Kodi is one of the most powerful applications of its kind, and there’s a good reason for that. When it comes to home theater software, you have numerous options in front of you. While some are simple and easy to navigate, there are those that are highly complex. Some of them come free-of-charge, others are premium-priced. This is why it’s hard to find the right tool for the job. However, Kodi stands out from the rest. Aside from bringing incredibly powerful features, this software is very straightforward and intuitive. On top of that, Kodi is free-of-charge! This is why we’ll dedicate this article to those of you interested in learning about this application. We have decided to name it ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Kodi’ since we’ll be talking about the installation, setup, main features, and everything else you need to know to get started.
Here’s what you can expect from this guide to Kodi. Before anything else, we’ll introduce you to this application. Then, we’ll talk about different installation methods covering a range of popular platforms. We will also cover the basics of Kodi, including its main features. Finally, we will reveal the best tips and tricks throughout this article, to help you get the most out of this home theater software. By the end of TechNadu’s guide to Kodi, you’ll be well on your way towards becoming an experienced user. Let’s begin, shall we?
Disclaimer: The following software comes from official and unofficial sources. As such, it is publicly available and built for Kodi, which is based on open source software on its own. However, TechNadu doesn’t take responsibility for how our users decide to utilize the following software. Furthermore, please note that we don’t condone actions such as piracy or copyright infringement. Finally, TechNadu is in no way associated with the software mentioned on this page. Please read the above-said disclaimer carefully and make sure to use this software properly.
WARNING: Before You Continue…
TechNadu recommends connecting to the Web using a VPN application. The majority of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are able of tracking your Web browsing habits and collecting information. This kind of personal data can be forwarded to government agencies or sold to marketing companies. One of the consequences of these actions can be copyright infringement notices that some users of Kodi reported receiving. The only way to stop this from happening is to use a VPN.
- VPN applications encrypt your Internet connection. As such, your personal data stay hidden and inaccessible by your Internet Service Provider.
- VPNs unlock restricted content. Using this kind of application, your computer will receive a new IP address that points to a completely different physical location. This is how you can watch region-restricted movies and TV shows.
- VPNs can improve your Internet connectivity. A reliable VPN application can de-block throttled connections and achieve better overall performance.
If you’re interested in keeping yourself protected by using a VPN, allow us to give our recommendation. TechNadu highly recommends using IPVanish. This application doesn’t only create highly secure Internet connections but also breaks through any locked or censored content. It is also worth noting that IPVanish doesn’t throttle your Internet connectivity, which is often the case with VPN applications.
Subscription prices for an IPVanish start at $6.95 per month. We believe this is a fair offering considering the value it brings. Sign up for IPVanish today, and protect your Web browsing data.
If you’d like to check out other options, you can read our guides on the best VPN applications for Kodi. This is where you’ll find in-depth overviews and comparisons.
A Beginner’s Guide to Kodi
As you can see, there is a table of contents at the top of this article. This type of navigation will help you to find your way through this article. Use it in case you already know the basics about Kodi, or if you are here to get specific information.
First, let’s see what is Kodi and why you should consider installing and using it.
Chapter 1: What is Kodi?
Kodi began its life close to fifteen years ago. It was originally known as XMBC, which stood for Xbox Media Center. However, Kodi went through a lengthy development process. Today, this application supports various operating systems and mobile platforms.
On its official website, you’ll see that Kodi is being advertised as the ultimate home theater software. This is means that Kodi isn’t just a media player that can be used to play movies, music, and other media. Instead, you can look at this application as your personalized library of content. Aside from storing different types of files, it is also open to Web-based media streaming.
Even without any add-ons, Kodi can be used as your family’s entertainment center. It can be a place to store your entire library of movies, TV shows, family videos, photos, as well as music. You can also use it to browse YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, or Spotify. However, you can open an entirely new world via third-party addons. These act as applications within Kodi capable of streaming media files. Don’t worry, we will be talking about that later in the article.
Chapter 2: How to Install Kodi?
The good news is that Kodi supports almost every popular operating system. In addition, this application is free-of-charge no matter what platform you’re using. Installation of Kodi is fairly simple and you don’t have to have any technical knowledge.
TechNadu’s Installation Guides
TechNadu has already brought a number of helpful guides on Kodi that include different installation methods. We will give you a series of links towards other articles on this website. Based on what operating system or mobile platform you are using, click on any of the following links.
- Installation of Kodi on Windows can be done in two different ways. You can download an EXE file or use Windows Store to download this application.
- You can install Kodi on Mac (macOS) by downloading a file from the application’s official website.
- Linux comes in many different versions. We have published a guide on installing Kodi on Linux that coves the most popular distributions.
- Mobile users aren’t left out. Kodi for Android can be downloaded using Google’s Play Store, while Kodi for iOS requires some creativity when it comes to installation.
- Finally, there’s Kodi for Raspberry Pi. This can be an incredibly fun project that brings Kodi to your TV. If you have some spare time and if you like to tinker, you’ll have a good time setting up Kodi. Speaking of fun projects, you can also install Kodi on Firestick.
- A couple of weeks ago, Kodi finally managed to return to its roots. This means that you can now install Kodi on Xbox as well – and run it completely natively.
- We also shouldn’t forget to mention that certain smart TV models can run Kodi as well. To learn how to make this happen, here’s our article about running Kodi on smart TVs. While some models can run the application natively, others can use screen mirroring.
- Finally, there is a number of different media streaming devices. With the number of cord-cutters on the rise, we feel it’s important to know how to run Kodi on Roku, Nvidia Shield TV, Razer Forge TV, and even Apple TV.
