I've found that a lot of this game involves simply waiting for money to roll in. It would be really nice to be able to build a city up to a point where it is 'stable', and then simply let the city run in the background accumulating wealth while I do other more productive and interesting tasks instead of just staring at my bank account increasing while occasionally dealing with the every now-and-then disaster. Even more importantly, before I learned the importance of education, my first nuclear power center had a meltdown rendering basically half of my city uninhabitable. Evidently, the radiation is supposed to eventually disappear, but only after some 20 or so odd in-game years, something I really don't want to have to actually wait through.

Unfortunately, I've found that even in windowed mode, as soon as the window loses focus, the game seems to pause itself. Has anybody found a way to alter this behavior so as to allow the game to run in the background?

3 Answers 3


Having learned that what I initially observed was not true for others (that is, others were able to have SimCity run in the background), I went back to play with it myself and found that whether or not SimCity pauses depends upon how the window loses focus. It seems as if if you minimize the window, the game halts, but if the window loses focus for any other reason (e.g. you alt+tab or click on another window), the game continues to run in the background.


I've found that even in windowed mode, as soon as the window loses focus, the game seems to pause itself.

This is untrue. I run in windowed mode. The game continues running even when I switch out of it.

  • 3
    It's not a question. The question originally asked is answered by pointing out the flaw in its premise.
    – Amy B
    Apr 1, 2013 at 15:35
  • 1
    Well this should be a comment. It doesn't seem to be an answer.
    – user28379
    Apr 1, 2013 at 15:40
  • 3
    It's completely an answer. 1. Put the game into windowed mode. 2. enjoy background execution. Nothing more to say.
    – Amy B
    Apr 1, 2013 at 16:03
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    This is a perfectly acceptable answer. It turns out that whether it pauses or not is dependent upon how the window loses focus (minimizing pauses it, losing focus any other way does not). Simply knowing that for others it did not pause was enough for me to go back, play around, and figure this out on my own. Apr 2, 2013 at 4:01
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    Sounds like there's an important missing detail from this answer, then. @JonathanGleason You'd be quite justified in posting that as an answer yourself.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 2, 2013 at 4:58

Not sure why you're unable to run SimCity in the background as it works for me just fine. One thing you could try is hitting alt+enter in combination to switch it to window mode without pausing.

Another thing you can try is this 3rd party app which will run SimCity in fullscreen windowed mode. http://www.pcgamesn.com/how-get-simcity-running-fullscreen-windowed-mode

I found this 3rd party app from this reddit page: http://www.reddit.com/r/SimCity/comments/1a2ou0/border_less_window_mode/

Good luck and also, trees help with cleanup!

  • Now knowing that it works for others, I decided to play around with it some more, and indeed it does seem to work . . . sometimes. This seems very weird to me, but it seems as if when I minimize the window, the in-game clock stops running, whereas if I click on another window to change focus, the in-game clock continues to run. Can you confirm this? What happens if you just minimize the window instead of selecting another? Apr 1, 2013 at 0:04
  • I can't test this as WindwoedBorderlessGaming program doesnt provide you with the menu bar to "minimize" the game. That's the whole point, no menu bar up top and hides your taskbar. I would try alt+tab or hitting your windows key to pop up out the game instead of minimize. Minimize no doubt pauses the game.
    – teeone
    Apr 1, 2013 at 3:07

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