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Connect your app to the Cloud Firestore Emulator

Before connecting your app to the Cloud Firestore emulator, make sure that you understand the overall Firebase Local Emulator Suite workflow, and that you install and configure the Local Emulator Suite and review its CLI commands.

Choose a Firebase project

The Firebase Local Emulator Suite emulates products for a single Firebase project.

To select the project to use, before you start the emulators, in the CLI run firebase use in your working directory. Or, you can pass the --project flag to each emulator command.

Local Emulator Suite supports emulation of real Firebase projects and demo projects.

Project type Features Use with emulators
Real A real project is one you configured and activated in the Firebase console; a real project has live resources, like databases, storage buckets, functions or any other resource you set up for that project. When working with real projects, you can run emulators for any or all of the supported products in your project.

For any products you are not emulating, your apps and code will interact with the live database, storage bucket, function, etc.
Demo A demo project has no Firebase console configuration and no live resources.

Demo project IDs have the demo- prefix.
When working with demo projects, your apps and code interact with emulators only. If your app interacts with a resource for which an emulator isn't running, that code will fail.

We recommend you use demo projects wherever possible. Benefits include:

  • Easier setup, since you can run the emulators without ever creating a Firebase project
  • Stronger safety, since if your code accidentally invokes non-emulated (production) resources, there is no chance of data change, usage and billing
  • Better offline support, since there is no need to access the internet to download your SDK configuration.

Instrument your app to talk to the emulators

Android, iOS, and Web SDKs

Set up your in-app configuration or test classes to interact with Cloud Firestore as follows.

        // is the special IP address to connect to the 'localhost' of
        // the host computer from an Android emulator.
        FirebaseFirestore firestore = FirebaseFirestore.getInstance();
        firestore.useEmulator("", 8080);

        FirebaseFirestoreSettings settings = new FirebaseFirestoreSettings.Builder()
iOS - Swift
let settings = Firestore.firestore().settings = "localhost:8080"
settings.isPersistenceEnabled = false 
settings.isSSLEnabled = false
Firestore.firestore().settings = settings

Web v8

// Firebase previously initialized using firebase.initializeApp().
var db = firebase.firestore();
if (location.hostname === "localhost") {
  db.useEmulator("localhost", 8080);

Web v9

import { getFirestore, useFirestoreEmulator } from "firebase/firestore";

// firebaseApps previously initialized using initializeApp()
const db = getFirestore();
useFirestoreEmulator(db, 'localhost', 8080);
// Initialize your Web app as described in the Get started for Web
// Firebase previously initialized using firebase.initializeApp().
var db = firebase.firestore();
if (location.hostname === "localhost") {
  db.useEmulator("localhost", 8080);

No additional setup is needed to test Cloud Functions triggered by Firestore events using the emulator. When the Firestore and Cloud Functions emulators are both running, they automatically work together.

Admin SDKs

The Firebase Admin SDKs automatically connect to the Cloud Firestore emulator when the FIRESTORE_EMULATOR_HOST environment variable is set:

export FIRESTORE_EMULATOR_HOST="localhost:8080"

If your code is running inside the Cloud Functions emulator your project ID and other configuration will be automatically set when calling initalizeApp.

When connecting to the Cloud Firestore emulator from any other environment, you will need to specify a project ID. You can pass a project ID to initializeApp directly or set the GCLOUD_PROJECT environment variable. Note that you do not need to use your real Firebase project ID; the Cloud Firestore emulator will accept any project ID, as long as it has a valid format.

Node.js Admin SDK
admin.initializeApp({ projectId: "your-project-id" });
Environment Variable
export GCLOUD_PROJECT="your-project-id"

Clear your database between tests

Production Firestore provides no platform SDK method for flushing the database, but the Firestore emulator gives you a REST endpoint specifically for this purpose, which can be called from a test framework setup/tearDown step, from a test class, or from the shell (e.g., with curl) before a test is kicked off. You can use this approach as an alternative to simply shutting down the emulator process.

In an appropriate method, perform an HTTP DELETE operation, supplying your Firebase projectID, for example firestore-emulator-example, to the following endpoint:


Naturally, your code should await REST confirmation that the flush finished or failed.

You can perform this operation from the shell:

// Shell alternative…
$ curl -v -X DELETE "http://localhost:8080/emulator/v1/projects/firestore-emulator-example/databases/(default)/documents"

Having implemented a step like this, you can sequence your tests and trigger your functions with confidence that old data will be purged between runs and you're using a fresh baseline test configuration.

Import and export data

The database and Cloud Storage emulators allow you to export data from a running emulator instance. Define a baseline set of data to use in your unit tests or continuous integration workflows, then export it to be shared among the team.

firebase emulators:export ./dir

In tests, on emulator startup, import the baseline data.

firebase emulators:start --import=./dir

You can instruct the emulator to export data on shutdown, either specifying an export path or simply using the path passed to the --import flag.

firebase emulators:start --import=./dir --export-on-exit

These data import and export options work with the firebase emulators:exec command as well. For more, refer to the emulator command reference.

Visualize Security Rules activity

As you work through prototype and test loops, you can use visualization tools and reports provided by the Local Emulator Suite.

Visualize Rules evaluations

As you add Security Rules to your prototype you can debug them with Local Emulator Suite debug tools.

After running a suite of tests, you can access test coverage reports that show how each of your security rules was evaluated.

To get the reports, query an exposed endpoint on the emulator while it's running. For a browser-friendly version, use the following URL:


This breaks your rules into expressions and subexpressions that you can mouseover for more information, including number of evaluations and values returned. For the raw JSON version of this data, include the following URL in your query:


Here, the HTML version of the report highlights evaluations that throw undefined and null-value errors:


The Cloud Firestore Emulator attempts to faithfully replicate the behavior of the production service with some notable limitations:

  • Indexes. The emulator does not track compound indexes and instead will execute any valid query. Make sure to test your app against a real Cloud Firestore instance to determine which indexes you will need.
  • Limits. The emulator does not enforce all limits enforced in production. For example the emulator may allow transactions that would be rejected as too large by the production service. Make sure you are familiar with the documented limits and that you design your app to proactively avoid them.

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