Updated: 02/07/2022 by Computer Hope

A break may refer to any of the following:

Pause Break keyboard key

1. The Break key is a keyboard key whose original purpose was to immediately halt execution of a running a program. On modern computers, it has no default function. It is not commonly used, although any software may use it for its own purpose. The Break key may also be remapped with a program like AutoHotkey.

On modern keyboards, the key is usually labeled with the full word Break, but it may also be abbreviated as Br.

Where is the Break key on the keyboard?

On most keyboards, the Break key is on the right side of the top row of keys. On a typical U.S. keyboard, it is the alternate function of the Pause key. If so, pressing Ctrl+Pause may be required to activate Break.

In the following photo of a computer keyboard, the Pause/Break key highlighted in blue.

Break key


Apple computer keyboards may not have a Pause or Break key.

Where is a Break key on PC laptop keyboard?

Laptop control keys

On a laptop, look for the Break key on the right side of the top row of keys. If it is the alternate function of the Pause key, you may need to hold the Fn and press Pause to use the Break key.


Laptop keyboards often have unique designs. If you can't find your Break key, check your laptop's user manual.

2. A command line command used within Microsoft operating systems that enable or disables the ability to send breaks. See the break command for further information.

3. When writing in HTML (hypertext markup language), the <br> tag is used to create a single line break in a document.

4. Break is also a Linux command. See the Linux break command for more information.

BR, Column break, Computer abbreviations, Control keys, HTML, Keyboard terms, Line break, Page break, Section break