The best way to learn how to use Charles and to learn how it can help you is just to install it and see how it works. If you haven’t already please read the installation guide.
Start Using Charles
Start Charles by running the application from your Start menu, or from your Applications folder, or from wherever you’ve installed it.
On Mac OS X you’ll be asked a question about your Mac OS X Proxy Settings. In order to autoconfigure your proxy settings on Mac OS X you need to grant permission to Charles by entering your password.
You can answer “Not Yet” to these two questions and you’ll have the opportunity later.
The first thing you’ll see is an Untitled Session. If your proxy settings have been autoconfigured you should now be able to use your web browser and observe the events being recorded in Charles.
You’ll see nodes appearing in the tree on the left for each website/host that you visit. Explore the tree. Click on one of the recorded events and you’ll see the details a look at the bodies (probably only on the response tab unless you’re doing POSTs) and you’ll see the data being transmitted.
This is the simplest and most common thing you can do with Charles. It is incredibly powerful as you are now able to see everything that is being transmitted and received – it lets you look underneath the hood at what is actually happening.