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11 Ways to Fix Nespresso Flashing Red in 2024

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Nespresso machines use blinking red or orange lights to signal various issues. Solutions range from simple cleaning and resetting to contacting Nespresso support. Depending on how quickly the light blinks and if it is mixed with other colors, it can be caused by other reasons too. Keep reading to learn more.

Having owned multiple Nespresso models, I’ve encountered my fair share of models. I wrote this guide to help some of you with your machine’s errors hopefully.

I’ll talk about potential problems and solutions based on your machine’s flashing red light pattern. You’ll then find additional information on fixing your machine.

Here is an overview:

Let’s fix your Nespresso.

Key Takeaways

  • Different Nespresso models use red or orange blinking lights for errors.
  • Descaling your machine regularly is essential to prevent limescale buildup.
  • Factory resetting can resolve software glitches causing blinking lights.
  • Incompatible third-party pods can cause Nespresso malfunctions.
  • Letting your machine cool down can also help get rid of these lights.

Which Nespresso Models Use Orange or Red Lights? (Read First)

The following nespresso models will warn you of issues using a blinking orange light:

  • Vertuo Next
  • Vertuo Pop+
  • Vertuo
  • Vertuo Evoluo
  • Lattissima
  • Essenza Plus (technically red)

These lights may also look yellow, but their manuals will refer to them as “orange.”

And these machines will blink red:

  • CitiZ
  • VertuoPlus
  • Vertuo Deluxe
  • Most Original Line models

If your machine isn’t on either list, then pay attention whether your light is flashing yellow (orange) or red. Regardless, you’ll want to try all the solutions in this guide.

Almost all these solutions won’t require you to disassemble your machine.

Anyway. Let’s move forward.

Solutions for a Flashing Red (or Orange) Light on a Nespresso Machine

Use this table to help you decode potential issues with your machine:

Red Light PatternSolutionProblem
Continuous FlashFactory resetSoftware error or glitch
Blinks Red x2, then Solid WhiteRefill reservoirNo water
Blinks Red x2, then Solid OrangeFactory resetSoftware error or glitch
Blinks red 3x per 2 seconds with Steady Red PausesUse more force to close leverMachine may have not punctured pod
Steady Red LightFactory resetSoftware error or glitch
Pulsing Off then OnWait for it to coolOverheated
Blinks Red Twice, SteadilyClean barcode readerNo pod detected
Steady Red and GreenDescaleScale buildup
Blinks Red x5 within 10 secFactory resetSoftware error or glitch
Steady Red for 2 sec, then BlinksRefill water tankEmpty water reservoir
Blinks and Fades after 1 secCool down machineOverheated machine
Constant BlinkingFactory resetSoftware error or glitch

The following sections will expand upon everything in the table above. I’ll talk about the blinking pattern, the solution, why the problem could lead to machine errors, and additional information you should consider.

I recommend reading (of course I would) to fully understand why your machine has an error, how to fix it, and how to prevent recurring errors.

If none of my solutions work, you’ll need to call Nespresso. I’ll provide their contact information. Just don’t contact us because we can’t provide more information than what’s in this guide.

And we’re not Nespresso’s customer support. Nor are we affiliated with them or Nestle.

Let’s dive in.

1. Download the Nespresso App (For Select Models)

Do this first if you have a Nespresso Vertuo Next or Vertuo Pop+.

The Nespresso Vertuo Next and Vertuo Pop+ models can connect to the Nespresso mobile app via Bluetooth. They’ll relay whether you have issues like an unlocked head, empty water tank, blocked brew unit, and everything else I’ll mention on this list.

Yes, it sucks to have another app. However, using this app will eliminate the guesswork in diagnosing these specific models. It’ll also save you from 5 minutes of reading and more than 20 minutes of troubleshooting.

If I’ve convinced you to download the app, follow these steps to connect the Next and Pop+ to your app:

  1. Place the phone on your machine.
  2. Open the app.
  3. Click the machine icon at the top right of your screen.
  4. Follow the steps it displays.
  5. Connect your Nespresso device to your Wi-Fi network.
  6. Once everything’s done, your machine should say “Connected.”

Here’s a video in case this is too vague:

Congratulations. You saved yourself time and have yet another smart appliance hogging internet bandwidth.

If you’re not one of the privileged few with these models, it’s time to get your hands dirty.

2. Descale Your Machine

  • Solution: Descale machine
  • Blinking Pattern: Steady red or green light
  • Time Commitment: 30–40 min
  • What You’ll Need:
    • Vinegar OR citric acid OR Nespresso descaling kit; read below for comparison

If your Nespresso machine displays a steady red or green light, it’s time for a thorough cleaning and descaling.

