Updated: 09/12/2023 by Computer Hope

Pause may refer to any of the following:

Pause button

1. Software function represented as two vertical lines (the middle button in the image) that allow program users to halt what is currently running or playing temporarily. An example of the pause function is the button in audio programs such as a CD (compact disc) or MP3 player.


Many media players, including online video players like YouTube, allow you to pause and play a video or audio file by pressing the spacebar.

2. Microsoft operating system command that enables the user to stop a batch file or other computer functions momentarily. See the pause command page for additional information about this command.

Another example is to pause a command output. For example, typing dir /p displays the contents of a directory in MS-DOS one page at a time. Other MS-DOS and Linux commands that lack a page or pause switch can also be stopped by piping the command to more. For example, typing ls | more in Linux displays the ls command one page at a time.

3. Sometimes abbreviated as Pa, Pause is a key and feature that stops text scrolling or program loading. See our Pause key page for further information.

CD terms, Halt, Play, Resume, Skip, Sleep