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Last Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Difference between Sanity Testing vs Smoke Testing

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Sanity testing and smoke testing are two important types of testing used in the software testing process. Many people use them interchangeably but they have different characteristics and goals.

Difference between Sanity Testing vs Smoke Testing

This article will discuss Sanity Testing vs. Smoke Testing in detail.

Key difference between Sanity testing and Smoke testing

The key differences between sanity and smoke testing are mentioned below:

  • Smoke Testing is conducted early in the testing process, often as a preliminary test. Sanity testing usually follows smoke testing, conducted to check specific new features or changes
  • Smoke Testing is broad and shallow and covers basic functionalities. On the other hand sanity testing is narrow and deep and focuses on specific functionalities
  • Smoke testing is used to determine if a build is stable enough for further testing. Whereas sanity testing is used to ensure that specific new features or changes work as expected
  • Smoke testing covers the most critical and essential aspects. However, sanity testing targets specific areas or functionalities
  • If the smoke test fails, it may halt further testing until issues are resolved. On the other hand, failure in sanity testing usually results in focused debugging without halting overall testing
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What is Sanity Testing?

Sanity testing is a type of software testing that seeks to quickly figure out whether or not the basic functionality of a new software build is working properly. It generally occurs on builds in the early stages of development, prior to comprehensive regression testing. Sanity testing is often limited in scope and focuses on vital functions rather than attempting to identify every possible fault or bug in the system. 

Sanity testing is a subset of regression testing. It is a quick and easy technique to confirm that the software is working properly before proceeding with further testing. Sanity testing is done to confirm that the code changes are working properly. Sanity testing is a check to see if testing for the build can continue or not. The team's primary goal during the sanity testing process is to validate the application's functionality rather than to perform extensive testing.

What is Smoke Testing? 

Smoke Testing is a type of software testing that analyses whether or not the released software build is stable. Smoke testing confirms that the QA team can move forward with further software testing. It is made up of a small number of tests that are run on each build to test program functionality. Smoke testing is also known as "Confidence Testing" or "Build Verification Testing."

In simple words, smoke tests ensure that the essential features are operational and that there are no problems in the build being tested. It is a quick regression test of major functionality. It is a basic test that indicates whether or not the product is ready for testing. This helps assess whether the build is flawed enough that further testing would be a waste of time and money. One disadvantage of Smoke Testing is that it does not cover all of the application's capabilities. Only a portion of the testing has been completed.

Difference Between Sanity Testing and Smoke Testing

Some of the major differences between Sanity and Smoke Testing are discussed below:

S.No.Sanity TestingSmoke Testing
1Smoke testing is used to ensure that the program's essential features are operational.Sanity testing is performed to ensure that new features and issues have been addressed.
2The goal of this testing is to confirm the system's stability before moving on to more severe testing.The goal of the testing is to confirm the system's rationality before moving on to more rigorous testing.
3This testing is carried out by developers or testers.Usually, testers conduct sanity testing in software testing.
4Smoke testing is usually documented or scriptedSanity testing is usually not documented and is unscripted
5Sanity testing is frequently referred to as a subset of regression testing.Smoke testing is frequently referred to as a subset of acceptance testing. 
6Sanity testing is often performed manually, without the use of any automation.Smoke testing can be done manually or with the help of automation technologies.
7Sanity testing validates a certain component. In smoke testing, end-to-end system verification is performed.
8The software build is relatively reliable throughout sanity testing.The software build could be stable or unstable during the smoke testing procedure. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should sanity testing be done before smoke testing?

No, sanity testing is usually done after smoke testing to verify specific functionalities.

What is sanity testing called?

Sanity testing is a focused and brief evaluation of particular features in a software build.

Who performs smoke testing?

Smoke testing is performed by the development or testing team.

Is sanity testing black box?

Sanity testing can encompass both black box and white box testing techniques, depending on the specific test cases.

What is smoke vs. sanity vs. regression? 

Smoke testing is a fundamental level of testing used to guarantee that a software product's key features function properly. Sanity testing determines whether a specific functionality or area of code works as planned. Regression testing ensures that recent modifications have not had an adverse effect on current functionality.

When should we do sanity testing?

Sanity testing usually takes place after getting a reasonably stable software build or after a software build has undergone small modifications in the code or functionality. It determines whether or not to continue with end-to-end testing of a software product.


In conclusion, sanity testing and smoke testing are essential testing methods. They are used to ensure the quality of software. A smoke test is done in a new build. While sanity testing is used to confirm that a specific feature or functionality of the software is working. Both of these testing methods have their own advantages and limitations. They should be used together to ensure that the software is thoroughly tested and of high quality. Therefore it is important to understand the topic of Sanity Testing vs Smoke Testing. 

You can also refer to our guided paths on Coding Ninjas Studio to learn more about DSA, Competitive Programming, JavaScript, System Design, etc.

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