Anaerobic granular sludge (AnGS) is the core of anaerobic granular sludge bed system. In this study, the effect and its mechanism of stopping substrate supply on function of AnGS were investigated. The cutoff of exogenous substrate supply triggered AnGS to enter the dormant state. Some methanization microorganisms sporulated. The number and activity of methanization microorganisms based on 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA/16S rDNA ratio declined and stayed at 45.5% and 0.06% (bacteria), 48.7% and 0.39% (archaea) of the initial vegetative value, respectively. The resuming of exogenous substrate supply promoted AnGS to restore the vegetative state. The spores disappeared. The specific methanization activity of AnGS returned to the original level of 35.82 mL-CH4/g-VSS·d, but the delay time for gas production (DTGS) was prolonged from 9.54 to 18.04 h (0–132 d). The dormancy of methanization microorganisms was the main cause for the fluctuation of apparent function and the stability of intrinsic function of AnGS under starvation stress. The dormancy stabilized the structure and sustained the methanization community of AnGS via the reduction of EPS (structure binder/energy reserve) consumption.