Descaling is the process of removing limescale buildup from the machine’s internal components. Limescale is a hard, chalky deposit that forms when minerals in your water are heated.

Over time, limescale buildup can obstruct water flow, cause inconsistent brewing temperatures, and even lead to machine malfunctions.

I’ll explain how to descale now, then the differences of descaling agents you have available.

How to descale Nespresso machines (in general):

  1. Empty the pod slot and pod holder.
  2. Fill the water reservoir.
  3. Add a descaling solution.
    1. Nespresso descaling solution: 1 bag or pod.
    2. Vinegar: 1 part vinegar to 2–3 parts water.
    3. Citric acid: 1–2 tablespoons.
  4. Place the container under the spout.
  5. Enter descaling mode (varies by machine).
  6. Once the first cycle finishes, refill the water tank with dispensed water and enter descaling mode again.
  7. Refill the water tank and fill with fresh water.
  8. Press the brew button—the Lungo button on some models—to rinse.
  9. Repeat rinse.

This is the most vague information possible, though. Entering descaling mode is the most important, yet complicated part of the process.

This isn’t a post about descaling Nespresso machines. I can’t provide too many details. I can guide you to resources on the details of entering the descale mode on different models, though.

These are all videos on descaling different models:

VertuoPlusVertuo NextPixieCitiZ
Essenza MiniLattissima OneInissiaGran Lattissima
Vertuo PopCreatistaVertuo Creatista

And let’s compare descaling agents real quick.

Vinegar is the cheapest and easiest solution, but it requires multiple rinses due to the potential of a lingering vinegar taste.

Citric acid is the best alternative because it’s affordable, yet doesn’t leave behind a gut-wrenching sour and bitter taste. However, you’ll need to order it online. And there’s no specific “type” of citric acid you’d need to use.

Nespresso’s descaling solutions are the easiest to use and will offer the most thorough cleaning. But they’re pricier and harder to find. This solution is mandatory if you live in an area with hard water. Because you’ll likely have bad limescale buildup.

Summary: Descale your machine to help it run smoother and eliminate errors.

3. Perform a Hard Reset

  • Solution: Factory reset your machine
  • Blinking Pattern:
    • Continuous red flash
    • Blinks red twice, then stays orange
    • Steady/constant red light

A factory (hard) reset on your Nespresso machine is like hitting the “refresh” button for its settings. It wipes out all the customizations you’ve made, such as auto-off times. It also puts the machine back to the way it was when it came out of the box.

Hence the term “factory.”

A factory reset can sometimes solve problems like inconsistent coffee amounts or strange machine behavior. If the issue with your flashing red light stems from a software glitch or a setting gone wrong, a factory reset might do the trick.

Warning: A factory reset will erase any personal settings you’ve made, you’ll need to reprogram those after the reset.

Anyway. Here’s how to factory reset for some models and resources for others:

ModelTutorial or Resource
Vertuo, VertuoPlusGuide is here
Vertuo NextOpen machine head
Close the head; leave handle in “UNLOCKED” position
Push brew button 5 times within 3 seconds
Button will blink 5 times then change to a steady white color
Essenza, Pixie, Inissia, CitizTurn the machine off.
Press and hold the Lungo button for 5 seconds.
The LEDs will blink rapidly 3 times to confirm the reset.
Lattissima OneGuide is here
Lattissima TouchGuide is here
Gran LattissimaGuide is here
CreatistaSETTINGS > RESET > FACTORY RESET > “✔” to accept

I may have missed your machine in this list. You’ll need to refer to your manual.

Summary: A factory reset on your Nespresso machine reloads its original settings, erasing your customizations. This can fix software glitches that cause odd behavior like a flashing red light.

4. Cool Down Your Machine

  • Solution: Let cool for 20 min
  • Blinking Pattern: Pulsing on-then-off red light

If your Nespresso shows a pulsing on-then-off red light, it’s signaling that the machine is overheating. To fix this, unplug the machine and let it cool for at least 20 minutes

While cooling, ensure it’s placed away from heat sources like vents, stoves, or ovens. Avoiding such areas prevents further heating.

Good ventilation is also essential. Avoid enclosed spaces for the machine while it rests. Doing so will ensure the machine cools.

Why did it overheat in the first place?

Blocked water flow due to scale buildup is a major culprit of flashing red lights. If the problem persists after cooling, descaling your machine might be necessary. Other potential causes could be a malfunctioning internal component, in which case you may need to contact Nespresso support.

Summary: If your Nespresso has a pulsing red light, it’s overheating. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes.

