Pause or resume your ad groups

This article explains how to pause, resume, or remove your ad groups.

Before you begin

Starting Jan 18, 2017, display and video ad groups that don’t have a targeting method will be eligible to show ads on the Google Display Network and YouTube. As a one-time exception, existing ad groups without targeting will be automatically paused starting Jan 18 to ensure they don't run ads you don't intend to show. Going forward, manually pause ad groups that aren’t ready to show ads. To learn more about targeting, go to About targeting settings on the Display Network.


The new Google Ads experience is now the exclusive way for most users to manage their accounts. Note, automatic targeting is only available in the new Google Ads experience.

How to pause, enable, or remove your ad groups

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Click the Ad groups tab.
  4. Find the Status column to see the current status of each ad group.
  5. Click the checkbox beside the ad group or ad groups you want to change.
  6. Click the Edit drop-down menu above the ad groups, and select Enable, Pause, or Remove.
Change status

How to find removed ad groups

Looking for the ad groups you've removed? Click the All but removed ad groups drop-down menu above the graph and select All.

Visit AdWords

How to make changes to multiple campaigns, ads, or ad groups

If you want to make changes to multiple campaigns, ads, ad groups and more in bulk, you might want to use bulk uploads. With bulk uploads, you can download a spreadsheet, make changes offline, then upload it to have the changes take effect at the same time.


  • You can pause or resume a single ad group simply by clicking its status icon.
  • Make sure you have at least 3 ads in your ad group so that Google Ads can optimize for what messaging works best for your potential customers.

How ad groups work with other levels of Google Ads

  • Ad groups depend on campaigns: If your ad group is in a campaign that is paused or removed, the ads in your ad group won’t run. Similarly, if your ad group is in a campaign that is enabled, the ads in your ad group can run (but you can choose to pause or remove them).
  • Ads depend on ad groups: If your ad group is paused or removed, the ads in that ad group won’t run. Similarly, if your ad group is enabled, then its ads can run (but you can choose to pause or remove them).
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