Join 34,000+ subscribers and receive articles from our blog about software quality, testing, QA and security.

Feature Request: Built-in Guest-User for Limited Viewing Access


It would be useful to have a built-in guest account that did not require burning a license for outside parties that might be interested in only viewing tests and results or for demonstrating the software (developers, stakeholders, etc.). Currently, this can be set up, but requires a licensed user account, which is better put to use elsewhere.


Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for the feedback. We don’t currently have plans to add support for unlicensed guest accounts, as TestRail’s licensing is independent from user roles or permissions. But I appreciate this feedback and it will be useful if we think about adjusting the licensing in the future.




I’ve just configure a guest account. And I was very surprised to see that, when I 'm logging on this account, I can do everything like i was an “admin”…

Is there something special to do ?



Thanks for your posting and my apologies for the delayed response, I unfortunately didn’t receive an email notification for the reply. Now to your question: you mentioned that you can do everything an admin can do. Do you mean accessing the Administration tab? The access to the Administration tab is not granted based on the user role, but based on the Administration status of the user. By default users don’t have access to the Administration tab unless you check the Is Administrator checkbox on the user’s Access tab.

If you don’t actually mean the Administration area but the ability to create test cases, add test results etc., then you might have configured a different Default Access for the project in question. When you edit the project under Administration > Projects and switch to the Access tab, what is listed as the Default Access value? This should usually be Global Role. This way all users would have permissions for the project according to the role you’ve assigned under Administration > Users & Roles (e.g. Guest).

If this also wasn’t the issue, please make sure that the Guest role under Administration > Users & Roles hasn’t been changed to include additional permissions.

We can also take a look at this via Webex if you prefer this.




is this feature included in latest release?

Thank you,
Alex S


Hello Alex,

Thanks for your posting. TestRail still doesn’t include a Guest user. The main reason for this is that it would discourage customers from giving their team members full access to TestRail. In our experience teams benefit from granting their developers or stakeholders direct access to TestRail so they can contribute to test cases, test results etc. as well and also stay up to date on the latest testing efforts and results. TestRail’s licensing/pricing is based on named-users so we do not support sharing user accounts with multiple users unfortunately.

I hope this helps and please let me know in case you have any further questions.




Thank you for the detailed response.

However I beg to differ. There are many types of organizations.
In all my previous jobs, developers were not that active in the process of preparing test plans and direct access to test management system was not required at all.
Developers and managers just wanted to see reports from time to time.
It doesn’t mean that they do not contributed to the process.

There are many examples of this approach e.g. Fogbugz that allows the creation of virtual users for mail notification only.Such users do not use licenses.

To make long story short:
Isn’t it better to let the customer decide what is his workflow instead of trying to enforce one?
Even Fogbugz understood this and allowed custom fields.

I hope you will re-consider.

Thank you,


Hello Alex,

Thanks for the feedback. Similar to other applications such as FogBugz or JIRA, TestRail is licensed by the number of user accounts you have, regardless of the user permissions. You can actually already collaborate with a development team that doesn’t have access to TestRail in two ways:

  • You can schedule and email reports to non-TestRail users under the Reports tab (please note that many tools don’t allow this for licensing reasons, but we actually added this to TestRail 3.0)
  • You can also push bug reports from TestRail to other tools such as FogBugz. You would have the option to customize the defect plugin to include additional details in the pushed bug report if you like

As far as I know, the virtual user feature Fog Creek added to FogBugz is mainly designed to allow you to assign cases to e.g. groups or “inboxes”, but the virtual user feature wouldn’t help non-FogBugz users access the system.

We have actually though about offering read-only licenses for a discounted or even free price point, even though this isn’t supported by most other systems. However, this would likely result in a couple of things that would make TestRail less useful for most of our customers and that’s why we decided not to offer this:

  • It would make licensing much more complex and in many organizations the procurement process is quite complex and this would make it more difficult for many teams to choose the best licensing option

  • We would need to increase the pricing of the normal user license due to the license change, resulting in the same overall price for most teams but TestRail would be less useful for them (because a subset of their users would only have read-only access now)

  • It would result in many procurement teams questioning who would actually need to have full access to TestRail in order to save licensing costs. The limited access to TestRail for e.g. developers or other team members would make TestRail much less useful for those teams, which would be problematic for both our customers and ourselves

So we do offer options for teams that prefer to limit TestRail just to their QA team and many of our customers are using this approach and customers can already decide this. But similar to other tools such as FogBugz or JIRA, adding specific read-only licenses wouldn’t work well for us and I hope this makes sense.



