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A practical guide on bug severity and priority in testing

Software testing plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality and reliability of software applications. During the testing process, testers encounter defects and issues that need to be addressed. Two important factors that help prioritize these issues are severity and priority.

In this blog, we will explore the concepts of severity and priority in software testing and provide examples to illustrate their significance in the testing lifecycle.


Severity represents the impact or seriousness of a defect or issue discovered during testing. It reflects the extent to which the defect affects the functionality, user experience, or performance of the software. Severity levels are typically categorized as follows:

A. Critical: Defects of critical severity completely prevent the software from functioning, resulting in a system crash or data loss. These defects must be resolved immediately to make the software usable.

Example: Consider a banking application where users are unable to log in due to an authentication failure. This critical defect will halt the functionality of the application, making it impossible for customers to access their accounts.

B. High: High severity defects cause significant disruptions or limitations in the software's functionality, affecting important features or workflows. These defects require urgent attention to ensure the smooth operation of the software.

Example: In an e-commerce website, if users are unable to add items to their shopping cart, it would be considered a high severity defect. This issue obstructs the core functionality of the website, preventing users from making purchases.

C. Medium: Defects of medium severity have a moderate impact on the software. They may cause inconvenience or hinder certain functionalities but do not render the system unusable. These defects should be addressed in a timely manner to enhance the user experience.

Example: Suppose a social media platform has a defect where users cannot upload images in certain formats, but other functionalities of the platform work fine. Although it affects a specific feature, it does not prevent users from accessing the remaining functionalities.

D. Low: Defects classified as low severity have minimal impact on the software's functionality. They may represent minor inconveniences or cosmetic issues that do not significantly impact the user experience. These defects can be addressed after higher severity issues have been resolved.

Example: A typo or a minor formatting issue in the user interface that does not affect the functionality or usability of the software would be considered a low severity defect.


Priority determines the order in which defects or issues should be settled based on their business importance and the overall impact on stakeholders. Priority levels help testing teams allocate resources effectively and address critical issues first. The priority levels are generally defined as follows:

A. High: High priority defects require immediate attention and resolution. These issues significantly impact the business goals, user experience, or regulatory compliance. They can have severe financial implications or cause reputational damage if left unresolved.

Example: A software bug in a stock trading platform that allows unauthorized access to user accounts would be assigned a high priority. Addressing this issue promptly is crucial to protect users' financial assets and maintain the integrity of the platform.

B. Medium: Defects with medium priority have a moderate impact on the business or user experience but do not require immediate resolution. These issues should be addressed in a reasonable timeframe to ensure the smooth operation of the software.

Example: A moderate priority defect could be a minor glitch in an online gaming application that occasionally causes slight delays in gameplay. While it affects the user experience, it does not pose a significant threat to the overall functionality.

C. Low: Low priority defects represent issues that have minimal impact on the business or user experience. They can be resolved during a later phase or addressed when resources become available.

Example: A low priority defect could be a minor misalignment of elements on a website that does not affect its functionality or usability.


Severity and priority play crucial roles in software testing, helping teams efficiently allocate resources, prioritize bug fixes, and deliver high-quality software. By understanding the difference between severity and priority and following best practices for their assignment, testing teams can streamline their processes, improve bug resolution timelines, and enhance overall product reliability and user experience. Remember, prioritizing severity and priority in software testing is not a one-time task but an ongoing practice that requires continuous evaluation and adjustment to meet changing project needs and user expectations.

At SouthIndus Labs Assurance, we comprehend the crucial role that quality engineering plays in the triumph of any business endeavor. Our dedicated team is adept at providing comprehensive testing services and quality assurance solutions to help clients attain a consistent level of quality across their run, change, and transformation initiatives. With our deep expertise in testing services and quality assurance, we offer a range of solutions tailored to meet your unique needs. In software testing evaluating software application to identify defects and determine the bug in different parameters of severity and priority and report the bugs to the developer, our team employs industry-leading practices and tools to deliver robust and reliable results.

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