How To Install, Use, and Update Kodi

Kodi is an open-source media player used by millions of people worldwide to stream content from the internet. If you’re using Kodi for the first time, it may seem incomprehensible and difficult to navigate. Nevertheless, installing and using Kodi does not require expertise. 

How Kodi Works

Kodi works with a wide range of operating systems such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Raspberry Pi etc. Once installed, you gain access to documentaries, news, sports, movies and TV shows hosted on different servers worldwide. Kodi does not own any of the content; it requires users to install add-ons to access the content they want to stream.

If you’ve already downloaded Kodi and don’t know what next, this article explains everything you need to get Kodi working. On the other hand, if you haven’t downloaded and installed Kodi, this guide will also explain how to do so. 

How To Download And Install Kodi On All Platforms/Devices

First, download Kodi on your device. To do this, go to your device’s official app store (e.g. Google Play Store for Android users) and search for Kodi. Ensure you download and install the correct application from the XMBC foundation. 

This method does not work for iPhone users because Apple removed Kodi from its App Store. Check for online solutions on how to install Kodi without jailbreaking your iPhone. For example, you may consider installing the app from Tweakbox.

Surprisingly, downloading and installing Kodi on MacOS is easy. You just need to visit the official Kodi website, click the MacOS icon and install the application. 

Alternatively, visit the Official Kodi Wiki and look up how to install Kodi on your current OS/device. Ensure you select and install the latest stable version of Kodi for smooth running. 

How To Set Up Kodi On Your Device

Once you’ve installed Kodi, you’ll need to set it up. The first step is to install add-ons to watch the content you like. 

If you install an add-on and can’t find it, the add-on is not compatible with the Kodi version on the device. You may also use the search button in the Add-ons tab to search for the missing add-on.

What Are Kodi Add-Ons

Add-ons, also known as plugins, are applications with a unique interface that enable you to stream content such as live TV, sports and movies on Kodi. There are two categories of Kodi add-ons; the official and unofficial add-ons.

These add-ons are stored in Kodi repositories.

Moreover, there are three main types of add-ons, as explained below:

Torrent Add-Ons

These are plugins you can use to stream and download cached torrents from the internet. Torrent links offer a better stream quality compared to normal Kodi links. The best Kodi torrent plugins to use for streaming include Elementum, LooNatics 3000, Seren, FEN etc. 

Real-Debrid Add-Ons

These are paid add-ons accessible by users who have configured their Premium Real-Debrid accounts with Kodi. They’re usually faster than free link add-ons provided on Kodi repositories.

Standard Free Link Add-Ons

These are freely available links provided on Kodi repositories.

How Kodi Repositories Work

A Kodi repository is a location where users can access and find add-ons to install. Repositories act like spaces or storage locations for add-ons. Within Kodi, you’ll find official and unofficial repositories.

Kodi repositories require a lot of files and storage space to function properly. These files act as dependencies and may be in the form of web scrapers or URL resolvers. Web scrapers are small scripts used by Kodi to retrieve metadata information from websites when users search for content on the internet. 

There are usually two types of Kodi add-on scrapers:

  • Shared torrent link scrapers
  • Non-shared website link scrapers

The main difference between the two is that shared torrent link scrapers have a two-way stream while non-shared website link scrapers have a one-way stream. 

On the other hand, URL resolvers are script tools automatically installed with add-ons that fetch streaming links from web scrapers and convert them into usable media files playable in Kodi. URL resolvers discard any weak or unusable streaming links collected by web scrapers. Web scrapers and URL resolvers work together to ensure smooth streaming of content on Kodi.

How to Install A Kodi Repository On Your Device

There are two ways to install Kodi repositories on your device. You may choose to install a repository from a ZIP file or by using a repository path. 

To install a repository from a ZIP file, download the required files to your device. On the other hand, to install from a repository path, you’ll need to input the URL path during installation, and the Kodi installer will download the files on your behalf.  

How To Find A Kodi Repository To Install

Visit the Kodi Wiki website to find a list of unofficial repositories. The most commons unofficial repositories include:

SuperRepo – This is the leading add-on repository in the world containing over 2000 popular add-ons and builds. 

Fusion Repo – Fusion Repo has many third-party add-ons and a Github browser. You can use the Github browser to search for a particular add-on from Github and install it using the ZIP file method.

Kodil Repository – This repository has over 400 video add-ons and tons of music add-ons. It includes popular Kodi plugins such as Covenant, Exodus and StreamHub.

