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You are watching: What does the pause break button do
UpdatedAug 24, 2021, 1:34 afternoon EDT| 2 min read
Glance at her keyboard and also chances are you’ll view a few keys you never use close to the top-right corner: Sys Rq, scroll Lock, and Pause / Break. Have actually you ever wondered what those secrets are for?
While these keys have been gotten rid of from some computer system keyboards today, they’re tho a usual sight — also on new keyboards.
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The SysRq vital (sometimes Sys Req) is one abbreviation for system Request. These days, keyboards generally incorporate the SysRq an essential with the Print display (or Prt Scr) key. To in reality invoke the device Request key, you’d have to press Alt+SysRq.
This key was meant for invoking low-level operating mechanism functions. It behaves differently from other secrets on your keyboard — as soon as you press this key, your computer’s BIOS generates a unique interrupt that tells the operating system the crucial was pressed. The operating system can listen because that the event and do other special.
These days, many operating systems and also programs will certainly simply disregard this key-press event. One notable exemption is Linux, wherein the “Magic SysRq key” have the right to send regulates directly come the Linux kernel to help recover from crashes and debug the operation system.
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Scroll Lock is a toggle, as with Caps Lock and also Num Lock — on part keyboards, role Lock may also have a dedicated light.
Scroll Lock to be designed for older, text-mode environments, which had a small amount of available screen space. Pushing the arrow keys typically moved the text-entry cursor around, yet people want a way to scroll up and also down v the components of a text screen.
When role Lock was enabled, the arrow keys would certainly scroll the components of the display instead of moving the cursor.
With modern graphical environments that encompass scroll bars and also mouse wheels, this habits is no longer important — in fact, many programs will overlook the scroll Lock an essential entirely.
One notable program that continues to obey role Lock is Microsoft Excel. Once Scroll Lock is enabled in Excel, pressing the arrowhead keys will scroll the city hall area without relocating the cursor.
Pause / Break
The Pause and Break secrets were used in DOS and still role in the Command prompt today.
The Pause vital is draft to pause a text-mode program’s calculation — it still functions in the Command Prompt home window on Windows. Once you push Pause, the output scrolling under your screen will stop. Depending upon how the routine is written, this may also pause the program’s execution. Push another crucial after pausing and also the regime will continue.
The Pause vital can also pause many computers during the BIOS boot-up process. This can allow you to read BIOS article (power-on self-test) messages that flash ~ above your screen for a brief time.
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The Break crucial can be offered to end DOS applications — pushing Ctrl+Break terminates a DOS application. This faster way functions likewise to Ctrl+C, which is also used to terminate applications in command-line environments.
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These secrets are old and also not commonly used — if friend wondered that was utilizing them, the prize is very couple of people. With the exception of the scroll Lock key in Microsoft Excel, there’s very tiny the average person can do with these keys. In fact, it’s surprising the they’re quiet so common on key-boards today.