5. Refill Your Water Tank

  • Solution: Refill the water reservoir
  • Blinking Pattern: Blinks red twice, then stays green

A Nespresso machine blinking red twice then staying green typically signals that the water reservoir is empty or too low for the machine to operate. The only solution here is to refill it.

This happens because a built-in sensor in the water tank detects the low water level. The initial red blinks act as a warning, letting you know there’s a problem.

Once the water level drops critically, the machine prevents operation, switching the light to a steady green to indicate it’s no longer ready to brew. This is a safety feature designed to protect the machine’s internal components from potential damage caused by running without sufficient water.

If you still notice this blinking pattern, you need to descale it. If you already tried that, power cycle your machine.

Summary: A Nespresso machine blinking red twice, then staying green usually means the water reservoir is empty and needs refilling.

6. Nespresso Lever Isn’t Closed

  • Solution: Close lever with a bit more force
  • Blinking Pattern: Blinks red 3x per 2 seconds with steady red pauses

The blinking pattern above likely means the lever (the part you use to insert and close the capsule holder) isn’t fully engaged. Close the lever with a bit more force to ensure it’s properly and completely locked. 

Be careful not to use excessive force, though, as you don’t want to risk breaking the lever. If you use the lever frequently, it’s possible the mechanism has worn down slightly over time, leading to it not fully closing on its own anymore.

In that case, you’ll need to replace your machine.

Summary: If your Nespresso blinks red 3 times every 2 seconds with pauses, it means the capsule holder lever isn’t fully closed. Try closing it with slightly more force.

7. Issue With Pod

  • Solution: Clear any obstructions
  • Blinking Pattern: None

There’s no specific red light blinking pattern to watch out for here. This is a solution you’d want to try if nothing else works. The barcode scanner may have been obstructed, usually by coffee residue buildup in the brewing chamber.

This is important because it uses a laser to read the pod’s information. The machine can’t function correctly if the laser path or the seal itself is dirty. Thus possibly causing red or orange lights.

Open the brewing chamber (where you insert the pod) and use a flashlight to examine the translucent ring-shaped seal around the pod holder closely. Look for any dried coffee grounds or buildup.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Wash the entire brewing chamber with hot water.
  2. Use a soft toothbrush to clean the area around the seal and the seal itself.
  3. Use cotton swabs to reach the grooves of the seal.
  4. Run a short cleaning cycle (without a pod).

Why a soft toothbrush? The brewing chamber contains delicate parts like the barcode scanner. A soft toothbrush has gentle bristles that won’t scratch or damage these sensitive components.

Once you do this initial cleaning, you’ll need to repeat these steps daily to avoid future issues. Run the short cleaning cycle daily. And do the toothbrush cleaning monthly. Or once every couple of weeks if you use your Nespresso more than a couple times daily.

Summary: A dirty barcode scanner can cause Nespresso light issues. Clean the brewing chamber seal thoroughly as dried coffee residue can block the laser.

Other Potential Problems & Solutions for Blinking Red Lights on Nespresso Machines

Here are other potential problems and solutions you could try to fix flashing red (or orange) lights on your Nespresso machine:

Jammed CapsuleClear the capsule area
Software ErrorTurn off, unplug, and then re-plug your machine.
Damaged ElectronicsBuy a new machine
Incompatible PodsUse official Nespresso pods

None of these problems may be what’s causing your flashing red light. But it’s worth investigating. Better than waiting for Nespresso’s customer support.

I’ll explain what each problem or solution is and how that COULD cause the blinking red light issues.

Let’s dive in.

1. Jammed Capsule

  • Solution: Clear the capsule area

A jammed capsule in your Nespresso machine can cause a blinking red light because it blocks water flow and prevents the machine from reaching the pressure needed for brewing.

To fix this, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off and unplug your Nespresso.
  2. Open the lever where you insert capsules and look inside.
  3. If you see a stuck capsule, use tongs or a similar tool to gently remove it.
  4. Once cleared, close the lever, plug the machine in, and try brewing again.

If this didn’t fix anything, you at least have a cleaner machine now. Let’s move forward.

Summary: Unjamming capsules that are blocking water flows will potentially fix blinking red lights.

2. Power Cycle Your Machine

Solution: Power your machine off, unplug, then plug in

Power cycling your Nespresso machine means fully turning it off, unplugging it, and then plugging it back in and turning it on—essentially, a hard reboot. It clears temporary software hiccups, potentially restoring proper function.

This process can sometimes fix minor glitches in the machine’s software that might cause blinking red or orange lights. These glitches can lead to odd behavior like incorrect light patterns or the machine not responding as expected.

