get and set environment variables in your tests.

The Environment Variable guide explains the other ways you can set them outside of your tests.


Environment variables set using Cypress.env are only in scope for the current spec file.

Cypress runs each spec file in isolation: the browser is exited between specs. Environment variables added or changed in one spec won’t be visible in other specs.

Difference between OS-level and Cypress environment variables

In Cypress, “environment variables” are variables that are accessible via Cypress.env. These are not the same as OS-level environment variables. However, it is possible to set Cypress environment variables from OS-level environment variables.


Cypress.env(name, value)


name (String)

The name of the environment variable to get or set.

value (String)

The value of the environment variable to set.

object (Object)

Set multiple environment variables with an object literal.


No Arguments

Get all environment variables from configuration file (cypress.json by default)

  "env": {
    "foo": "bar",
    "baz": "quux"
Cypress.env() // => {foo: "bar", baz: "quux"}


Return a single environment variable from configuration file (cypress.json by default)


We automatically normalize both the key and the value when passed via the command line. Cypress will automatically convert values into Number or Boolean.

CYPRESS_HOST=laura.dev CYPRESS_IS_CI=true CYPRESS_MY_ID=123 cypress run
Cypress.env('HOST')  // => "laura.dev"
Cypress.env('IS_CI') // => true
Cypress.env('MY_ID') // => 123

Name and Value

Change environment variables from configuration file (cypress.json by default) from within your tests


Remember, any changes that you make to environment variables using this API will only be in effect for the remainder of the tests in the same spec file.

  "env": {
    "foo": "bar",
    "baz": "quux"
Cypress.env('host', 'http://server.dev.local')

Cypress.env('host') // => http://server.dev.local


Override multiple values from configuration file (cypress.json by default) by passing an object literal.

// cypress.json
  "env": {
    "foo": "bar",
    "baz": "quux"
  host: 'http://server.dev.local',
  foo: 'foo'

Cypress.env() // => {foo: "foo", baz: "quux", host: "http://server.dev.local"}

From a plugin

Here’s an example that uses Cypress.env to access an environment variable that’s been dynamically set in a plugin.

Use this approach to grab the value of an environment variable once before any of the tests in your spec run.

// cypress/plugins/index.js
module.exports = (on, config) => {
  config.env.sharedSecret = process.env.NODE_ENV === 'qa'
    ? 'hoop brick tort'
    : 'sushi cup lemon'

  return config
// cypress/integration/secrets_spec.js
describe('Environment variable set in plugin', () => {
  let sharedSecret

  before(() => {
    sharedSecret = Cypress.env('sharedSecret')

  it.only('can be accessed within test.', () => {


Why would I ever need to use environment variables?

The Environment Variables guide explains common use cases.

Can I pass in environment variables from the command line?

Yes. You can do that and much more.

The Environment Variables guide explains the other ways you can set environment variables for your tests.

Why is it Cypress.env and not cy.env?

As a rule of thumb anything you call from Cypress affects global state. Anything you call from cy affects local state.

Since the environment variables added or changed by Cypress.env are only in scope for the current spec file, you’d think that it should be cy.env and not Cypress.env… and you’d be right. The fact that Cypress.env affects local state is an artifact of the API evolving over time: Cypress.env used to affect global state—environment variables added in one test spec file were available in other specs—but the Cypress team wisely made each spec run in isolation in 3.0.0 and by that time Cypress.env was public API.

See also

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Licensed under the MIT License.