: Note-Taking & Mind Maps

Taking notes during exploratory testing and planning your test sessions with mind maps has become popular a way to improve & record exploratory testing efforts. We've selected popular note-taking & mind mapping tools below.

4. Rapid Reporter

Rapid Reporter

Rapid Reporter is a small Windows desktop tool that helps with taking notes during exploratory testing. Its goal is to help testers with the reporting aspects of session-based test management. You can use it to take notes during testing, track your test times and save & export your notes to CSV files, so you can easily re-use your notes with spreadsheets. It also supports taking screenshots during testing without using external tools, so you can fully focus on your testing task with as few distractions as possible.

  • Windows desktop tool to help with exploratory testing
  • Ideal when your goal is to use exploratory testing as part of session-based test management
  • Track your test times and easily see your time progress
  • Take screenshots during testing and take rich notes
  • Export your notes to CSV files for reporting & review
Go to Rapid Reporter

5. Notion


Notion is a popular project management and note-taking web application. It's used by teams to plan, track and document all kinds of projects, including software development and testing activities. For note-taking, it features a simple rich-text editor to quickly enter your session details. Then share your notes with the rest of your team to collaborate on your exploratory tests. You can also easily keep lists, tables and boards to track your data in different ways to organize your notes.

  • Shared workspaces for your team to organize and keep your notes and docs
  • Flexible docs and pages allow you to build the workflow you want
  • Reuse temples to quickly create new sessions and standardize your notes
  • Display and organize your data as pages, lists, tables and boards
  • Share and collaborate on notes and add inline comments to track contributions
Go to Notion

6. Lucidchart


Lucidchart is a diagramming application that helps you visualize your data in various ways. You can use this to design flowcharts that are useful for exploratory session planning and also use this to take notes during testing. Lucidchart supports many different kinds of diagrams, so it's a handy tool to visualize all kinds of data and relationships. For exploratory testing, its mind mapping diagrams come in especially handy, making Lucidchart a useful tool for testing and to document other aspects of your development and testing workflow.

  • Diagramming software to visualize data and document relationships with flowcharts
  • Supports many different types of diagrams for all kinds of use cases
  • Use mind maps to plan exploratory sessions & take notes of your findings
  • Easily share diagrams and mind maps with team members for improved collaboration
Go to Lucidchart

7. Coggle


Coggle is a simple web-based mind mapping tool. It allows you to quickly create mind maps of different types to help with various testing and development tasks. For exploratory testing, you can use Coggle to create mind maps to plan your testing sessions in advance or document your sessions while you test, so you never miss any important details of your testing activities. Coggle comes with a free plan to get started, and affordable plans for unlimited private diagrams.

  • Web-based mind mapping tool to design mind maps and flowcharts
  • Share and work on mind maps with multiple team members at the same time
  • Track multiple versions over time so you can quickly revert any changes
  • Supports advanced mind mapping features such as joins, loops and multiple starting points
  • Unlimited private diagrams with affordable paid plans
Go to Coggle

8. MindMeister


MindMeister is another popular online mind mapping tool. Use MindMeister to create detailed & flexible mind maps to plan and document your exploratory tests. It allows you to reuse themes and templates to quickly create nice-looking mind maps. It also features fast keyboard shortcuts optimized to work with and create mind maps faster. Then collaborate with other team members by sharing your diagrams, work on the same mind map at the same time and track comments & version histories.

  • Online mind mapping software to track your exploratory tests and development efforts
  • Use themes and re-usable templates to quickly start new mind maps
  • Fast keyboard shortcuts make it fast & productive to build your maps without touching your mouse
  • Advanced collaboration features such as commenting and version histories
  • Integrate mind maps with different tools such as Google Workspace, MS Teams and more
Go to MindMeister

Category: Screenshots, Videos & Annotations

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is often also true for screenshots taken for error reports, requests for improvements and to document software issues. The following popular tools help you take screenshots & videos and annotate your images during exploratory testing.

9. Snip & Sketch

Snip & Sketch

If you are using Windows as your primary OS, you might not have realized that Microsoft is shipping a quite good and very capable screenshot tool with Windows nowadays. It's called Snip & Sketch and comes with Windows 10. Snip & Sketch allows you to take screenshots and then quickly annotate the screenshots with texts, arrows, highlights and more. If you are looking for a good screenshot tool for Windows, you should look at Snip & Sketch, because you might not need any other tool.

  • Snip & Sketch is the built-in screenshot tool of Windows
  • Quickly take screenshots of any Windows app or web page
  • Add annotations with texts, arrows and more
  • Quickly highlight important parts of your screenshot
  • This is the latest screenshot tool of Microsoft & it's free
Go to Snip & Sketch

10. Apple Screenshot

Apple Screenshot

Similar to the above Windows option, Apple ships a very useful screenshot tool with macOS. Apple Screenshot makes it easy to take screenshots of individual windows, entire desktops or allows you select just a specific area of the screen you want to capture. After taking a screenshot, the images automatically open in a new window to annotate them with texts, basic shapes and arrows. For many uses, Apple Screenshot is all you need to take & annotate screenshots on macOS.