Supremacy Repository – Sports fans mostly use this repository to watch live games and sports updates. It consists of sports only add-ons such as Planet MMA and Elektra Vault. 

AJ Repository – This repository has different categories of add-ons ranging from sports, live TV, movies and TV shows. Users can access content from the repository using a single portal add-on. The most popular AJ Repository add-ons include Falcon Ultra TV, Champion Sports, Cryptic and Eyasses.  

Kodi Official Add-ons

These add-ons are found in the official Kodi repository. Team Kodi, XBMC developers who maintain Kodi, sanction these types of add-ons to protect users against harmful apps. Official plugins are usually legitimate and secure.

How To Install Official Kodi Add-ons

  • Launch Kodi, then head to the menu panel and select Add-ons.
  • Click on the package icon found at the top left corner of the screen.
  • From the list of options, select Install from the repository.
  • You’ll see different categories of add-on folders such as music add-ons, pictures etc.
  • Click on the category of your choice and select an add-on.
  • Click on Install and select OK to confirm the installation.
  • Once installation is done, return to your Kodi home screen.
  • On the menu panel, click on Add-ons.
  • Select the add-on just installed, and you’ll see a list of options displayed.
  • Click on Run to launch the add-on.

Kodi Unofficial Add-ons

These plugins are found in unofficial Kodi repositories and often hosted by a third party. They are prone to security vulnerabilities and not endorsed by Team Kodi. Users usually download and install these types of add-ons at their own discretion.

Team Kodi is not liable for any damage caused by the installation of such add-ons. Therefore, proceed with caution when installing such add-ons since some may contain malware and infect that could harm your device. To install unofficial add-ons, you first need to allow installation from ‘unknown sources’ in Kodi.

How To Allow Installation From Unknown Sources

  • Go to the Kodi home screen and select Settings (Represented by a cog icon).
  • Click on Kodi System Settings.
  • On the lower-left corner of your Kodi window, click on the cog icon indicated Standard.
  • On the list of options displayed, click on Add-ons.
  • Under Unknown Sources, move the toggle switch to the right to activate it.
  • A pop-up window will appear detailing the risks of allowing installation from unknown sources.
  • Click on Yes to proceed.

How To Install Unofficial Kodi Add-ons 

  • Go to the Kodi home screen and click on File Manager.
  • Click on Add source.
  • In the pop-up window displayed, enter the name of the media source you wish to download.
  • If you’ve already downloaded a repository, select Browse and add the add-on from the device storage.
  • After entering the URL of the repository, you wish to add, click on OK.
  • Go back to your home screen and click on Add-ons.
  • Click on the package icon at the top left corner of your screen
  • Choose the method you want to use to install the unofficial add-ons. Because you’ve not installed a repository, select Install from ZIP.
  • You’ll see a list of folders and sub-folders; select the appropriate ZIP file you wish to install.
  • Once the repository is successfully installed, press Esc to access your Kodi home screen.
  • Click on the package icon at the top left corner of your screen.
  • Click on Install from repository since you’ve already added a Kodi repository.
  • Click on the repository you’ve just installed.
  • A list of categories will be displayed. Click on the category of your choice.
  • Click on Install add-on, then confirm by clicking OK.
  • Once installation is complete, go back to the home screen, and you’ll find the add-on displayed.

Standalone Add-ons vs Repository Add-ons

Standalone add-ons don’t come bundled with other independent add-ons. They are usually developed by an individual developer and do not require support from any software to operate. On the other hand, repository add-ons are bundled together in one repository. 

Drawbacks Of Standalone Add-ons

  • Standalone add-ons have all the files in their scripts, occupying large storage space.
  • They may not receive updates or support for a prolonged period.

Advantages Of Repository Add-ons

  • They are updated regularly
  • Updating a Kodi repository auto-updates all pre-installed add-ons

How To Uninstall An Add-on On Kodi

  • Go to the Kodi home screen and select the Add-ons tab
  • On the left-hand menu, select My add-ons.
  • Select the add-on you wish to uninstall and click Uninstall.
  • Follow the instructions provided to uninstall the add-on.
  • If you receive an error or ‘Add-on cannot be uninstalled, close all tabs and try again.

IMPORTANT: Ensure that the add-on is not supporting another service at the time you’re deleting it.

How To Stream A Video On Kodi

To video stream on Kodi, you must first install the relevant video add-ons.

