How do I put my Shopify store on pause?

There are a few reasons why you may want to temporarily pause your Shopify store operations. Perhaps you are going on vacation, dealing with supply chain issues, or simply need a break. Putting your Shopify store on pause allows you to deactivate purchasing without deleting your store entirely. This way, you can easily resume operations when the time is right. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through the steps to temporarily pause your Shopify store and explain key considerations in the process.

Why Would I Want to Pause My Shopify Store?

Here are some of the top reasons Shopify merchants choose to temporarily pause their stores:

  • Going on vacation – If you need some time off, you can pause orders so customers don’t purchase items you can’t fulfill.
  • Supply chain disruptions – Global events can cause supply chain issues. Pausing your store allows you to avoid overselling inventory.
  • Seasonal sales cycles – Some businesses are cyclical. You may want to pause during your slow season.
  • Conducting inventory – Take some time to count existing inventory and ensure your Shopify totals are accurate.
  • Updating products – Pause your store while you add new products or update existing listings.
  • Website maintenance – While improving your website, pause orders to avoid a poor customer experience.
  • Employee vacation – If you’re a solopreneur, you may pause orders when you can’t fulfill them.
  • Personal break – We all need some time off occasionally. Pause your store for your mental well-being.

Pausing your Shopify store gives you time to focus on internal operations without the pressure of active selling. Just make sure to communicate with customers so they understand why your store is paused.

How Do I Temporarily Pause My Shopify Store?

The good news is Shopify makes it easy to temporarily pause your store’s operations. Here are the key steps:

  1. Log in to your Shopify admin.
  2. Click “Online Store” at the top.
  3. Toggle your store to “Offline”.
  4. Choose a reactivation date if desired.
  5. Optionally, add a custom notice for visitors.
  6. Click “Save” to pause your store.

When your store is paused, customers will see your custom notice explaining why the store is offline. You can easily resume operations any time by toggling your store back “Online”.

Let’s explore these steps in more detail:

1. Log in to your Shopify admin

First, access your Shopify admin dashboard by going to Log in with your email and password. This is where you manage all store settings.

2. Click “Online Store” at the top

In your Shopify admin, click “Online Store” at the top navigation bar. This is where you can view and edit your store’s theme, domains, and other customer-facing settings.

3. Toggle your store to “Offline”

On the Online Store page, find the “Store status” section. Toggle the button from “Online” to “Offline”. This immediately pauses all purchasing on your storefront.

4. Choose a reactivation date (optional)

When toggling your store offline, you can optionally set a date and time for it to automatically reactivate. For example, if you are going on vacation for a week, you can set your store to resume on the day you return.

5. Add a custom notice (optional)

In the “Store notice” text box, you can add a custom message for visitors seeing your offline store. Explain why the store is paused and when you plan to resume operations.

6. Click “Save” to pause your store

Finally, click the blue “Save” button to confirm the changes. Your Shopify store is now paused and customers will see your custom offline message if they visit.

That’s all there is to it! The store pause takes effect right away. When you are ready to resume selling, simply return to the Online Store settings and toggle your store back “Online”.

What Happens When I Pause My Shopify Store?

Pausing your Shopify store prevents any new orders from coming in, but it does not affect your existing content. Here is what to expect when your Shopify store is offline:

  • Customers cannot complete purchases – Your checkout cart and payment methods will be disabled.
  • Previous orders are unaffected – Customers still have access to past purchases and account details.
  • Visitors see offline message – Your custom text explains why your store is paused.
  • You can still make edits – Admins can alter products, pages, themes, etc.
  • Automations stop running – Email/SMS automations will not trigger for new orders.
  • Subscriptions continue – Recurring billing continues for existing subscribers.
  • You can manually fulfill orders – Admins can still create and pay for orders in the backend.

In summary, all front-end purchasing capabilities are disabled when you pause your Shopify store. You retain full admin access to manage products, update content, and fulfill existing orders. Customer data and subscriptions remain intact.

Should I Completely Delete My Store Instead?

Rather than pausing your store, you may be wondering if you should permanently delete it instead. Pause is temporary; delete is permanent. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Plans to reopen – Only delete if you have no plans to reopen in the future. Pause for temporary closures.
  • Lose content – Deleting erases all store content, customers, and sales history. Pausing retains all data.
  • Keep domain – With pause, you keep your domains. Delete releases domain ownership.
  • Ease of restart – It takes 1 click to reopen a paused store. Deleting means starting over from scratch.
  • Subscriptions – Deleting cancels all subscriber billing immediately. Pausing retains subscribers.

