How to Pause & Resume Print on Ender 3 (Pro & V2 & Neo & S1)?

As it’s not something recommended to leave a 3D printer unattended while it’s running for safety reasons, combined with the fact that some prints can take almost an entire day, or even more, pausing your Ender 3 when you cannot attend it, and resuming the print later can become necessary in some cases.

In this guide, we will explain how you can pause and resume prints on your Ender 3, take you through an alternate method that allows you to pause your Ender 3 at a certain pre-selected height or layer number, discuss how long you can keep your Ender 3 at a pause state, and find out whether it’s possible to power your Ender 3 off after pausing it for the purposes of resuming the print once you power it on again.

How to Pause & Resume Your Prints on Ender 3 (Pro & V2 & Neo & S1)?

Pausing and resuming a print on your Ender 3 is a pretty straightforward process, as all you need to do is click the “Pause” or “Pause Print” option on the LCD controller of your Ender 3, which automatically appears on the screen as the printing process is taking place.

As an example, if you look at the image below, where we have started a test print on an Ender 3 V2 Neo, you will see the Pause option directly on the screen without having to navigate elsewhere, and once you press on it and confirm that you would like to pause the print, your Ender 3 will pause the printing process until you resume it.

ender 3 v2 pausing print

Similarly, once the print is paused, the Pause option will leave its place to the Resume (or Continue if Advanced Pause is active) option instead, and selecting this option will tell your Ender 3 to resume the printing process from where it was left off.

ender 3 v2 resuming print

While how the menu exactly looks can be different for you based on the firmware you’re using and the type of screen attached to your Ender 3, such as it being necessary to click on the knob once for the menu to appear on the classic Ender 3 screen, it should always be possible to find an option that allows you to pause (and resume) your prints in the menus that are present during a print job, regardless of the firmware or the screen your Ender 3 has.

ender 3 standard screen pausing print

On the other hand, if you would like to carry out the task of pausing and resuming a print on your Ender 3 with G-code instead of using the LCD controller, you will need to utilize the M0 (Unconditional Stop) and M108 (Break and Continue) commands (for Marlin Firmware), with the former pausing the print and latter resuming it, and while there are a few other commands you can utilize for the task with different pause behaviors, (which we take a deep dive into in another article), using M0 and M108 will be the most straightforward way to get the job done.

pausing and resuming print with m0 and m108 gcode commands

How to Pause Your Ender 3 (Pro & V2 & Neo & S1) At a Certain Height?

If you would like to pause your Ender 3 at a certain height or layer number, which usually comes in handy when switching to a differently-colored filament, the most convenient way would be to use the post-processing scripts in Cura.

For this process, start by clicking the Extensions option on the Cura menu bar, hovering the cursor over the Post Processing option, and clicking the Modify G-Code option to bring up the Post Processing window.

cura opening the post processing section

Next, click the Add a script button on the top-left corner of the Post Processing window, and select the Pause at Height option from the dropdown list.

cura adding the pause at height script

With the Pause at Height script now active – select whether you prefer to use a height value or a layer number value for the pause by clicking on the Pause at Height dropdown menu and filling out the Pause Height/Pause Layer input accordingly.

cura pause at layer number config

If you’re unsure about the exact height where you would like your Ender 3 to pause the print, our recommendation would be to choose the Layer Number option and use the layer slider you can find on the right side of Cura’s Preview tab to find the exact layer where you would like the print to pause.

The layer number you enter into the input will be the last layer your Ender 3 will print before pausing.

cura preview layer number example

With the height/layer number ready to go, configure the Method dropdown based on the firmware your Ender 3 is using and ensure that it’s correct, as incorrectly configuring this option can lead to a scenario where the script ends up sending a G-code command that the firmware of your Ender 3 won’t recognize.

If you’re using a stock Ender 3 with no mainboard or firmware modifications, choose the Marlin (M0) option.

cura pause at height method config

While the rest of the configuration is optional, we do recommend keeping the Park Print feature active unless you have a specific reason to deactivate it, as this feature will instruct your Ender 3 to move the printhead away from the active print area during the pause, which in turn will prevent the nozzle from oozing plastic on top of the print and possibly creating blobs on the surface.

cura pause at height additional config

Finally, with the script fully configured, close the Post Processing window, slice your model, and print it as usual, which will get your Ender 3 to pause the print at the height or layer number of your choice without requiring any manual action on your side.