  • Apple Screenshot is built into all recent macOS versions
  • Take screenshots of windows, desktops or select the area to capture
  • Annotate screenshots with texts, arrows and basic shapes
  • Alternatively also directly copy screenshots to the clipboard
  • Apple Screenshot is free, so you do not need to install any extra tools
Go to Apple Screenshot

11. Snagit


If you are looking for a more capable tool to take screenshots and screencasts (videos), then TechSmith Snagit is a popular tool. This is a paid tool that comes with many extra features, which might be useful if you use screenshots and videos very often. For example, Snagit makes it easy to take & share screencasts via TechSmith's online platform, so sharing a video is as simple as forwarding a web address.

  • Popular screenshot & video tool for Windows and macOS
  • Take screenshots and annotate them with texts, arrows and more
  • Record videos of your screen to more easily share complicated bug reports or suggestions
  • Upload and share videos via TechSmith online platform
Go to Snagit

12. Flameshot


Flameshot is another alternative to consider for taking screenshots. This is an open source tool that is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. So if you are looking for some additional features not handled by the built-in tools of your OS, and a paid option like Snagit is out of question, then Flameshot might be a great fit. Besides screenshots and annotations, it also allows you to share images via online platforms.

  • Open source & free screenshot tool available for most OS
  • Take screenshots & annotate them with a built-in editor
  • Quickly share screenshots via online platforms
  • Provides additional command line features to integrate it with scripts
Go to Flameshot

Category: Browser Testing Extensions

If you are testing web applications and web apps, then browser extensions can be helpful with various exploratory testing tasks. See our list of popular exploratory testing and development browser extensions below.

13. BugMagnet


This is a popular browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that helps with various exploratory testing tasks. For example, the extension helps with filling form fields such as inputs, textareas or rich-text fields with sample data such as names, email addresses and other data. It specifically includes many data edge cases to make it easier to verify uncommon values. You can also load your own config files with custom data, so you always have this ready for testing.

  • Browser extension for Chrome and Firefox to help with exploratory testing
  • Quickly enter sample data into input fields, textareas and rich-text fields
  • Comes with ready-to-use sample data for names, email addresses, numbers, URLs, test payment cards and much more
  • Edge case data makes it easy to test uncommon data and problematic values
  • Allows you to add additional custom data from your own config files
Go to BugMagnet

14. Web Developer

Web Developer

Web Developer is another handy browser extension to help with various testing and development activities. For example, it makes it easy to display and find various common issues with web pages. It also makes it easy to resize your browser window to different sizes for responsive design testing. And it can automatically outline various DOM elements, which can often be faster and easier to understand the structure of a page than using the browser's developer tools. If you are working primarily with websites and web apps, then this browser extension can be quite useful.

  • Browser extension for Chrome, Firefox & Opera to help with testing & development tasks
  • Quickly identify and highlight common issues with web pages
  • Automatically resize the browser window to test responsive designs
  • Outline DOM elements to understand and review the structure of a page quickly
  • Use various tools to test image loading, outline images and hide images with a single click
  • Quickly disable cookies, plugins and popups to test your pages
Go to Web Developer

15. Chrome DevTools

Chrome DevTools

The Swiss Army Knife of browser tools. Often underestimated, the built-in developer tools of Google Chrome are (in our opinion) the most powerful developer and testing tool found in any browser. You can use this to inspect the current page DOM & CSS, debug your JavaScript code, run performance tests, track network requests, view application data such as cookies and local storage and much much more. Another reason you should master this tool: it is available on pretty much any machine you test on, so you can always use it without having to install anything else.

  • Powerful development and testing tool directly built into Google Chrome
  • Inspect the page DOM, CSS, JavaScript Code and developer console
  • Run performance tests to improve page performance and memory usage
  • Track all network requests and inspect their headers and content
  • View application data such as cookies, local storage, security attributes & more
Go to Chrome DevTools

The tools are sorted in the order we added the tools to the list and/or when the tools were suggested to us. If you would like to suggest another tool for the list, please let us know! Also see our list of the best test management tools and the best Jira test management tools.

Start Testing with Testmo Free

#1 Unified Modern Test Management Software
Test automation runs
Test automation command line

PS: We regularly publish original software testing & QA research, including free guides, reports and news. To receive our next postings, you can subscribe to updates. You can also follow us on Twitter and Linkedin.

Section divider
More from Testmo
Our complete guide to GitHub Actions parallel testing jobs. Improve test automation execution & performance by running parallel testing jobs and speed up your CI pipeline & deployment workflow.
Read full article
Speed up your GitLab CI/CD pipelines and deployments by running your automated tests in parallel and improve your testing performance.
Read full article
Our complete guide to Selenium browser test automation with GitHub Actions pipelines, including parallel testing of multiple browsers with Chrome, Firefox & Edge.
Read full article

Start testing with Testmo for free today

Unified modern test management for your team.