  • Launch your Kodi home screen.
  • Click on my Add-ons tab.
  • Tap on the Video add-on you need.
  • Choose a category, e.g. movies.
  • The plugin will browse the internet for relevant links to the movie you selected.
  • You’ll see a long list of links with their respective video quality, e.g. 1080p or 720p. The top link usually offers the best video quality compared to the others.
  • If the link you selected doesn’t open or the video buffers, select another link from the list.
  • Some add-ons may prompt you with onscreen instructions, Accept or Enable whenever necessary. For instance, some add-ons will require the pairing of devices before streaming content from their servers.

Best Kodi Video Add-ons

Tubi TV

This add-on provides over 50,000 movies and TV channels. The only downside is that it geographically restricts content, but you may use a VPN to circumvent that.

TV One

This is a live TV add-on with various channels such as documentaries, food, kids, news, sports and many more. It’s found in the Octopus Repository and compatible with Kodi 19 Matrix.

ClickSville

This channel offers different movies such as horror, sci-fi, and old comedy shows. You’ll find it installed in the Last Kingdom Repository. 

Feel free to read our article “Best Kodi Video Addons” for more information.

Listening To Music On Kodi

To stream music on Kodi, you must first install the relevant music add-ons. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Launch your Kodi home screen.
  • Click on my Add-ons tab.
  • Tap on the Music add-on you want, and it’ll begin to stream music.

Alternatively, you may play music directly from the media library by clicking on Add music source and selecting browse media location.

Kodi Builds

A Kodi build is a platform with many add-ons, themes, graphics, features and interfaces.  There are various Kodi builds, and the installation process is easy. The most popular Kodi builds are Titanium Build, Cellar Door TV, Streamline Build, and One Nation Portal Builds.

Titanium build is arguably the most popular build presently. It is visually appealing and has amazing add-ons. 

How To Install A Kodi Build

First, ensure you’ve allowed installation from unknown sources by following the steps provided earlier in this article. Since Titanium Build is integrated into the Supreme Builds Repository, the repository needs to be installed first. After installing the repository, follow the steps below to install Titanium Build:

  • Go to the Kodi home screen and select Add-ons.
  • Click on the Program Add-ons.
  • Click and launch Supreme Builds Wizard.
  • Click on Supreme Builds.
  • You’ll find Titanium build available for download. Since it is hosted on multiple servers, select the server closer to you.
  • You’ll see two options; Fresh Install and Standard Install.
  • By selecting Fresh Install, all existing Kodi data will be wiped out, including all add-ons. On the other hand, Standard Install will only install Titanium Build and won’t interfere with already installed add-ons. You need to choose the option that works for you.
  • If you choose Fresh Install, Kodi will be restored to default settings. Confirm your choice and select Continue.
  • Titanium Build will take some time to download and install.
  • Once installed, you’ll be prompted to Force Close or Reload Profile. It is advisable to select Force Close since it works with most devices. 

The method above works best for Titanium Build. If you want to install any other Kodi build, follow the procedure below:

  • Download the ZIP file containing your preferred Kodi Build from the internet.
  • Go to the Kodi home screen, and click on the Add-on tab.
  • On the list of options, Select Install from ZIP File.
  • Browse your storage and locate the ZIP file downloaded earlier, then click OK.
  • The build installation wizard will be installed, and a setup menu will pop up.
  • Choose your preferences and select Continue. For best results, it is advisable to use the default settings.
  • Select Build Menu.
  • Choose your preferred build version from the list of builds displayed. It is best to select the most recent version.
  • Choose between a Fresh or Standard Install.
  • The build will take some time to download and install.
  • Once installed, click on Force Close.
  • Re-open Kodi, and you’ll find the build installed.

Ways To Use A Kodi Build

Kodi builds are mostly used to re-arrange various elements and the general interface of Kodi. The layout of Kodi with a build is a bit different compared to Kodi without a build. Kodi builds have more vibrant skins and submenus underneath every menu bar. 

Kodi builds contain customization options such as codecs, skins, settings etc. The best way to implement these customizations is by installing add-ons on Kodi builds. 

Adding An Add-on To A Build

The process of adding a plugin to a build is similar to that of adding a standalone add-on to Kodi. Even so, a build still has its own pre-installed add-ons. If you don’t find your favorite plugin from the list of pre-installed add-ons, there’s the option of manual installation. 

Here’s how to add an add-on to a build:

  • Go to the Kodi home screen and click on the Add-on tab.
  • You may choose to install the add-on from a ZIP file or download it from an online source.
  • Once you find the preferred add-on, click the Install button. Some add-ons may require additional configuration.