As the script will stay active and retain configuration until you manually deactivate it by clicking the X button next to the Pause at Height entry in the Post Processing Scripts section, remember to deactivate or readjust it once you sliced the model file that you intended the pause for to prevent an unwanted pause from happening during another print.

How Long Can You Keep Your Print Paused on Ender 3 (Pro & V2 & Neo & S1)?

Technically speaking, there’s no limit to how long you can keep your print paused on your Ender 3, as your 3D printer will remain in a paused state until you manually issue the command for resuming the print, no matter how long it takes.

That being said, there isn’t much of a point in leaving your Ender 3 in a paused state for extended periods where you cannot be present to keep an eye on the printing process, such as when you’re sleeping or when you’re out for work, as both the hotend and the bed heater will still be active during the pause.

From a safety perspective, there won’t be too much of a difference between the two scenarios of your Ender 3 continuing the print and waiting in a pause state with both the hotend and the bed heated to the same exact temperature either way, which effectively means that pausing your Ender 3 for a long time will only result with it consuming energy for no reason.

While activating the advanced pause feature will get the firmware to turn the hotend heating off after Ender 3 spends a pre-determined amount of time (specified by the PAUSE_PARK_NOZZLE_TIMEOUT value in Configuration_adv.h) in a paused state, which does drastically boost safety due to the hotend being the hottest component of your Ender 3 while heated up, the bed heating will remain active for the strength of the bed adhesion to stay intact, meaning that there’s still some risk involved with leaving your 3D printer unattended.

marlin advanced pause nozzle timeout config

Considering that pausing the print doesn’t entirely negate the safety risks involved, our recommendation would be to refrain from leaving your Ender 3 unattended when it’s powered on at all costs, regardless of whether it’s printing or paused, as we don’t think it’s a good idea to take such safety risks unless you have systems in place that can automatically suppress a fire, regardless of the likelihood of such an event taking place.

Can You Power Off Your Ender 3 (Pro & V2 & Neo & S1) After Pausing a Print and Resume the Print Later?

As Marlin Firmware does include a power-loss recovery feature, it is technically possible for your Ender 3 to resume a print after being powered off, provided that the firmware installed on your Ender 3 has this setting enabled in its configuration.

While this does solve the safety problem of leaving your Ender 3 powered on while it’s unattended, it introduces a different problem regarding the success of the print, as powering your Ender 3 off will result in the heated bed cooling down, which in turn can lead to the print detaching from the build surface due to the strength of the bed adhesion becoming weaker and effectively cause the print to fail.

Additionally, as the power-loss recovery feature will get your Ender 3 to repeat the last layer (unless you have a power-loss detection circuit that allows Marlin to know the exact point where you shut your Ender 3 off), this method may not always produce consistent results, with some visual imperfections appearing at the point where you have paused and resume the print, depending on the location at which you have initiated the pause.

Finally, it’s also worth mentioning that activating the power-loss recovery feature causes Marlin to write to the SD card constantly throughout the print, and even though this is practically the only way to save the state of the printing process without power-loss detection, it will, unfortunately, cause the SD card you’re using to wear out much faster than usual.

Regardless, if you would like to make use of this feature, the first step you will need to take is to enable the POWER_LOSS_RECOVERY parameter that you can find in the Configuration_adv.h file of the Marlin Firmware source code and flash the updated firmware to your 3D printer.

marlin power loss recovery config

Once that’s done, you can send the M413 S1 G-code command to your Ender 3 through a G-code terminal (such as OctoPrint), and save your changes to the EEPROM with M500, which will activate the power-loss recovery feature on your 3D printer and keep it active until you manually turn it off with M413 S0.

activating power loss recovery in marlin with m413 s1


There are many options available when it comes to the different methods you can utilize to pause and resume prints on your Ender 3, whether it’s performing the task manually through the LCD controller or G-code commands, setting your Ender 3 up to pause automatically at a particular height, or even powering your Ender 3 off for the purposes of halting the print temporarily.

That being said, while the process of pausing a print is pretty straightforward, the side effects that come with these methods, whether it’s layer shifting due to the nozzle positioning becoming unreliable after resuming or the print popping off the build plate due to the print bed becoming cold when the Ender 3 is powered off, are factors that make pausing your Ender 3 much less convenient.