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16 May 2017
The other MockitoJUnitRunners

The main benefit of using the @RunWith(MockitoJUnitRunner.class) annotation, as opposed to manually calling MockitoAnnnotations.initMocks(), is the extra validation that the runner does for you for free. This validation runs as an @After hook, making sure that the errors are reported in the same test as they occur. The javadocs list a bunch of examples that would fail, thanks to this validation:

//Oops, thenReturn() part is missing:

 //Oops, verified method call is inside verify() where it should be on the outside:

 //Oops, missing method to verify:

New runner

Mockito 2.1 introduced a new runner, capable of one extra level of verification, which has since become the default behavior of the MockitoJUnitRunner. This runner, called MockitoJUnitRunner.Strict, is able to do two things:

  • detect unused stubs
  • detect incorrect uses of stubbing

Unused stubs happen when the mock is expecting a certain call to happen, but never receives it. Consider this example:

//Enables the strict runner
public class ExampleUnitTest {

    interface Dependency {
        boolean isChecked();
        void doSomething();
    public class Example {
        public Example(Dependency dep) { 
            this.dep = dep;
        public void doSomething() {
        private final Dependency dep;
	Dependency mock;
	private Example example;
	public void setup() {
        example = new Example(mock);
        doReturn(true).when(mock).isChecked(); //Unused stubbing
	public void testDoSomethingCalled() {

While this test passes, you will get a MockitoHint stating that the stubbing is unused, going as far as marking exactly where the unused stubbing is created.

Multiple flavours

This runner can be used in different ways:

  • As a runner, as shown above. (Actually, since this is the default behavior, putting @RunWith(MockitoJUnitRunner.class) suffices
  • As a rule. In the case where we can’t use the MockitoRunner inside the @RunWith annotation (as when using AndroidJUnitRunner), one can just attach a @Rule to the test, like so: @Rule public MockitoRule rule = MockitoJUnit.rule();
  • As a configuration for the mocking session. This would almost never be used (first two ways are usually enough), so I won’t show an example of it here.


Since Mockito 2.3, a new level of strictness has been added. This StrictStubs level will actually fail the tests if an unused stubbing is detected. This will force you to clean up your code, which is why the Mockito team is planning to make it default in Mockito 3. As before, this can be used as:

  • A runner, using @RunWith(MockitoJUnitRunner.StrictStubs.class)
  • A rule, using: @Rule public MockitoRule rule = MockitoJUnit.rule().strictness(Strictness.STRICT_STUBS);

PS: I know I am not supposed to tell you what to do, but, you know, you could always follow me on Twitter