Bi-stable structure can be stable in both its extended and coiled forms. For the elastic isotropic shell, a theoretical model in terms of only two parameters is proposed. Based on the principle of minimum potential energy, the conditions for bi-stability of isotropic shell are derived. The results indicate that, a pre-stressed shell will have its two stable states if the acting pre-stress satisfies some confined conditions. Further, the bi-stable model is improved taking into account boundary effect of the shell. The results show the rolled-up radius for the second stable state becomes larger. Meanwhile, using shell element in ABAQUS code, numerical simulation on bi-stable process is carried out. The numerical results of rolled-up radius characterizing the bi-stability agree well with the predicted results.