How to Handle Unintended Breakpoints While Debugging Python in Visual Studio Code on a Mac

What will you learn?

In this comprehensive guide, you will delve into the perplexing realm of encountering unintended breakpoints while debugging Python code in Visual Studio Code on MacOS. You’ll uncover the root causes behind these unexpected interruptions and equip yourself with practical solutions to regain control over your debugging environment.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When engrossed in the meticulous process of debugging Python code, stumbling upon unexpected breakpoints can throw off your rhythm. These unscheduled halts may arise from various sources such as hidden exceptions, misconfigurations, or even bugs within the IDE itself. In the context of MacOS using Visual Studio Code (VS Code), these surprises can disrupt your debugging flow and leave you questioning the integrity of your code or debug configurations.

To navigate through this maze of unforeseen breakpoints, we will dissect common triggers behind these interruptions during Python debugging sessions in VS Code on MacOS. We will explore potential causes and provide strategies for identifying and resolving these unexpected stops. Our journey will involve scrutinizing debug settings, updating software components, and delving into advanced configuration adjustments to restore a seamless debugging experience.


  1. Update both VS Code and the Python extension.
  2. Review launch.json for any erroneous configurations.
  3. Disable “Just My Code” by setting “justMyCode”: false in launch.json.
  4. Ensure there are no lingering breakpoints in the Breakpoints panel.
  5. Investigate if any third-party extensions are interfering with the debugger’s operation.


Here is a breakdown of each step in our solution:

Step Description
1 Keeping tools up-to-date can resolve bugs causing unintended breakpoints.
2 Incorrect settings in launch.json might lead to unpredictable behavior; review it carefully.
3 Disabling “Just My Code” broadens the scope of code analysis during execution, aiding in uncovering hidden issues causing abrupt pauses.
4 Removing unnoticed breakpoints prevents unintentional stops based on outdated or misplaced break conditions.
5 Third-party extensions can sometimes clash with primary development tools; consider disabling or updating them to troubleshoot effectively.
    What is a breakpoint?

    A breakpoint is a designated spot in your code where execution pauses for inspection during debugging processes.

    Why would VS Code hit an unintended breakpoint?

    This could occur due to software glitches, misconfigurations within launch.json, hidden exceptions caught unexpectedly by the debugger, or conflicts with other installed extensions.

    How do I update my tools?

    For VS Code, navigate to Help > Check for Updates… For extensions, visit Extensions (square icon) > … > Check for Extension Updates.

    How do I view and edit launch.json?

    Access .vscode/launch.json from your project’s root directory; if it doesn�t exist yet�you can create one via Run > Add Configuration…

    Why disable “Just My Code”?

    Disabling this feature allows broader code analysis during execution, aiding in identifying bugs caused by external libraries efficiently.

    What should I do if updating does not solve my problem?

    Consider completely uninstalling then reinstalling both Visual Studio Code and its related Python development extensions.


    Traversing through unexpected breakpoints encountered during Python debugging sessions demands patience alongside systematic troubleshooting steps�from ensuring correct updates down to meticulously examining potential misconfigurations�ultimately leading to a seamless workflow restoration!

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