In some single-player games, there is no option to pause the game during dialogs or during cut-scenes. However, sometimes things happen in real life (kids, etc.) that require me to shift my attention to something else within a few seconds.

Is there a way to "force pause" these games? For example, some external tool that somehow "freezes" or suspends the current process at the click of a key?

I'd need a solution that works on Windows.


  1. The game I am currently having this issue with is "The Book of Unwritten Tales - Critter Chronicles", but, since this is a recurring issue I have with multiple games, I deliberately made the question game-agnostic. However, if you have an answer for this particular game I am playing right now, feel free to leave a comment.

  2. I've tagged this , since this is about "modifying gameplay" in a way that the developer did not intend. If you have a better idea, please re-tag.

  • The only game-agnostic solution I can think of would be to tell the Windows scheduler to skip the game (so the game won't execute on the CPU). Unfortunately, I don't know how to do this. On Windows, you could set a process' priority to "Low", but that won't stop the game from executing. There's also no way of knowing how the game will behave once it's allowed to execute again. Worst case, it'll skip ahead to make up for all the time it couldn't execute, which would defeat the purpose of stopping it.
    – Nolonar
    Nov 19 at 10:41
  • Can't confirm if this will work or not, but alt-tab might do it?
    – Ben
    Nov 20 at 1:30
  • Alt-tab will switch the focus away from the game, but how the game responds to the loss of focus is entirely up to the game. Nov 20 at 15:14
  • 1
    This is a feature any good single player game should have. I've definitely chosen which game to play depending on how likely I considered a real life interuption.
    – quarague
    Nov 20 at 17:28


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