Keurig Prime Error – How To Fix It When Your Keurig Says Prime

Keurig is one of the most popular home coffee machines in the world today. Never in the history of the world has it been so easy to brew coffee at the touch of a button. But not all Keurigs are perfect, and like everything in life, they have their problems. Sometimes with a Keurig, you can run into the infamous “Prime” error message.

When you’re in a rush and just looking to get a coffee, this can be one of the most annoying and irritating things that can happen. But, luckily, no need to stress. Through this in-depth article, I’ll be giving you three easy and fast ways to fix this common issue!

how to prime a keurig

What Does Prime Mean? – What Does It Mean When it Says Prime On A Keurig?

So, to fix the problem, we first have to understand the actual problem. When prime comes up on your Keurig, it normally means that the Keurig is failing to dispense water correctly. Prime can mean an out-of-alignment water reservoir, there can be dirt inside of the water reservoir, or there can cause even debris that has clogged the needles.


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The prime message on Keurig can be scary, but no need to stress, as priming Keurig is not hard at all. With normal cleaning and maintenance of your Keurig, the Keurig prime error should not be a problem, and you should not get the Keurig prime message. But in case your Keurig keeps saying prime, here’s how to fix it.

How do you fix your Keurig when it says prime?

There are a few things that may need fixing; let’s go over them now.

Cleaning the water reservoir

This is one of the ways that you can fix the prime error on a Keurig. We have a entire in-depth guide on how to clean the water filter on a Keurig, which can be found here, but we’ll give you a quick rundown.

Taking out the water reservoir

  1. Firstly, be sure to pull the lid of the water reservoir, and get any leftover water out of the reservoir.
  2. Don’t clean the reservoir immediately; rather, try to re-install the reservoir as it may be out of place, which can cause the Keurig to prime.
  3. If it still doesn’t work, check for any air bubbles inside the reservoir.
  4. If still no improvement, don’t stress; there are many other ways to fix this problem.

Cleaning the reservoir

  1. You must prepare a soft dish soap along with a non-abrasive cloth and start to manually clean the water reservoir. Clean thoroughly.
  2. Wash the reservoir carefully, and make you dry it, and be sure there is no leftover soap in the reservoir,
  3. Repeat this process until there is no leftover dust or residue inside the reservoir.
  4. Re-install the reservoir in the machine, and be sure the water filter is put in also.
  5. Make sure the water reservoir is placed correctly in the machine, and there should be no air bubbles.

Cleaning the needles

If you have tried the water reservoir and Keurig is still saying you need to prime, it may be the needles. To clean the needles, follow these easy steps.

  1. Turn the machine fully off, and make sure no power is connected to it.
  2. Raise the machine’s handle and carefully push up the holder; with your free hand, pull the holder out.
  3. Remove the funnel from the holder.
  4. Look deep inside the holder to see if it contains any sort of debris or dirt. Get a toothpick or paper clip and scrape out any rubbish inside.
  5. Now, to really clean out the holder and funnel, flush the holder under tap water. Now re-attach the funnel and holder and replace them in the housing.
  6. Now, locate the needle’s entrance. Raise the handle to find the small needle entrance. Grab a toothpick or paper clip and remove any gunk you can find that is built-up.
  7. Fill the water reservoir back up and run a cycle using only water.

Hopefully, that fixes the prime error, and you can use a Keurig without the Keurig prime problem. I understand sometimes it can be hard to understand instructions by text, so here is an in-depth video on how to clean Keurig needles.

Cleaning the filter screen

If you’ve tried everything above and Keurig still does not want to work, it may be time to try and clean the filter screen.

  1. Turn off the machine and make sure no power is connected.
  2. Take out the water reservoir and drain out all the water.
  3. Use a damp cloth and scrub the water reservoir’s base.
  4. You should be able to see a tiny opening on the bottom of the reservoir; make sure that opening is entirely cleared. Grab your paperclip or toothpick and clean out any gunk.
  5. Put your reservoir under running water.
  6. Drain the reservoir and now fill it with clean water, and replace it on the machine. ‘
  7. Run a few water only cycles to rinse out the machine.
  8. Those are the three main ways to get rid of the prime message on your Keurig.

Still Saying Prime?

Hopefully, by now, your Keurig is ready to brew, but maybe it isn’t; if not, you’re probably raging and ready to throw your Keurig out the window, but I promise, don’t do it. There are still a few more things we can check before we throw it out.

Sometimes, maybe the water reservoir might not be attached properly; take out the reservoir, and put on tightly with the proper alignment.

Again, unplug the machine and try to run another water-only cycle. Hopefully, your machine is fixed by now.

keurig vs keurig 2.0
Keurig 1.0

Calling Keurig

Now, if your machine isn’t fixed, there is something truly wrong. It is a good idea to ring up the lovely people at Keurig and get them to help you out. Many Keurigs will have a 1-3 year warranty, and if yours is still within its warranty, they may give you a free replacement.

Keurig has one of the best customer services in the coffee industry, so you should have no problem working out a solution with them. Even if your machine is out of its warranty, it is still worth giving them a call as they would be more than happy to help you out.

Sometimes Keurig machines wind up with many recalls due to faulty parts, so they may cover you despite your warranty being expired because of this. If your machine is still broken, what is there to lose? Give them a call and see what they can do for you.


We understand the frustration of not having a coffee to sip on in the morning. Spending hours to get this machine working again is a hassle, but not everything is perfect. We hope within this article, we were able to help you find a solution to your problem! Thank you for reading, and enjoy your CozyCoffee! If you are looking for more Keurig guides, we have guides how to turn off auto off on a keurig and what keurigs have hot water on demand!

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About David Dewitt

Hi, my name is David and I come from Columbus, Ohio. I am a amateur photographer, and a coffee lover. I love to write, and don't mind me a cup of joe!