Nespresso VertuoLine button lights and their modes

A single button for brewing coffee makes the Nespresso VertuoLine* machines incredibly easy to use. However, interpreting the meaning of the colors of the lights under this button can be almost impossible.

If all goes well, the lights on the button won’t worry us too much. Normally, we wonder about their meaning when the machine does not heat the coffee, takes too long to brew it, or does not brew it.

*We will specify what the lights mean in each model as we have two types of coffee makers in the VertuoLine range (Vertuo Next and Vertuo Plus).

➡️ See this article for the meaning of the power button lights on OriginalLine coffee makers.

1. Modes of the Nespresso Vertuo Plus

As the Vertuo Plus does not have a display to inform us of the status of the coffee maker, the machine illuminates the power button light in different colors and with different flashing patterns for this task.

Meaning of the green light (normal use)

On the Nespresso Vertuo Plus coffee maker, the green light is associated with the normal use modes of the coffee maker. If a green light is illuminated on the power button, this is a situation in which the coffee maker does not present any errors or faults.

Permanent green lightReady
Green light with regular flashing: 1 / secWarming up
Green light with slow rotationCoffee pod barcode reading
Green light with fast rotationCoffee brewing
Green light with three flashesProgramming confirmed

Meaning of the red light (warning or error)

Like many other brands, Nespresso uses the red light to encode warning or error messages. If your Vertuo Plus coffee machine lights up red, you should pay attention to the machine’s status.

Permanent red lightError
Permanent red light fadingCooling down after overheating
Red light flashes 2 times and then changes to a permanent orangeError
Red light flashes 2 times and then changes to a permanent orangeThe water tank is empty, or the capsule is missing
Red light flashes 2 times and then changes to a permanent orangeError in special function
Red light flashes 2 times and turns to flash orangeError when executing a special function
Three flashes every 2 seconds in between periods of steady red lightMachine head in an unknown position
Permanent light, red on the left side and green on the right sideDescaling alarm

The red light on steady

In this state, the Vertuo Plus is locked, and you must turn it off and unplug it for 15 minutes. By turning it off, we will clear the previous error state, which is usually due to overheating. Once it has cooled down, the coffee maker should resume normal operation when plugged in again.

Note: If you do not turn off the Nespresso and the error is due to overheating, the red light will gradually fade to green.

Steady light: half green and half red

With this peculiar light color coding, the Vertuo Plus informs us that it is necessary to proceed with descaling. Even if this light has illuminated in our Nespresso, we can continue preparing coffee for a while, but it is advisable to proceed immediately with descaling.

What if the light doesn’t turn off after descaling?

Follow these steps to get rid of the annoying half-red, half-yellow light:

  1. Empty the water tank and fill it with 1 cup of water.
  2. Press and hold the front lever for 3 seconds to turn off the machine.
  3. Simultaneously press and hold the button and front lever until the orange light is steady.
  4. Press the lever down once to enter descaling mode.
  5. Press the top button once.
  6. Let the descaling process run until it runs out of water and stops.
  7. Add 1 cup of water to the tank and press the top button.
  8. Let the cycle run until it stops.
  9. Simultaneously, hold down the button and lever until the button blinks green. Eventually, it will change to a steady green.

Note: Let your Vertuo rest for 10 minutes before making coffee to cool it down.

Red light flashes continuously

This state corresponds to a problem with the head, which normally stops and does not allow us to prepare coffee.

Check that the capsule container is not full, that the capsule reader is clean, and that there is no obstruction. Open and close the head to see if the problem has been solved.

Red light flashes twice and turns solid green

This problem is usually related to the water tank and capsule reading. Check that both the tank and the capsule are correctly positioned. If the coffee maker does not work, open and close the head several times.

If, instead of changing to steady green, it changes to orange (flashing or steady) after the flashes, it is an error in the special functions. Turn off the Vertuo Plus and turn it on again to eliminate the errors.