I forgot to mention that we also offer unlimited user licenses for larger teams to make this more feasible for large teams. Also the pricing tiers of our TestRail Hosted edition have also been designed so that you wouldn’t have to pay for each individual user starting at 21 users.

I hope this helps.


Sorry to bring up an old post but I wondered if anything ever came of this?

For the past 3 companies that I have been at, I have used or introduced Test Rail to the team.
One major issue that I have had at each company is that we have a lot of people
that I want to share live results with but they do not take the time to log in EVER.

I would love it if there was a way to provide a link that shows current milestones progress or test run progress with no way to edit anything. Looks like the only way is to pay for a license for that reporting view still. Unfortunately, most places won’t allow the cost.



Hello Denise,

Thanks for your feedback. TestRail’s pricing was designed with large discounts for larger installations and teams in mind as we understand that not all users in larger organizations or teams use TestRail all the time and would also benefit from read-only access. For example, by viewing/generating reports only instead of adding results and cases, or just by looking at test results or cases in JIRA with our JIRA integration (maybe even without using TestRail itself):

So, the price goes down significantly per user as you add more users and you can also see this on our pricing overview (for both TestRail Cloud and Server):

We also require user accounts for other reasons (such as security, auditing purposes and traceability) and this is often an important requirement for customers in our experience (so, this is not only pricing related).

Regarding the milestone pages or reports: with the new JIRA integration, you can view reports and overview pages directly in JIRA and this is a great way to share the testing progress with the entire team, including developers or management who may not use TestRail themselves (or at least not that often):

Please note that this also requires a separate TestRail user account per person.



We do not have very many people at the moment so the pricing probably won’t change.
We also don’t use Jira at this time.
We will just keep working as we are.
Thanks for the reply.


Hello Denise,

Thanks for your feedback! Even with just a few persons, the monthly fee is $25 or less per person depending on the edition and team size. So, if you compare that to the regular costs per employee, it’s still just a fraction but I understand that. You can also generate reports and send these reports to users without access to TestRail which is a convenient way to share reports with other team members as well.



Your pricing is not really that great even for larger teams. Compared to Jira Cloud it’s about 3x as much and Jira provides much more value for other parts of the organization outside of QA. Jira also allows access to things without being a logged in user, which can make reporting out to other parts of the org easy and free. Aha! is more expensive per user, but offers free unlimited viewers and reviewers. TestRailail email reporting on the other hand is clunky and gets flagged as spam since it’s a compressed file that must be downloaded and unzipped to view.


Hi there!

TestRail is already very competitively priced as other full test management tools cost 2x - 5x our price, even without our many unique productivity features:

Our larger license tiers come with many free licenses/users included so this usually works great for larger teams. Also, if you compare TestRail’s very low per user price ($10 - $25/user/month) with the high costs of engineers (usually $5,000 - $10,000+/employee/month for most organizations) and the amount of time TestRail helps save, teams usually get a lot of value out of TestRail. JIRA is a more generic tool so organizations usually add many more users to JIRA, so they end up paying a similar price to a more specialized tool such as a test management tool.

I hope this helps!


Hi there!
Having a good price, with the good features you have, is what made us select test rail. However this is not a reason to make a read only user licensed the same as any other user. Test rail is for QA team members and it is really good to have read only users for (devs) to see the reports without the need to pay for extra license for them since they really won’t use test rail. As if you are saying since our pricing is low we will let the client pay for more users even though they don’t use test rail!!!

I hope you would look into this again, since it is being asked by different clients. As for us, we are not willing to pay extra licenses for devs to let them see the report (we will be managing this manually), so in other words its not really getting more benefit for you instead it looks as a limitation in test rail to be considered.


Hi Ashour,

Thanks for your feedback! We’ve learned over the years from working with thousands of teams that even non-QA members benefit a lot from having access to TestRail and often eventually contribute to the testing process. Be it developers who add comments to tests, link cases to issue IDs in defect trackers or change test statuses based on bug fixes, or stakeholders who create custom reports, clients who can follow the testing process and much more. TestRail’s low pricing is designed in a way so you can give all team members access to TestRail and our pricing model is very straightforward and fair for small and large teams alike. We understand that not all users use TestRail in the same way as QA members (especially as the team grows) and we have discounted user tiers starting at a certain number of users. As Dennis mentioned, most competitors charge 2x-5x or even more (despite not having the better products).

I hope this helps!