A Kodi build works the same way as a repository; you can still update, disable, configure and uninstall add-ons. 

How To Add Subtitles On Kodi

Subtitles transforms dialogues from movies or TV shows into text form. Here’s how to add subtitles on Kodi.

  • Go to the Kodi home screen and click the cog icon at the top left corner.
  • Select Add-ons.
  • On the list of options provided, select Install from the repository.
  • Choose the Kodi add-on repository.
  • You’ll see a list of options; click on Subtitles.
  • Several website URL links will be displayed. Choose your preferred website, such as OpenSubtitles.org.
  • Select Install.
  • Once installed, click on the Subtitle website you chose earlier.
  • Select Configure.
  • If prompted to provide login credentials, go to your web browser using the URL link provided and register as a user. After that, go back to the Kodi Window and input your login details.
  • Go back to Kodi System settings, then click Player.
  • Under Language, choose your preferred language.
  • Select Default TV show service.
  • You’ll find the subtitle website installed; click on it to continue.
  • Select Default movie service.
  • Click on the subtitle website.
  • Now go back and play the movie or TV show that you wish to watch. Select the OK button to proceed.
  • You’ll see a subtitle icon at the bottom-right corner of the screen. Select Download subtitle
  • Choose the subtitle with the best rating, i.e. five stars.
  • Your movie or TV show should now display subtitles.
  • If the subtitle does not sync with the movie dialogue, click on the subtitle icon.
  • Download a new subtitle and check if it syncs with the movie dialogue.

How To Share Your Device Media Library With Kodi

To access local media files on Kodi, follow the procedure below:

  • Go to your Kodi home screen.
  • Select Videos, then click on Files.
  • Click Add Video Source, then enter the path where your video files are located. It’s much easier to use the browse option and add video files directly from your device.

How To Share Your Kodi Library Across Multiple Devices

If you have Kodi installed on multiple devices, it’s possible to share the Kodi library with each device. In that case, there’ll be no need to create new libraries for every device. Let’s use the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) protocol as an example to seamlessly share a Kodi library across multiple devices.

Here are the steps to follow.

On Your Primary Device

  • Launch the Kodi interface.
  • Click on the cog icon found at the top left of the screen.
  • Click Services.
  • Click General.
  • Click Device Name.
  • Click UPnP/DLNA.
  • Click on Enable UPnP support.
  • Click Share my libraries.

On Your Other Device

  • Launch Kodi.
  • Click Videos.
  • Click Files.
  • Click Add Videos.
  • Click Browse.
  • Click UPnP Devices.
  • On the ‘Browse for new share’ list that appears, select your primary Kodi device.
  • On the screen that appears next, click Video Library.
  • Click on Files, then OK.
  • Choose ‘Enter a name for this media source’.
  • Pick a name for your primary Kodi device and click done.
  • Confirm by clicking OK.
  • After that, open the Library folder, click on files, and you’ll see files shared under the name of the primary Kodi device.

How To Use Kodi In Your Home Theatre Personal Computer (HTPC)

First of all, you need to download and install Kodi on Windows. Then, launch Kodi on Windows just the same way you launch other Windows programs. For Kodi to recognize and organize all media files in an HTPC, you need to initiate scraping.

Scraping is the process of linking media with information from the internet. For instance, the media scraper for Kodi movies is The Movie Database (TMDb), while for TV shows, it’s The TV Database (TVDb). You must use a certain format for the media scraper to pick correct information from the databases. 

Once you initiate scraping, go online using Kodi and download data relevant to the movies/TV shows you want to watch. You may also install streaming-based add-ons such as YouTube and Netflix to watch content online.

If the media content you want is stored locally on the device, organize the files and create separate folders for each movie or series. Follow the steps outlined under the heading “How To Share Your Device Media Library With Kodi” to access the local device content.

Customize Your Kodi Experience

The best way to customize Kodi is by using Add-on tools. You can change the Kodi theme by navigating to Settings, click on Interface, and then Skins. Kodi has two pre-installed skins, i.e. Estuary and Estouchy. To add more additional skins, click on the Get More button. 

But, note that not all skins work with Personal Video Recorder (PVR) functionality. This is a sophisticated functionality that allows you to record media content for later viewing. 

Conclusion

Kodi may sometimes be overwhelming to set up. Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn a thing or two on how to use Kodi. Once you have everything set up, you can now sit back and enjoy your favorite TV show, movie or music all under one roof.