Selenium comes with a default WebDriver that often fails to bypass scraping anti-bots. Yet you can complement it with Undetected ChromeDriver, a third-party WebDriver tool that will do a better job.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use Undetected ChromeDriver with Selenium in Python and solve the most common errors.
What Is Undetected ChromeDriver?
Undetected ChromeDriver is a Selenium WebDriver optimized to avoid triggering anti-bots.
How to Use Undetected ChromeDriver in Python with Selenium?
Let’s see what you’ll need to get started!
Let’s see what you’ll need to get started!
- Selenium because it’s the base.
- Python 3 since the driver works only with Python 3.6 or higher.
- Chrome because it’s the browser you’ll control from the script.
undetected_chromedriver to use it with Selenium and Python.
pip install undetected-chromedriver
Remark: If you don’t have Selenium installed, it’ll be automatically added with ChromeDriver.
Once we have the tools we’ll need, let’s write our first lines of code.
import undetected_chromedriver as uc driver = uc.Chrome() driver.get("https://www.nowsecure.nl") print(driver.current_url) # https://www.nowsecure.nl/ print(driver.title) # nowSecure
The script will load the Chrome browser, then redirect and load all the website’s resources of our target URL
https://www.nowsecure.nl/. To see if it works, we’ll print the address and title of this homepage.
It’s important to note that base Selenium’s WebDriver doesn’t come up with the headless mode enabled by default. To change this, we’ll pass options to
# ... options = uc.ChromeOptions() options.headless = True driver = uc.Chrome(options=options) # ...
Using Undetected ChromeDriver with Selenium
Having established a secure connection with Undetected ChromeDriver, we’ll use Selenium to look for the information we want.
We’re interested in the information available on the OpenSea page. So, we’ll use CSS selectors and Selenium’s
find_elements method to match all the occurrences of the class.
from selenium.webdriver.common.by import By # ... driver.get("https://opensea.io") node = driver.find_element(By.CSS_SELECTOR, "h5[class='sc-29427738-0 sc-bdnxRM kgxFZp hBeyeI']") print(node.accessible_name) # "I'm Spottie" Vinyl Record Collection verified-icon
Undetected ChromeDriver Proxy
You can also use a proxy with Undetected ChromeDriver to avoid getting blocked while web scraping. However, opting for a free solution won’t do you much good because free proxies are often unreliable. The reason is they’re run by providers with limited resources and usually outdated infrastructure. And as they’re public, many people use them, which can easily result in IP bans.
On the other hand, residential proxies are well-maintained and sourced from reputable ISP providers, so they’re a better option for web scraping than datacenter IPs.
Common Errors from Undetected ChromeDriver and Selenium
The most common errors we can get from
undetected_chromedriver and Selenium are:
- Denied Access.
- Headless Evasion.
We’ll see each in detail to understand how to solve them.
According to the current release on PyPi, Undetected ChromeDriver is more optimized for bypassing anti-bots than Selenium WebDriver. However, the results aren’t guaranteed.
For instance, let’s try using
https://www.zoominfo.com as a target URL.
# ... driver.get("https://www.zoominfo.com") # Access denied | www.zoominfo.com used Cloudflare to restrict access
Here, we fail to bypass the bot detection system implemented by ZoomInfo.
According to release 3.1.0 on GitHub, the headless mode is still a work in progress as per a prior release, and no news has been communicated in the latest ones.
That means you shouldn’t use headless to have more guarantees to remain undetected. With that in mind, using the driver featured in this article in regular mode might be expensive, depending on your project size.
In this Undetected ChromeDriver tutorial with Selenium in Python, we learned why and how the library could help us. Also, we compared it with a popular alternative that might fit your needs better in some use cases.
Unlike Selenium WebDriver,
undetected_chromedriver is more optimized, which makes it better at bypassing bot detection systems.
Is Undetected ChromeDriver Safe?
Undetected ChromeDriver is safe even though it’s an unofficial version, as it’s regularly maintained and updated by a third party. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect any compatibility issues, security vulnerabilities, or other trouble, but always check PyPI and GitHub for new developments.
What Is the Use of Undetected ChromeDriver?
Undetected ChromeDriver is used to avoid triggering anti-bot measures. It’s a web driver for Selenium to avoid bot detection you can use in Python to complement its official WebDriver.
Why Is Undetected ChromeDriver Not Working?
If the Undetected ChromeDriver isn’t working, it’s likely because you’ve encountered one of the following errors:
- Denied Access: The driver sometimes fails to bypass security measures.
- Headless Evasion: The headless mode isn’t optimized yet, so it may fail to avoid detection.
How to Use Undetected ChromeDriver in Python Selenium?
Here’s what you need to do to use Undetected ChromeDriver with Selenium in Python:
- Install Python 3, Selenium, and Chrome.
pip install undetected-chromedriverto install the Undetected ChromeDriver.
- Import the library, load the Chrome browser, and get your target site.
- Make sure you’ve connected properly by printing the address and title of the homepage.
- Use CSS selectors and Selenium’s
find_elementsmethod to look for the information you want.