What Is a Momentary Push Button Switch?

A switch refers to an electrical component designed to interrupt an electrical circuit or divert it from one conductor to another. Standard switches, once activated, maintain function until deactivated, or switched off. Other switches work only temporarily and can take the form of a momentary push-button switch.


Momentary push-button switches activate based on depression of a push button.

The momentary push button switch relies on an actuator, which is a device used to control a mechanism, in order to activate. The push button, or spring-operated actuator device for the momentary push-button switch, enables the switch to actuate while the button is depressed. Once the push button is released, the switch returns to its previous state.


Push-to-make switches, the most common type of momentary push-button switch, makes electrical contact, or switches on, while the button is depressed. The contact breaks upon release of the button. A push-to-make momentary push button switch, also referred to as a normally-open switch can take the form of the keys on a computer keyboard, which actuate while depressed.


A push-to-break type of momentary push-button switch, also known as a normally closed switch, makes electrical contact when the button is released and breaks contact upon depression of the button. A button pressed to open an electrically operated door is an example of a push-to-break momentary push-button switch.