Red light flashes 3 times every 2 seconds between periods of steady red light

This is a problem related exclusively to the brewing head, which occurs when the machine does not recognize the position of the brewing head. To solve it, open the head by pressing the lever upwards until it stops and check that there is no obstacle. Empty the capsule container and close the head again.

Meaning of the orange light (Special functions)

The Vertuo Plus has 4 special functions: cleaning, resetting to factory settings, emptying the water system, and descaling. These functions are coded with orange light patterns, as shown below:

Permanent orange lightEnter special functions menu
Regular flashing: 1 / secA special function is running
One flash every 2 secondsDescaling
Two flashes every 2 secondsEmptying the water system
Three flashes every 2 secondsReset to factory settings
Three flashes within 3 seconds and again steady green lightFactory reset completed

Orange flashing light

The orange flashing light encodes a very characteristic mode of the Vertuo Plus; “cleaning mode.” We should not confuse cleaning with descaling, which we will discuss later.

In Vertuo Plus, if we press the power button 3 times in less than two seconds, the coffee maker enters cleaning mode. The machine in this mode pumps 3 cycles of the water pump, which takes less than 2 minutes.

After having the coffee maker stopped for several days, performing this cleaning before using coffee pods is advisable.

Orange light on steady

When the orange light illuminates steadily, the coffee maker has entered “special functions or configuration mode.” This is achieved by pressing the front lever down and the power button simultaneously (with the coffee maker turned off) for 3 seconds.

How to enter the configuration mode of the Nespresso Vertuo Plus
How to enter the configuration mode of the Nespresso Vertuo Plus

Orange light flashes 3 times every 3 seconds

If you want to reset the coffee maker to the original factory settings, press the front lever down three times once the machine is in configuration mode and then press the power lever once. The orange light will flash 3 times in 3 seconds to confirm the reset.

Orange light flashes 2 times every 2 seconds

To empty the water tank in “empty mode” (with the coffee maker in configuration mode), press the front lever down twice and then press the power button once. The orange light will flash until all the water has been emptied, then turn off.

Orange light flashes 1 time every 2 seconds

To switch the brewer to “descaling mode” (with the brewer in setting mode), press the front lever down once and then press the power button once. In “rinse mode,” the orange light flashes with this frequency. Check the manual to find out how to do this.

2. Modes of the Nespresso Vertuo Next

Each light pattern will indicate the state or mode of our Vertuo Next. To understand these states, we have created some tables that you will see below.

Meaning of the white light (normal use)

On the Nespresso Vertuo Next, the white light is associated with the normal use modes of the machine. If the white light is illuminated on the power button, this is a situation in which the coffee maker does not present any errors or faults.

*No light on the buttonMachine off
Button illuminated in steady whiteReady to brew coffee
Regular flashing white: once / secondBrewing coffee

Meaning of the orange light (special functions/error)

In the Nespresso Vertuo Next, the orange light is not only related to the special functions of the machine but also serves to transmit errors. In the following table, we will see the different combinations and their meaning.

Orange light flashing rapidly: twice / per secondCleaning mode
Orange light flashing rapidly: three times/secondDescaling/Emptying
White light flashing: turning on until steady ON, then OFFWarming
Orange light flashing: lights up until it goes out, then lights upCooling after overheating
Orange light flashing rapidly twice, then off for a long timeError
Orange button ON for 1.5 seconds, then OFF for 0.5 secondsWater tank is empty
Orange light flashing 5 times within 10 secondsReset to factory settings
Orange and white light flashing alternately 3 times and then steadyDescaling alert
White light flashing twice per secondSoftware update

Note: If you want to know more about your Vertuo Next, download the user manual here.

Written by Pablo Barrantes Nevado
I am Pablo Barrantes, a coffee lover. I decided to start this website to solve all the doubts that arise every day when preparing our favorite drink: coffee. I am an industrial engineer by profession, but I have worked in coffee shops for many years, where I have learned all the secrets about coffee machines and coffee. My passion for coffee has led me to investigate and study beyond the obvious, and thanks to this, I can offer solutions and give news about coffee and coffee makers. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I research, document and write here.

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