Pausing is a key part of the Minecraft experience, allowing players to take breaks or plan their next move without the game progressing. In singleplayer Java Edition, the game pauses when you open the menu with Esc. However, there are situations where you may want to pause Minecraft without bringing up the distracting menu overlay. This guide will go over different methods to pause Minecraft on both Java and Bedrock editions without accessing the menu. We'll cover useful keyboard shortcuts, minimizing the window, disabling pausing with Open to LAN, and the lack of built-in pausing in Bedrock Edition. With these tips, you'll be able to quickly pause your game while keeping the action in view.
Pausing Minecraft With Keyboard Shortcuts
One way to pause Minecraft without opening the menu is by using keyboard shortcuts. On the Java Edition of Minecraft, there are a couple options for keyboard shortcuts to pause the game:
Use F3 + P to toggle auto-pause on and off. When auto-pause is enabled, the game will pause whenever you switch focus away from the Minecraft window. This can be useful if you need to frequently pause and unpause the game.
You can also press Esc while holding the F3 key to pause the game temporarily without opening the pause menu. This will pause Minecraft until you press Esc again.
If you find the default Esc key inconvenient or your Esc key is broken, you can customize the keybinds in Minecraft's controls menu. For example, you could set the pause function to another key like F1 or F2 instead.
Minimizing the Window to Pause the Game
One simple way to pause Minecraft without accessing the in-game menu is to minimize the game window. On PC, clicking the Minecraft app window will minimize the game and effectively pause it until you maximize the window again. According to discussions on Reddit and Windows forums, minimizing most games will pause them and reduce resource usage, though some games may continue running in a minimized state.
On mobile devices, you can pause Minecraft by completely exiting the app. This stops the gameplay and freezes the state of the world. When you reopen the Minecraft app, you'll return right where you left off. Just be careful not to fully close the app if you want to stay in the same game.
Minimizing or exiting the app provides a quick and easy way to pause Minecraft without having to go through menus. This works for both the Java and Bedrock editions on PC and mobile. It's especially useful if you are playing in windowed mode and want to quickly pause while staying at your computer.
Using Open to LAN to Prevent Pausing
One way to prevent Minecraft from pausing is by enabling Open to LAN mode. This opens your singleplayer world to a local area network, allowing friends to join the game. As a side effect, it also disables all pausing within Minecraft, even when opening menus.
To enable Open to LAN, go to the pause menu and select the "Open to LAN" option. Make sure the settings allow cheats and that the world is visible to LAN players. After confirming, the game will restart without pausing enabled.
The main benefit of using Open to LAN is that it stops any pausing within the game, even if you open menus or switch applications. This allows Minecraft to run seamlessly in the background without interruptions.
Another advantage is that other players on the local network can join the previously singleplayer world. So enabling LAN provides the option to invite friends to the unpaused gameplay session later on.
Overall, utilizing the Open to LAN feature is an effective way to disable all pauses and allow continuous gameplay in a Minecraft world. Just keep in mind that LAN mode also opens the world to others nearby.
Lack of Pausing in Bedrock
Unlike the Java Edition of Minecraft, the Bedrock Edition notably lacks a built-in pause option when playing singleplayer worlds. This can be frustrating for players who want to quickly pause their game without having to exit the world.
According to posts on the official Minecraft feedback website, the lack of pausing in singleplayer Bedrock is largely due to multiplayer functionality being embedded in all Bedrock worlds (1). Even in singleplayer, the game acts as though it could be joined by other players at any time. Still, many Bedrock players argue that a pause button should be available when playing alone (2).
Without a built-in option, the most common advice for pausing Bedrock Edition is to simply minimize the game application or app window. This effectively pauses the gameplay until the player returns. While not ideal, tabbing out in this way allows Bedrock players to interrupt their singleplayer sessions when needed.