What is Desktop Automation and What Can it Help

5 min read

Despite the advent of web and cloud-based solutions, desktop apps remain essential for organizational operations. A manual test of a desktop application can be time-consuming and tiring, especially if operations have to be recreated. Then, desktop automation was born to solve such problems.

Desktop automation employs robotic process automation (RPA) technology to automate testing operations. Nowadays, many industries apply it to their businesses with automation tools like Octoparse RPA and benefit from it. Go ahead, you’ll find everything you need to know about desktop automation in this article.

What is Desktop Automation?

As a branch of robotic process automation (RPA), desktop automation also uses software robots or ‘bots’ to automate repetitive tasks and workflows. However, it specifically focuses on automating processes within desktop applications that are developed for Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems and installed locally on PCs or laptops.

Desktop automation bots are programmed to conduct operations such as data entry, option selection, and output validation right in the desktop application interface. As a result, human mistakes and variance can be reduced, and processes can be carried out accurately and consistently.

Macros, Visual Basic for programs (VBA) scripts, and third-party solutions that provide APIs for automating Windows-based programs are some typical methods for implementing desktop automation. The technique used will be determined by individual apps and procedures that need to be automated.

Why Utilize Desktop Automation

Automating testing procedures and enhancing productivity are among the benefits desktop automation offers firms. While manual testing of desktop apps is still widespread, using automation technologies helps teams to increase productivity, improve accuracy, and save expenses.

Increase engineers productivity

Automating repetitive validation processes for standard features or compatibility testing across new versions speeds up work that might otherwise take time. Bots can complete checklists of typical test cases considerably faster than humans. They allow QA team members to devote more time to higher-value tasks, such as designing better user experiences and developing new test methodologies. Engineers who use automation may focus on improving the entire product rather than spending hours checking fundamental functionality unaltered.

Enhance workflow efficiency

With every code change, complex testing involving multiple applications interacting with backend systems can be difficult to replicate accurately. However, bots ensure such interdependent processes continue executing seamlessly in the background at scale without requiring human oversight each time. Automation runs tests around the clock, so development teams receive faster feedback. As a result of continuous testing, issues can be identified and addressed before they impact downstream dependencies.

Improve overall testing accuracy

Whereas humans are prone to occasional errors in correctly repeating each action, bots perform all steps identically without deviation between executions. Whether filling out text fields or selecting menu options, each automated operation is replicated free from human mistakes. With this level of consistency and precision, bugs can be discovered earlier, before they have a chance to propagate further into the development process. Even subtle interface bugs may be found that could otherwise slip by human testers.

In addition to what was mentioned above, more benefits like consistent testing outputs each time as well as simplified root-cause analysis when failures occur. Automated record and playback capabilities also enable integration with various third-party tools for enhanced analytics. Adopting desktop automation cuts costs by avoiding expensive fixes for quality issues that make it into production due to human oversight lapses. Finally, automation scales easily to meet the demands of large distributed teams without requiring additional headcount.

Desktop Automation Use Cases

Desktop automation provides solutions across many industries by streamlining repetitive and error-prone workflows.


In healthcare, bots help maximize efficiency by automating common yet time-consuming administrative tasks. They can handle patient check-ins, retrieve insurance information, schedule appointments, process medical billing, and adhere to compliance requirements. This allows clinicians to spend more quality time with patients rather than on paperwork.

Healthcare bots automate time-consuming but frequent administrative tasks to increase efficiency. They can manage patient check-ins, insurance information retrieval, appointment scheduling, medical billing, and compliance needs. Because of that, professionals can spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork.


Desktop automation can help optimize production planning in manufacturing because bots can continuously track inventory levels and material requirements to ensure adequate staffing and supplies. They can also help schedule preventative maintenance of machinery to avoid downtime, conduct data analysis of operational metrics on the shop floor automatically, and provide real-time visibility to bottlenecks and inefficiencies. With such valuable information, production managers can make more informed decisions to improve throughput.

Financial Institutions

Financial institutions similarly benefit from robots streamlining back-office tasks. Bots reconcile accounts, process payments, and perform credit analysis seamlessly without the risk of employee mistakes or fraud. They also handle portfolio tracking and reporting to maintain compliance. With bots handling high-volume transactional workloads, human staff can upsell services and focus on serving customers.

Software Development Firms

Bots play an important part in quality assurance for software development organizations. They run test suites at scale to evaluate desktop applications across operating systems, browsers, and devices. Bots provide thorough logs that capture the processes taken and data such as response times to help identify issues. Therefore, developers can catch issues early before releases with the continuous validation of bots.

Supply Chain Firms

In terms of supply chain firms, bots are applied to manage ordering, fulfillment, and shipping. Bots audit purchases and send inventory alerts, place replenishment orders, track shipments, and handle vendor communications. Cycle counts can be handed over to warehouse robots as well. At the same time, they can help ensure accurate fulfillment of customer orders. Operations are streamlined as a result, and commodities movement is visible in real-time.

Besides these industries, almost any company can benefit from desktop automation even individuals who run a business alone. Through the simplification of repetitive activities that are otherwise prone to human error or incapable of scaling, human specialists like you may now concentrate on more strategic jobs because of this.


Desktop automation offers a practical option for scaling testing of applications deployed across different organizations. RPA, in this area, can help reduce repetitious processes while boosting output consistency, so the testers and quality teams can focus more on exploratory, value-added work and improving the user experience.

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