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How do I create a HAR file?

Nicolaj Dannemann avatar


Note: HAR files can contain sensitive data, including the content of the pages you downloaded when creating the file and your cookie data. Anyone with the HAR file can emulate your account and has access to the information submitted (e.g. personal details, passwords, credit card numbers, etc.).

What is a HAR file?

HAR is an abbreviation of 'HTTP Archive'. It is a file containing a log of trace information from within a browser session.

It records web requests made by the browser to the website page including request and response headers, the body, and the time it takes to load the assets.

HAR files are useful for technical support engineers when troubleshooting issues relating to loading speed, caching and analytics.

The HAR file may be requested by Siteimprove when troubleshooting login errors. For example, in cases where we do not have any access to the content of the pages.

How to generate a HAR file?

It's possible to create a HAR file in a number of browsers for this example we will use Chrome.

  1. Using a chrome browser, visit the page URL where you are experiencing the issue.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the page and click "Inspect" or use the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl+Shift+I]Right_Click_and_select_inspect
  3. Click on the Network tab in the Chrome Developer Tools window which has opened at the bottom of the browser. Network_tab_in_chrome_developer_tool
  4. Click on the Preserve Log and then the Record button
  5. Click the Clear button (i.e. circle with a line through it)  to clear any existing logs.
  6. Refresh the page and recreate the issue. 
  7. Right-click on any of the items within the Network tab and select "Save all as HAR with content".Save_all_as_HAR_with_content
  8. Save the HAR file and attach it to your support ticket response if requested by Siteimprove.

How to generate a HAR file in Firefox

The process is as follows when creating a HAR file using the Firefox browser:

  1. Within Firefox, browse to the Page URL where you are experiencing the issue.
  2. Navigate to Web Developer > Inspector from the browser menu or use the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl+Shift+I]
  3. Reproduce the issue you are experiencing.
  4. Right-click on the new window that opened at the bottom of the browser and select "Save all as HAR file".

If you have any questions regarding this please contact Siteimprove Technical Support.

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