Chandler Moisen

HTTP Archive File

May 01, 2020

Today I learned about HTTP Archive (HAR) files.

While attempting to replicate a bug, I asked the reporter to share her testing credentials so that I could replicate the bug and investigate the network traffic in my browser.

Another colleague suggested she simply share her network traffic with me by exporting a HAR file.

You can think of a HAR file as a snapshot or record of all network request between a browser and a server. Each time the browser makes an additional request, another entry is appended the HAR file. Each entry contains pertinent information one would need to debug a failed network requests:

  • URL
  • method
  • request/response headers
  • cookie values
  • response HTTP status code
  • response content
  • and more

If this list feels familiar that is because the network tab in Chrome developer tools is a UI layer on top of a HAR file!

To export/import a HAR file in Chrome, open developer tools and navigate to the “Network” tab and use the appropriate arrow:

developer tools har export


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