Nespresso Vertuo Red Light (This Will Fix It)

Green Pods How to fix red light on Nespresso vertuo machine

Have you gone to use your Nespresso Vertuo machine to brew a cup of coffee only to find a solid red light, or a blinking light alternating between orange and red?

At this point, you think to yourself, let me contact customer care to book the device for repairs.

The good news is you can usually fix this problem yourself!

A red light on your machine could be an indication it needs to cool down or it’s insecurely locked. It could also mean there’s a pod lying in the used capsule container or you need to descale the device.

In this troubleshooting guide, we’ll teach you to triage your Vertuo machine – so you can brew your favorite drink again in no time.

Why Listen To Us? Well, because we KNOW coffee! In fact, we make our own coffee, coffee machine cleaners, and reusable capsules which we've sold to over 41 countries. Our team ouf experts include Tristan (an engineer), Claire (a food writer) and Richy (a barista). So, whether you're looking for a recipe or repair guide, we've got you covered 💚

What Does The Red Light On Your Nespresso Vertuo Machine Mean?

When there’s an obstacle in the capsule container – used pod or coffee residue, the red light will usually go on. Open the head of your machine to eject the used pod or remove any coffee particles lying in the container.

Sometimes it means the device is overheating, and it’s best to let your machine rest. Turn off the machine and let it cool down for a few hours. 

How To Fix: Vertuo Plus Red Light

At this point, it’s best to give your machine a break by unplugging the power cord from the outlet for a couple of hours. If the problem persists, contact Nespresso customer care

1. Half GREEN/YELLOW And Half RED Steady Light.

When both solid green/yellow and red lights appear on your machine, it means it’s time to descale your machine. This removes scale and mineral build-up caused by the salts in your water.

Nespresso recommends descaling your machine every 3 months, depending on how often you use the machine. Here’s how to decalcify your appliance.

Read More: Check out our comprehensive descaling guide for the Vertuo Plus machine here.

You’ll need:

  • 1-liter container 
  • 1 packet descaling solution 


  1. Turn the machine on by pressing the button.
  2. Lift the machine head to eject the previous capsule.
  3. Gently lower the head.
  4. Turn off the machine by pressing the lever down for 3 seconds.
  5. Empty the cup support and used capsule container.
  6. Fill the water tank with the descaler, and add a liter of water.
  7. Press the lever and button simultaneously for 3 seconds. An orange steady light will appear to indicate you’ve entered the “Special Functions” menu.
  8. Press the lever once to enter descale mode.
  9. Put the container on the drip tray.
  10. Push the button and descaling will start. The orange light will blink throughout the process and the machine will stop automatically when descaling is done. 

Rinse cycle 

  1. Empty and rinse the drip tray, container, and water tank.
  2. Fill the water tank with clean water and reattach it to the machine.
  3. Lower the head and push the button. When the orange light blinks every 2 seconds, it means decalcifying is complete.
  4. To exit descale mode, press the button and lever simultaneously for 3 seconds. 
  5. A green solid light indicates descaling is complete. Allow the machine to dry for 10 minutes before using it.

2. RED Light Blinking Continuously And The Machine Head Stops Moving.

It means there must be a used coffee pod in the used capsule container. Open the head of the machine to eject the used pod. 

3. RED Light Blinking 2 Times And Goes Back To Steady GREEN.

A blinking red light turning to steady green indicates an error in the “Special Functions.” Head over to the menu and choose the desired special function by pushing the lever down. Press it once to “descale”, twice to “empty the system” and three times to “reset to factory settings”. If you want to exit the menu, press the lever and button simultaneously. 

4. RED Light Blinking 3 Times Every 2 Seconds And Goes Back To Steady RED.

When your machine responds this way, it means there’s coffee residue in the capsule container. Push up the lever and check for any obstacles. Close the machine head. If there aren’t any obstacles but the light still alternates between blinking and steady red, contact Nespresso.

4. RED Steady Light And The Machine Is NOT Running.

Your Vertuo probably overheated and needs to rest. Follow these steps to cool down your machine.

  1. Turn the machine off and unplug the power cord. Wait 15 minutes for the device to cool down. 
  2. Plug the power cord.
  3. Turn the machine on by pressing the lever down. When the machine has heated up, a steady GREEN light will appear.

