Does Instant Pot Turn Off Automatically?

I love my instant pot and cannot do without it. It has made my cooking life manageable and I feel the money spent is worth the delicious food every day.

A lot of instant pot owners why their instant pot has turned off automatically.

The Instant Pot has many safety features, and one of the safety features is that it will automatically turn off after a set amount of time if it doesn’t sense any activity (like pressure cooking) or if it senses any issues – such as too much pressure or heat.

This is a safety measure to prevent the pot from overheating and potentially damaging or catching on fire.

Can Instant Pot Turn Off Automatically? 

Yes, an instant pot does turn off automatically if you set the timer. 

An instant pot also has inbuilt safety features that make it turn off automatically.

This happens when the smart Instant Pot detects variation from normal. Some examples are overheating, over warming, and pressure or temperature anomalies.

The automatic turn-off at all such times is a safety mechanism that gets activated to prevent undue accidents like blowing up or burnt food.  

Allow me to tell you briefly about the instant pot so you can better understand how it turns off by itself. 

Instant Pot Turning Off Automatically – Possible Reasons!

There are two main reasons that can cause your instant pot to turn off automatically.

The Timer has Ended

If you don’t want to wait till the cooking is complete to switch off your cooker, there is an easy way out.

All you need to do is set the inbuilt timer. Once the cooking time is complete, the cooker will switch off automatically. 

This is a smart technology feature that enables the pot to perform this function once the set time is reached. 

Some models turn to keep warm once the timer is off. You have to turn the switch off for such models. 

After being in warm mode for a particular period, the instant pot switches off automatically to prevent over warming. 

Safety Feature – Turns Off In Case It Senses Anything Wrong

As I mentioned before, automatic switching off is also an installed defense mechanism. Your instant pot could switch off in the middle of cooking in case of overheating, over-pressurizing, temperature and power fluctuations, etc. 

This defense mechanism is created to protect the instant pot from errors and mishappenings. 

For example, if you see the instant pot switched off automatically after the keep warm mode, it means the food has warmed up enough and has reached an over-warming stage. 

If your electric cooker switches off automatically in the middle of cooking, that means something is not right. 

For example, if you are on saute mode, and your instant pot shuts off automatically, it is most likely because of overheating. This could be a result of the water content being depleted below the required amount. 

It could be a sudden surge of power, a wrong position of the pot or lid, or excessively high pressure or temperature.

A damaged fuse or loose power connections could be responsible for power fluctuations

In short, if there is a variation in the entered setting and the inner environment, the smart technology detects it.

The power could be less or more, and the pressure or the temperature could be high or more. Wrongly placed insert or the lid could also be a reason. 

Summing up, if your pot has automatically switched off, it could be due to any of the following causes :  

  • The timer is up 
  • Pressure anomalies
  • Temperature anomalies
  • The food is over warmed
  • The pot is overheated
  • Wrong alignment of the lid or the inner pot 
  • Increased or decreased power supply could be due to
    • A loose connection between the power outlet and the appliance or 
    • Damaged fuse or 
    • A sudden surge of electricity

The automatic shut down feature is a protective function to prevent accidents like burnt food, bursting due to high pressure/temperature, and blowing up of the instant pot.

Here are some frequently asked questions 

What to Do When the Instant Pot Switches Off Automatically? 

If the timer has gone off and then the instant pot has shut down, wait for a few minutes. 

Disconnect the cord from the main socket and after the pressure is released, open the lid of the pot. 

If the instant pot has switched off automatically during cooking, check the reasons above and correct them before switching your pot back on. 

If the instant pot has automatically switched off after a prolonged keep warm, it would have automatically released the inside pressure. Open the lid and enjoy your food. 

Will My Instant Pot Turn Off Automatically Without the Timer?

No, your instant pot is not designed to turn off automatically without the timer. 

You need to manually press the off or cancel button. 

The automatic shutdown happens only when the timer is set or as a protective feature to prevent the burning and blowing up of the pot. 

You have to set the timer to turn off once cooking is done. 

How Do I Set the Timer in My Instant Pot? 

It is very easy. Throw in the required ingredients plus water (minimum of one cup).

Press the start button and then select your temperature and pressure setting. Next, select your cooking time. 

Once your time is entered, press the set button and then the cook button.

The timer is set and will switch off the instant pot automatically once the cooking time has elapsed. 

What Does a Timer Button Stand For in the Instant Pot? 

The timer button is an enhanced feature in the instant pot. It is used for delayed cooking. 

When you want to opt for delayed cooking, you need to first select your chosen temperature and pressure setting.

You can also choose different cooking styles except saute. Once your chosen cooking settings are set, press the timer key. 

Next, press the plus or minus button to choose the delayed hours. For minutes, press the timer key again to set the delayed time in minutes.

What to Do If the Timer Countdown is Not Displayed on My Instant Pot? 

There may be a delay in the countdown display. You don’t have to worry. It just means that your instant pot needs more time to pressurize. 

It is possible that the float valve has come up and still the countdown has not begun. Wait for a few minutes. The float valve coming up will lock the lid.  

But your instant pot might need some time to reach the required pressurizing level to allow the timer to begin.  For more clarity, watch the video below.

What Happens to the Food Once the Instant Pot Switches Off Automatically? 

Here is the good part. If you are not around to remove food once the instant pot has switched off, you don’t have to hurry. 

After cooking is done and the timer has automatically switched off your instant pot, the inner insert will keep your food warm until you come back and take it out to eat. 

How Long Does the Keep Warm Feature Last? 

It depends on your model and the quantity of food. After a prolonged keep warm, the instant pot may shut down if the food gets over warmed. 

You may be able to keep the ‘ warm function ‘ overnight or only for a few hours until your instant pot automatically shuts down.

In some models, the warming process will need to be manually halted by pressing the cancel or off button and disconnecting the cord. 

What Does ‘Natural Pressure Release’ and ‘Quick Pressure Release’ Do in Instant Pot?

An instant pot is a smart electric cooker. Once the food is cooked, it is designed to gradually release pressure. 

Depending on the cooking time, the quantity of food, and your model size, the natural pressure release time may vary. 

On average, the time taken to gradually release pressure can be anywhere around 20-25 minutes. During this period, your instant pot will slowly release the pressure inside it. 

Allow your instant pot to release the pressure naturally for dishes that benefit from the steam after cooking.

For example, tough cuts of meat can use the steam time to further tenderize.

For sensitive dishes that may have dried up or there is fear of overcooking or burning, you need to quickly release pressure. 

In short, quick release of pressure is done for eating foods that are cooked speedily and may overcook or burn if left under steam. 

For quick pressure release, once the instant pot has turned to keep warm function, move the valve from sealing to venting position quickly.

For example, if you are cooking pasta and you don’t want it overdone, you need to use the quick-release feature of your instant pot. 

Watch the video below for more clarity 


An instant pot does switch off automatically after the cooking time is complete. This happens when you set a timer for your food. 

The smart technology electric pressure cooker also switches off automatically to protect itself from accidents under unfavorable conditions. 

The switching off could be due to high pressure, temperature, high or low power, overheating, mal-alignment of the lid or insert, over warming, loose connections, damaged inbuilt fuse, etc. 

Check for all the above malfunctions, correct them, and then switch on your instant pot again. Have safe and pleasant cooking with your instant pot! 

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I’m Jueria and I am a regular contributor on In my articles, I share time-saving techniques, appliance wizardry, and health-friendly recipes to bring taste and wellness to your table. So raise a glass (or a spatula) with me, to good health and good food, made easy!