Pause key

Updated: 05/22/2017 by Computer Hope

Pause keyLocated near the top right of most PC keyboards and shared with the break key (as shown in the image), the Pa or pause key can be used to temporarily halt the actions of the program being run or the scrolling of text. For example, the pause key could be used to momentarily stop a computer game, like Deus Ex or the Call of Duty games, while the user steps away.

Note: Most compact notebooks, including Ultrabooks, and netbook-style computers do not have a pause key. Also, Apple keyboards do not have a pause key.

Depending on the program or the specific action desired, users may need to press the Shift or Ctrl key plus the pause key to pause a program or game. On a computer with the Microsoft Windows operating system, users can also press the Windows key and the pause key to bring up the System Properties window.

The most common use for the pause key today is to pause the screen output from the BIOS when a computer is first booting up.

Where is the Pause key on the keyboard?

The Pause key may be abbreviated as Pa or Pause and is found with the other control keys on the keyboard. Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the Pause key highlighted in blue.

Print screen key

Note: On Apple computer keyboards the Pause key may be missing and have an F15 function key instead.

Where is a Pause key on a laptop keyboard?

Laptop control keysThe Insert key on a laptop is often part of another key around the Backspace key as shown in the picture. If a laptop is using two keys as one key, you must press the Fn key with the second key you want to use. In our example picture, the Scr Lk, Pause, and Break are all blue and a different color than the other keys. To use these keys, press the Fn key and the key with the blue text you want to use. With our example picture, if you needed Insert you'd press the Insert key by itself and to use Pause press and hold the Fn key and the Pause key at the same time.

Note: When it comes to PC laptop's there is no standard placement for these keys. Your laptop may not have the same configuration as shown in the picture. However, all PC's follow the same steps mentioned above.

Related pages

Break, Control keys, Keyboard terms, Pause