Master Guide: How to Make Your Shopify Website Not Live

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Your Options
  3. Implementing Changes
  4. Preparing for Changes
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQ About Making Your Shopify Store Not Live

In the ever-evolving world of eCommerce, having control over your online presence is crucial for success. Whether you're tweaking your store, rebranding, or just taking a short break, sometimes you need to make your Shopify website not visible to the public. This comprehensive guide is crafted for store owners who wish to make their Shopify website not live, either temporarily or permanently. Here, we dive deep into everything you need to know, from pausing your store to making substantial changes without affecting your customer experience.


Have you ever been in a situation where your Shopify store needed a facelift, or perhaps you wanted to make significant updates without interrupting the user experience? Maybe you're contemplating a temporary hiatus from selling. Whatever your reasons, knowing how to effectively make your Shopify website not live while keeping the backend operational can be a game-changer for your business.

This post aims to unfold the several methods you can employ to make your Shopify store inaccessible to the public while still allowing you to perform essential backend operations or updates. By the end of this read, you will not only understand how to execute these changes seamlessly but also appreciate the flexibility Shopify offers to accommodate your business needs at every stage.

Before We Dive In

It's essential to know that Shopify provides different options for taking your store offline, each suiting various needs and scenarios. From utilizing the 'Pause and Build' plan to complete store deactivation, the choice heavily depends on your specific situation and the future plans you have for your store.

Understanding Your Options

Pausing Your Store with 'Pause and Build'

Pause and Build is an excellent option for those looking to take a break without completely shutting down. This plan significantly reduces your monthly subscription cost and disables the checkout, preventing any new purchases while allowing you to access your Shopify admin and make necessary changes.

How It Works:

  • Your store goes offline, but you retain access to your admin panel.
  • Customers can view products but cannot make purchases.
  • You continue to pay a reduced monthly fee.

Completely Deactivating Your Store

If you're considering a longer break or ending your eCommerce venture, deactivating your store might be the route for you. This option stops all operations and billing but remember, reactivation will require a new subscription plan.

Steps to Follow:

  1. Review Shopify's Terms of Service.
  2. Cancel your subscription from the 'Settings' menu.
  3. Follow the prompts to confirm deactivation.

Hiding Your Store with a Password

For short-term changes or during the development phase, you might just want to hide your store behind a password. This keeps your store accessible to you or anyone with the password but hidden from the public eye.

Setting It Up:

  • Go to 'Online Store' > 'Preferences'.
  • Enable password protection and set your password.

This method is particularly useful for store development or making minor tweaks without going entirely offline.

Implementing Changes

Pausing and Resuming Your Store

Pausing your store is straightforward through the Shopify admin. Navigate to 'Settings' > 'Plan and permissions', then select 'Pause store'. Resuming is just as simple—choose a new plan, and you're ready to restart selling.

Deactivating Your Store

To deactivate, follow similar steps by going to 'Settings' and choosing 'Close store'. Remember, this action is more permanent, and you should ensure all financial obligations and orders are settled beforehand.

Adjusting Visibility with Password Protection

For temporary invisibility, enabling password protection allows for backend access while keeping the storefront hidden. This option is ideal for stores under construction or undergoing brief updates.

Preparing for Changes

Before making your Shopify store not live, consider the following:

  • Notify your customers about the upcoming changes.
  • Ensure all orders are fulfilled to avoid customer dissatisfaction.
  • Back-up your store data in case you need to revert any changes.


Whether it's a temporary break, major revamps, or a permanent closure, Shopify offers the flexibility to adjust your store's visibility according to your needs. By understanding and implementing the available options, you can maintain control over your online presence while making necessary changes. Remember to plan, communicate with your customers, and ensure a smooth transition to whatever new phase awaits your business.

FAQ About Making Your Shopify Store Not Live

How do I unpause my Shopify store?

To unpause, simply select a new plan from the 'Plan' section in your admin. Your store will be live and operational again.

Can I still access my Shopify admin if my store is paused?

Yes, with the 'Pause and Build' plan, you can access your admin panel, make changes, and prepare your store for when you decide to go live again.

Will I be charged if my store is paused?

Yes, but at a reduced rate which allows you to maintain access to your Shopify admin without fully operational sales features.

How can I hide my store without pausing it?

Enabling password protection from your 'Preferences' settings allows you to hide your storefront from the public while remaining accessible to those with the password.

Can I cancel my store and not be charged?

Yes, if you deactivate your store before the next billing cycle, you will not be further charged. Make sure to cancel any app subscriptions as well.