HomeNespressoNespresso Yellow Light: Meaning & Fix

Nespresso Yellow Light: Meaning & Fix

Nespresso machines can be tricky creatures, different models come with different instruction manuals which are often difficult to understand especially when you’ve already encountered an error such as the Nespresso Yellow Light. Don’t worry, in this post, we’ll get through this together by following a step-by-step process.

First things first, why does your Nespresso show yellow light, is it blinking or stable, what can you do about it? When you use your Nespresso machine regularly limescale builds up inside and this can lead to that yellow light you are seeing on the machine. Another reason for it can be that your Nespresso machine has run dry or it’s not receiving enough power. All of these are discussed in this post.

These issues can be overwhelming for someone dealing with them for the first time. If this is the case with you, you are in the right place.

What Does Yellow Light Mean on Different Nespresso Models

Before trying to solve the issue by following some random dude’s instructions on the internet, you should identify the model of your machine. Nespresso VertuoLine machines come in several models and have different indications for the same problem.

Sr. No: Nespresso Model Status Light Problem
1. Other Models Red & Yellow Needs Descaling
2. VertuoPlus Green & Yellow Needs Descaling


Don’t jump right away to the solution by starting the descaling cycle. The same issue might persist if you do a silly mistake while running the descaling cycle. The solution is a bit different in that scenario. Here’s how you should approach the problem.

How to Descale Your Nespresso Machine

Nespresso machines are made fairly easy to clean and maintain for your convenience. For descaling, you should follow Nespresso’s instructions from A-Z to ensure the finest coffee after cleaning.

You should make sure to descale your machine after every three months or as an estimation I would suggest every 550 cups so that your machine stays in pristine condition.

Your machine is designed to alert you when your machine is in need of descaling by flashing you a red or yellow light. You should not ignore the indication and run the descaling cycle as soon as you see it.

I have a separate post on running the descaling process for different Nespresso models and you can also see the process on YouTube by just typing in the model of your machine and following the official Nespresso descaling videos.

Here’s a quick guide if you don’t want to go through the hassle and own a Nespresso CitiZ, Inissia, Essenza, or a Pixie and want to descale using the guide here:

Setting up Your Machine for Descale

  • Plug in your machine (as if this was not obvious!)
  • Make sure there’s no capsule inside the capsule container
  • Place a big cup or jar under the sprout that can hold 1 liter of water in it
  • Take out the water tank and fill it with 500ml of water
  • Open the descaling solution and pour it into the water tank

Now your machine is perfectly set up for running the descaling cycle. Now onto the next important step. Mind you, the sequence of the steps matters from now onwards.

Running the Descaling Cycle

  • Push the button to turn on the machine and let it warm up
  • The two buttons will start blinking, you need to wait for them to become stable
  • Now you need to start the descaling mode, here’s how you do it:
  • Simultaneously press the two buttons at the top and hold for at least 3 seconds
  • You’ll notice that the lights on the button will start flashing quickly
  • This means the descaling mode has begun
  • Finally, press the “Lungo” button to get started

Rinsing the Machine

  • This means the descaling mode has begun and you should see the water (mixed with descaling solutions) pouring out into the cup
  • When It’s done, refill the water tank with the solution that came out and repeat by pressing the Lungo button
  • After the second cycle, empty the water tank and clean it thoroughly
  • Fill the water tank with clean water and run a cleaning cycle by pressing the Lungo button
  • Make sure you also clean the drip tray

Exit the Descaling Mode

This one is fairly simple, just press the buttons at the top and hold for 3 seconds, and your machine will come out of the descaling mode.

Pro Tip: During the entire descaling process, you need to make sure that you follow the next step within the two minutes of completing the previous one, otherwise, your machine will be stuck in the descaling mode and you might have to repeat the process all over again.

After you press the buttons for 3 seconds, the lights on them might flash for around 20-25 seconds, don’t worry, this is normal and you should be able to use it to brew your favorite coffee once they stop blinking and become stable.

Alternate Solution You Could Try For Nespresso Yellow Light

Actually, this should be the first solution you should try because it’s totally free of cost. The descaling one requires you to have a descaling solution. This one is just cleaning that you need to do on your machine.

Here’s how you can do it on the models mentioned above, again you can find the right video on YouTube for the model you have, just type your machine model, and instead of writing descaling, this time you write cleaning. Official Nespresso videos should pop up in the search results.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing the cleaning on your Nespresso (the steps might vary for some models)

Note: There’s a difference between cleaning your Nespresso machine and running a cleaning cycle on the machine, so when you are searching on YouTube, make sure you differentiate between the two term cleaning cycle is similar to the descaling process, the only difference is that you don’t use a descaling solution to run the cycle and instead do it with clean water.

For cleaning the machine, follow the process given below.

  • Remove the water tank from your machine and clean it thoroughly in your kitchen sink, you can use a soft soap to do it, just make sure you don’t use anything too harsh to damage the material
  • Fill it with fresh water and put it back in the machine
  • Next, you should take out the drip tray and clean it in the same manner before leaving it on your kitchen counter (or any suitable spot) to make it dry
  • Now you need to clean the capsule container after emptying it and cleaning it using soap and a soft cloth
  • Wipe the top of the machine (capsule head) and the machine itself so that it becomes pristine

How to Run The Cleaning Cycle?

After cleaning your machine thoroughly, you should run a cleaning cycle just to make sure the Yellow light on your Nespresso is not due to this issue. Here’s what you need to do:

  • You need to kick off the cleaning cycle on your Nespresso (search on YouTube on how to do it)
  • Place a big cup under the spout (having a 1-liter capacity)
  • Press the start button 3 times quickly (within two seconds)
  • Let the water cycles run 3 times
  • The process should take around 5 minutes in total
  • Voila! Your machine is ready to make great coffee again

Nespresso VertuoPlus Constant Yellow Light

I was going through some forums where people complained that they just bought a new VertuoPlus and when they set it up, they are seeing a stable yellow light instead of the green light. Despite searching throughout the internet, I could not come up with a viable solution to this issue.

There are possible solutions that could work for you, for instance, sometimes you forget to exit the descaling mode on your machine. The Yellow light could be an indicator of this issue, in this scenario, you can exit the descaling mode by typing your model on YouTube and searching “how to exit descaling mode?”

Alternatively, you could also try the process I’ve mentioned above to exit the descaling mode.

I also came across some people suggesting that it was a firmware issue because of an update, people had to use it without connecting their machines to the applications. But this was only a temporary solution, many people also got their machines replaced only to face the same issue again with their VertuoPlus.

Overall, Nespresso yellow light is not as dangerous as the red light errors, however, in case your problem still persists after following the processes in this post, you should definitely call Nespresso customer support for help.

In most cases, they’ll help you fix the issue by guiding you on phone. In some cases, they might even send you a replacement.

Yellow Light Flashing On Nespresso Vertuo

If you are using a Nespresso Vertuo and seeing a flashing yellow, it means the machine is not getting enough power (or power at all) to operate. In this case, you should check the power outlet, switch it to another one and also check your power cord for damages.

If everything is fine, you should try the solutions like resetting the machine, cleaning it, descaling it, or finally calling the Nespresso customer support for help.

Final Thoughts

Well, that was all about the Nespresso yellow light, I hope this information was useful to you. You should make it a habit to take good care of your machine by cleaning it every week and running the descaling and cleaning cycles from time to time.

Most people face these issues because they keep on enjoying their coffee without paying heed to their machines. Just like every other electronic item, these little creatures require proper maintenance and care.

Was this helpful? Let me know in the comments below and also enlighten others if you faced similar problems but overcame them using the methods described above or even if you tried a new one. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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