There are many different types of kitchen gadgets around. The Instant Pot has come together to make an incredible “all-in-one” gadget. While the Instant Pot is easy to use, some features can confuse. For instance, when the Instant Pot displays the word “off” on its screen, what does it mean when the Instant Pot says “off”?

If the Instant pot LED display says “OFF,” it means that the cooker is in standby mode. It could be in standby mode for several reasons, but none of them should be too alarming.

Keep reading to learn more about standby mode on an Instant Pot and what to do if it’s stuck.

The Instant Pot Says “Off”

It might be intuitive that when you plug in your Instant Pot, it will say “off.” It will also give this alert when it’s done cooking a meal, and the “keep warm” option isn’t being used. So what exactly is this standby mode?

When you first turn on the power, you will see that your Instant Pot will have the words OFF on the LED display by plugging in the power cord. This indicates that your pressure cooker is in standby mode. It is waiting for you to choose a program. 

Unfortunately, you might encounter issues and get the “off” notice on your Instant Pot at the wrong time.


Sometimes there are issues with your Instant Pot. If your Instant Pot gets stuck on the Off setting, there could be a few things wrong. 

The main reasons could be that your power connection is bad, or your lid isn’t on correctly.

Checking that your lid is sealed correctly would be the first step. You don’t ever want to assume you have a bad connection with your power automatically. This is because it is the more complicated of the two issues. 

Just remove the lid, and make sure it clicks and seals when you put it on. Also, make sure that the sealing ring is secure.

As for checking the power: look at the power cord and make sure it isn’t frayed or detached from the Instant Pot. You should also ensure the Instant Pot is getting enough power, especially if you’re using an extension cord.

Resetting your Instant Pot

While in Standby Mode, you can reset or restore your Instant Pot to the factory settings. This can be done by locating the Cancel button and holding it down for about 2 to 3 seconds until your unit beeps. 

Different Modes 

There are four different keys that you have to be conscious of when using any of the cooking programs. 

Pressure Level

The first one is the Pressure Level. This is where you can make the pressure level either higher or lower depending on what the recipe is calling for. 

For example, you might want to lower the cooking pressure level if you are cooking hard-boiled eggs or vegetables. Unlike with cooked meats, that would be higher pressure. 

You would not need to use these only when working on non-pressure cooking programs such as Slow Cook, Saute, and  Yogurt. As they do not require pressure, there is no reason to mess with the pressure. 

Keep Warm

This one will turn on the feature of keeping your food warm. This one should automatically turn on once your Instant Pot has finished. It is especially useful when cooking rice or using the slow cooker function. That way, it can stay warm if it finishes and you are not ready to eat yet. 

After the “keep warm” cycle is done, the Instant Pot will say “off” on the display.

Delay Start

The Delay Start delays the time before your cooking program starts. Let’s say you want to cook some rice but will be at work. 

You can set up the Delay Start so that it will start when you and be ready by the time you are ready to eat. It is especially useful for those dump meals that many families are fond of. 


This key will end the program and set your Instant Pot back to Standby Mode. It can also be used to rest your Instant Pot back to its Factory Settings.  You’ll also see the Instant Pot display the “off” notification on the screen if you press “Cancel.”


While the Vent is not technically a pressure cooker mode, you still need to be aware of it. Even when your pressure cooker is on Standby Mode, it will not open up if you still have pressure in your Instant Pot. 

Always make sure that vent is in the closed position before you start with any pressure cooking. When you are done, you can either do a Natural Release or a Quick Release. The Natural Release will allow the pressure cooker to come down naturally after a time. Whereas with the Quick Release, you can happen by moving the valve. 

Safety tip: keep away from the top of the valve when you do a quick release. You don’t want to get any hot steam in your face or on your skin. 

The Word “Off” on the Instant Pot

There are so many different modes and things your Instant Pot can say or do. As for the word “Off” appearing on your Instant Pot? There is absolutely nothing to worry about. It just means that your pressure cooker is on standby mode and is waiting for you to make a choice. Just make sure everything is sealed, choose your settings, and get cooking!