Updated: 10/17/2017 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 allows users of a software program to temporarily halt what is currently running or playing. A good example of the pause function is the button in audio programs such as a CD 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 momentarily stop a batch file or other computer functions. See the pause command page for additional information about this command.

Another example is to pause a command, 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, in Linux typing ls | more displays the ls command one page at a time.

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

CD terms, Play, Resume, Skip, Sleep