In most cases, temporarily pausing your Shopify store is preferable to permanently deleting. Only delete your store if you are absolutely certain you have no intention of ever selling on that platform again. Pausing keeps your options open.

Best Practices When Pausing Your Shopify Store

Follow these tips to ensure pausing your Shopify store goes smoothly:

  • Announce in advance – Give customers notice before you pause via email, social posts, etc.
  • Adjust shipping times – Increase processing times before pausing so orders are not late.
  • Set vacation responder – Let emails send automated replies while you are paused.
  • Plan your timeline – Pick reopening dates lined up with inventory/operations.
  • Craft your message – Write a custom offline notice explaining the pause.
  • Offer contact options – Give customers an email/phone to reach out if needed.
  • Pause recurring orders – Opt to not fulfill new subscriptions during offline mode.
  • Follow up afterward – Email customers when your store is back online.

With some planning and communication, temporarily pausing your Shopify store can go smoothly without negatively impacting customers. The key is setting proper expectations.

Can I Pause Just Part of My Shopify Store?

When you pause your Shopify store, it disables purchasing across your entire online storefront. However, there are a couple ways to temporarily pause just parts of your operations:

  • Unpublish collections – This removes a certain collection from view but keeps everything else live.
  • Disable fulfillment – Manually turn off fulfillment for specific products, collections or shipping zones.

For example, you may want to unpublish a seasonal collection outside of the appropriate time of year. Or disable fulfillment for a region undergoing supply chain disruptions. These targeted pauses keep much of your store active.

In most cases, merchants prefer to pause their entire storefront instead of just pieces of it. But you do have options to pause specific elements if needed.

Can I Receive New Orders While Paused?

When your Shopify store is paused, customers cannot complete purchases on your live site. However, you can still manually receive and fulfill orders in the backend:

  • Process phone/email orders – Manually create orders in the Shopify admin.
  • Fulfill existing orders – Send out products for purchases placed before pausing.
  • Manage subscriptions – Retain and bill recurring subscribers.
  • Edit inventory – Shop admins have full access to product listings.
  • Use POS – The Shopify POS app remains functional if locations stay open.

The key exception is the Shopify POS app. Physical retail locations using POS can continue ringing up sales even when your online storefront pauses. Just be sure to manually sync inventory counts.

How Do I Reactivate My Shopify Store?

When you are ready to resume operations, reactivating your paused Shopify store only takes a moment:

  1. Log back into your Shopify admin.
  2. Navigate to the “Online Store” settings.
  3. Toggle your store from “Offline” to “Online”.
  4. Click “Save” to make your store live again.

That’s all it takes to reactivate purchasing, checkout, and other front-end functionality. Customers will once again be able to complete orders and existing subscribers will resume being billed normally.

How Long Can I Keep My Shopify Store Paused?

There is no time limit for how long you can keep your Shopify store paused. Your content remains intact indefinitely in offline mode unless you choose to delete your store.

However, there are a few potential downsides to staying paused for an extended period:

  • Declining search rankings – Traffic may dip the longer you stay offline.
  • Subscriber attrition – Long pauses increase recurring billing cancellations.
  • Stale content – Keeping outdated product info/pricing for months.
  • Lose momentum – Harder to pick up where you left off after a long break.

In most cases, merchants choose to pause their Shopify stores for weeks or months, not years. Temporary seasonal closures or supply chain disruptions are common scenarios. But staying paused indefinitely carries risks.


Pausing your Shopify store allows you to temporarily disable new orders without erasing your progress. It is easy to toggle your store on and offline within the Shopify admin settings.

Remember to communicate timelines and expectations with customers prior to pausing your store. With some planning, you can smoothly put your Shopify operations on hold and resume when the time is right. Just be mindful not to stay offline for too long.

We covered key topics like:

  • Reasons to pause your Shopify store
  • How to toggle your store offline/online
  • What happens after you pause your store
  • Best practices for pausing and reopening
  • How to manually receive orders while paused
  • Potential downsides of long pauses

With this guide, you should now feel confident in temporarily pausing your Shopify store as needed. Take care of business behind-the-scenes and simply toggle your store back on when you are ready for customers again.

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