Here’s how to power cycle your Nespresso machine:

  1. Press the power button to turn the machine off.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the outlet.
  3. Leave it unplugged for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Plug the power cord back into the outlet.
  5. Press the power button to turn the machine back on.

If power cycling didn’t solve the blinking light issue, consider performing a factory reset. This is a more thorough reset that erases all your custom settings and takes the machine back to its original factory state.

I explained how to do this toward the beginning of this guide.

Summary: Power cycling potentially resets software glitches and could get rid of blinking red lights.

3. Damaged Electronics

  • Solution: Buy a new machine

Damaged electronics within your Nespresso machine can cause a blinking red light. This often indicates a deeper issue than a simple software glitch.

Here’s why:

  • Component Failure: Components like the heating element, water pump, or control board could be damaged.
    • This prevents the machine from operating properly, triggering an error signal like the red light.
  • Circuit Issues: Faulty wiring, damaged connections, or short circuits within the machine can disrupt the necessary electrical flow for brewing, leading to the blinking light.

Unless you have extensive electronics repair experience, fixing these issues is likely beyond DIY solutions.

In most cases, damaged electronics require professional repair or replacement of the entire Nespresso machine.

If you’re comfortable with electronics, you could open the machine and use a multimeter to test voltages at different components. However, this is risky as it involves working with electrical parts and could void your warranty.

Summary: Damaged electronics will require you to buy a new machine.

4. Pod You’re Using Isn’t Compatible

  • Solution: Use official Nespresso pods

Incompatible pods can cause a blinking red light on a Nespresso machine for a few reasons:

  • Shape and Size Differences: While third-party pods may look similar to official Nespresso pods, slight differences in shape or size can prevent them from fitting properly in the machine.
  • Barcode Issues: VertuoLine machines use barcode scanning technology to determine brewing settings.
    • If a third-party pod doesn’t have a compatible barcode, or if it’s misaligned, the machine may not recognize it and trigger an error signal like the blinking light.
  • Internal Damage: Forcing incompatible pods into the machine could potentially damage the pod holder, the piercing mechanism, or other internal parts.

If you’re experiencing a blinking red light while using third-party pods, switch to official Nespresso pods. This will help determine if the issue lies with the pods themselves.

Official Nespresso pods are designed specifically for your machine, ensuring compatibility and minimizing the risk of problems.

Or try calling Nesprsso’s customer support. Explain your issues and ask if they can replace your used capsules. In RARE cases, they may replace these sleeves for free.

That’s all regarding solutions. If nothing worked, it’s time to cry to Nespresso’s customer support.

Summary: Third-party Nespresso-”compatible” pods may cause issues with your machine.

Contact Nespresso When All Else Fails

If none of the solutions above worked, try reaching Nespresso’s customer support through one of these mediums:

  • Phone (24/7):
    • Original Line machines: 800-562-1465
    • Vertuo Line machines:877-964-6299
  • Snail mail:
    • Nespresso USA Inc.
    • 111 W. 33rd St., 5th Floor
    • New York, NY 10120
  • Live chat: Scroll to the bottom of the page
    • 8 AM–10 PM ET, everyday
  • Fax: 800-700-8075

Note: Don’t use our support. We’re a third party that has no affiliation with Nespresso or Nestle. 

All this information is for US customers. You’ll need to visit Nespresso’s site in other areas (e.g., Nespresso UK) to find phone numbers for those areas.

All Nespresso machines come with a 2-year warranty [1]. So long as you registered your machine, or if you bought it within that time and have the purchase information, you could replace it. Otherwise, your chat with customer service will revolve around troubleshooting your machine.

And that’s it. Hopefully this information helped.

FAQs for Nespresso Machine Blinking Red

Read on to find frequently asked questions about Nespresso machines blinking red.

Why Is My Nespresso Blinking Red After Descaling?

Your Nespresso might still blink red after descaling due to incomplete cleaning.


Common solutions for fixing flashing red or orange lights include descaling your machine, factory resetting it, or clearing the barcode. If the provided solutions don’t work, contacting Nespresso support is the next step.

You may have read this guide and decided you needed a replacement. Consider one of our recommendations if that’s the case.

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Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create
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3 thoughts on “11 Ways to Fix Nespresso Flashing Red in 2024”

  1. Just dropping by to say a massive thank you! Your advice saved me from a major headache. I really hope more people find this – it’s a lifesaver for fixing issues!

  2. Fix #5 Cannot detect the pod. I used a toothbrush and some hot water and cleaned off the seal and inside where the pod sits. Afterwards I reinserted the espresso pod, the machine recognized t and it brewed. ☕️


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