The Instant Pot is an acclaimed multi-cooker. In its current generation, it offers 11-in-1 functionality, which makes it a great replacement for traditional cooking appliances. Aside from the many presets on the Instant Pot, you may wonder why your timer is counting up.

On average, the time is increasing on your Instant Pot because the appliance has finished cooking and has automatically switched into Keep Warm mode. Other timer variables may occur, usually related to setting an interval.

If you have an Instant Pot and are noticing that the time increases on it, read on below to find out what may be causing this and how to go about it.

Why Is the Time Increasing on My Instant Pot?

After breaking onto the market in 2010, the Instant Pot has received huge acclaim from households around the world. It is an energy-efficient appliance that streamlines the cooking process and enables home cooks with a host of features.

One of these features is the timer on the front of the Instant Pot, which usually counts down the amount of time left until the meal is ready. At times, you may notice the time increase instead, which tends to be related to the Keep Warm function.

The Keep Warm function on the Instant Pot can be activated to kick in automatically the moment the appliance has finished cooking. This will do what the name implies and keep your food warm at a consistent temperature until you are ready to enjoy it.

The Keep Warm setting can be activated on the Instant Pot by pressing the relevant button before it starts cooking. It will then enable itself automatically when the time comes, which means you won’t have to wait around for the food to finish cooking.

Once the Keep Warm setting is enabled, the timer on the front of the Instant Pot will start counting up instead of down to show how long the food has been on this function.

Can I Still Use My Instant Pot If It Is Counting Up?

Usually, the Instant Pot only starts counting up once it is finished with pressure cooking, which indicates that it is now safe to use it. If you notice that your timer isn’t showing anything on the display, you should exercise caution when opening it.

Safety should always be a priority when using an Instant Pot, but if you notice that the timer is now counting up instead of down, it is a strong indication that the Keep Warm function has been enabled.

You will be able to use your Instant Pot as normal once the Keep Warm setting has been activated and the timer starts counting up. Your food will be kept safe and warm between 140 and 172 degrees. You can select one of three Keep Warm levels when turning it on.

If you want, you can keep your Instant Pot in use overnight with the timer going up. In this case, you should avoid leaving any sticky food like porridge or anything that may dry up too much overnight.

Does Instant Pot Automatically Set Time?

Most Instant Pot models have three different timers. Here is a short overview of how these timers can help with the cooking process:

  • Cooking timer: The cooking timer indicates the time left for the pressure cooking process. This can be manually programmed or easily enabled depending on the type of preset chosen. Once the Instant Pot is properly pressurized, it will start counting down.
  • Keep Warm timer: The Keep Warm timer will start only if the function has been selected before the pressure cooking. It will then switch on once the cooking has finished and will increase until turned off.
  • Delay Start timer: The Delay Start time on the Instant Pot allows you to set the time you want the appliance to start the cooking process, even if you are not around to hit the button.

In all these cases, you will select the program when setting up the cooking process. Only the Delay Start and Keep Warm settings will start automatically, and only if enabled.

How Do I Reset My Instant Pot?

If you are experiencing any issues with the timer or with the Instant Pot in general, you can always reset it to factory settings to make sure it is working as it should. This process will vary depending on the Instant Pot model but tends to follow the same general steps.

To reset your Instant Pot, turn the appliance off to make sure it is not in use during the process. Once it is off, find the Adjust setting on the front of the Instant Pot and keep it pressed down for at least three seconds.

Once this is done, your Instant Pot will be restored to factory settings, and you can resume your pressure cooking plans after you check that everything is in working order and responding to your commands.


Time increasing on the Instant Pot indicates that the appliance has switched to Keep Warm mode once the pressure cooking has finished. The timer will go up to highlight how much time has passed in that setting.