5. RED Light Fading Out.

A fading red light is no reason to panic. It means your machine is cooling down and a solid GREEN light will appear when it’s ready.

6. RED Light Flashing Twice And Goes Back To ORANGE Blinking.

This is often an indication that the “Special Functions” menu is on standby. Press the lever 1 time to descale, twice to empty the system, and 3 times to restore to factory settings. If you want to exit, press the lever and button simultaneously. 

7. RED Light Flashing Twice And Goes Back To Steady ORANGE.

This is an indication that “Special Functions” are on standby. Enter the special functions menu and select the next course of action by pressing the lever down.

How To Fix: Vertuo Next Red Light

When a red light appears on your machine, it’s an indication of a (minor) error on your machine. Below are common causes of the red light and how to fix them. 

1. Unlocked machine:

The machine is improperly closed and will not run. Ensure the head is securely locked by turning the lever to the left until it clicks.

2. Empty water tank:

Maybe you attempted to brew your favorite java but forgot to refill the water tank. Double-check to ensure you’ve filled the water tank. 

3. Eject the previous capsule:

If there’s a used pod in the capsule container, you’ll need to open the machine head to eject the capsule. If you want to top up your coffee, push the coffee button the second time within 30 seconds after the previous brew.

4 . Blocked brew unit:

When the part of your machine that punctures the capsule is blocked, a red light will usually appear. Lift the device’s head and gently spin the top, round area. When it moves freely in both directions, you can go ahead and brew your coffee. 

5. Capsule not recognized:

To ensure there aren’t any blockages – coffee residue, in the recognition system, it’s best to clean your machine. Follow these steps to clean it.

  1. Empty and rinse the water tank and lid. Fill the tank with clean water and reattach it to the machine.
  2. Place a 1-liter container under the coffee outlet.
  3. Lift the machine head to eject the utilized pod.
  4. Empty and rinse the capsule container and drip tray.
  5. Lower the head and gently turn the lever to the left until it clicks. Wait 30 seconds for the machine to heat up.
  6. Press the button 3 times within 2 seconds. 
  7. Repeat the cleaning cycle.
  8. When a steady green light appears, the cleaning process is done.

6. Electronic error:

The machine needs to be restarted. To do this, disconnect the power cord from the outlet. After 10 seconds, replug the cord. If the problem persists, you can restore factory settings by following these steps.

  1. Open the machine head to eject the used capsule. 
  2. Lower the head and leave the handle in the “UNLOCKED” position.
  3. Push the button 5 times within 3 seconds. The button should blink orange 5 times within 3 seconds and then change to a steady white light.

7. Descale needed:

If the red light persists, it means you need to decalcify the appliance (if you haven’t already). Here’s how to descale your machine.

You’ll need:

  • 1-liter container 
  • 1 packet descaling solution


  1. Empty the drip tray and capsule container.
  2. Fill the water tank with the descaling agent, and add 500ml (17oz) of clean water.
  3. Reattach the tank to the machine.
  4. Close and lock the machine and press the coffee button.
  5. When the device has heated up, lift the head to eject the capsule.
  6. Lower the head and leave it in the “UNLOCKED” position.

Descale cycle 

  1. Press and hold the coffee button for 7 seconds.
  2. Turn the lever to the left, and lock.
  3. Unlock the lever by turning it to the right, then press and hold the button for 7 seconds.
  4. Place the container under the outlet.
  5. Turn the lever to the right and press the button. The coffee machine will stop when the first phase of descaling is complete.

Rinse cycle 

  1. Empty and rinse the water tank and drip tray.
  2. Fill the water tank with clean water and reattach it to the machine.
  3. Press the button. When the entire descaling cycle is complete, the coffee button light will illuminate solid.
  4. Allow the device to dry for 10 minutes before you brew coffee.


A red light on your Nespresso Vertuo machine is often an indication of an error in your machine.

Before you get frustrated, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s easily fixable by following the troubleshooting guide in this post. After having identified the problem, you’ll be well on your way to making your favorite drink.

Did this article help fix your problem? Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments section below!

💚 The Green Pods team.

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