Chapter 3: Configure Kodi’s Settings
If you continue reading our Beginner’s Guide to Kodi, you’ll get to learn what to do after you install Kodi. First, we will be dealing with configuring Kodi’s settings. We will talk about eliminating unneeded options, optimizing the application’s performance and making sure you’re ready to add locally stored content.
Pick a New Language
By default, Kodi comes in English. However, there’s a wide selection of languages that you can choose from. Aside from picking a new language, you can also change your time zone and pick a new keyboard system. What this means is that you don’t have to use the standard QWERTY layout.
- From the Home Screen, go to the Settings menu;
- Pick ‘Interface Settings’;
- From the left-positioned menu, select ‘Regional’;
- Now pick a new region, language, character set and more.
By default, you will see an RSS feed at the bottom of Kodi’s window (or screen). In the majority of cases, you won’t benefit from this unless you’re really dedicated to knowing what’s happing with Kodi’s developers. This will also save some processing power, which is of vital importance for low-end computers, mobile devices, and older Raspberry Pi models.
To disable RSS feeds in Kodi, do the following:
- From the Home Screen of Kodi, go to Settings using the Gear icon;
- Pick ‘Interface Settings’;
- Find a tab that says ‘Other’;
- Disable the RSS feed.
Enable AirPlay Streaming
AirPlay is Apple’s streaming technology that is compatible with iOS and macOS devices. Unsurprisingly, Kodi supports AirPlay making it easier to stream content from your Apple devices. There’s no reason not to take advantage of this amazing feature, especially if run Kodi on a TV.
- Open the Settings menu and go to ‘Service Settings’;
- Now pick ‘AirPlay’ from the left-placed menu;
- Enable AirPlay.
Add Multiple Users
As we said earlier in this guide to Kodi, you can use this software as your family’s home media center. Furthermore, you can add several users and associate them with your family members. That way, everyone can customize Kodi according to their needs.
- Go to the Settings menu and click on ‘Profile Settings’;
- In the left-placed menu, click on ‘Profiles’. This is where you can add and remove user profiles. Make sure to adjust their roles as well. For example, you don’t want your children to have access to Kodi’s settings.
- In the ‘General’ tab, you can adjust login options. For example, if you don’t want other users to access your account by default.
Don’t be afraid to check out Kodi’s Settings menu. This is where you will find a wide range of options. Even though Kodi’s default settings will be just fine for the majority of users, it’s never a bad idea to customize Kodi to your needs. Every category and every option is nicely explained, so you don’t have to worry whether you’ll mess up your system.
Chapter 4: Add Media to Kodi
In the next step of our guide to Kodi, we’ll talk about adding locally stored media. You probably have a collection of your favorite movies or TV shows stored on your computer. Aside from that, many of us have huge music and photo libraries. You can import all of those files to Kodi and access them from a single place.
There are different ways to add media, and we’ll cover all of them. In case you need additional info, don’t forget to read our in-depth article on how to create a media library in Kodi.
Import Locally Stored Files
When you open Kodi, you will be greeted by its Home Screen. On the left side, you will see the main menu consisted of different content categories. If you click on any of those, you’ll see a button on the right side that says ‘Enter Files Section’. You will be asked to navigate to your libraries, where you add different kinds of files. After some time, you will see all those files imported into Kodi.
Import Network-Based Files
You can also use a remote location for your content library. For example, a cloud storage or an external media hub that is connected to your home’s Wi-Fi.
To add a network location, pick any content category from Kodi’s main menu. For example, let’s add photos that are stored online. We will click on the ‘Pictures’ tab in the main menu, and then we’ll click on ‘Add Pictures’. A new window will appear where we’ll pick ‘Browse’. You will now see an option that says ‘Add network location…’. This is where you can set up different options and add remotely located files. If you’re unsure about how to set up these options, you can find that information at your online storage provider’s website.
Use External Drive Files
Next, we’ll also cover external drives in this guide to Kodi. The process is quite similar to adding a new network location. Here’s how to add images that are on an external drive after you’ve connected it to your computer or any other device:
- Click on ‘Pictures’ in the main menu;
- Now go to ‘Add Pictures…’ and you will see a window named ‘Add Picture Source’;
- Click on ‘Browse’;
- Finally, navigate to your external drive and add the media.
Chapter 5: Install Add-Ons
This wouldn’t be a helpful guide to Kodi if we didn’t mention add-ons. These have the power to expand Kodi’s capabilities and to bring new types of content. The world of Kodi add-ons is incredibly large. You can find thousands of useful add-ons that can be installed from all over the Web. However, these are separated into two distinctive categories: official and unofficial add-ons.
Official Add-ons for Kodi
Developers of Kodi have their own repository of addons. These are so-called official add-ons which means they are maintained and offered via Kodi’s own software. Here’s how to browse the current selection.
- Open Kodi and navigate to ‘Add-ons’ using the main menu;
- Click on the ‘Download’ button located in the left-placed menu;
- Now you’ll see different categories. One of the most popular categories is ‘Video Add-ons’. Here you can find great add-ons dedicated to streaming.
- Once you find an add-on, click on its name and you’ll see an overview. Hit ‘Install’ to finish this procedure.
- The newly installed add-ons will be placed in the ‘Add-ons’ section of Kodi.
Unofficial Add-ons for Kodi
Don’t make a mistake by not installing the set of essential unofficial addons. Even though their legality is questionable in certain countries, they all offer publicly available content. Here are our suggestions:
- SkyNet should be your top choice. This addon is known for its rich library of online content that can be streamed with ease. In addition, you’ll enjoy in its effortless navigation and multiple filtering systems. SkyNet covers a wide range of content including movies, TV shows, live TV channels, PPV events, and more.
- Genesis Reborn is a long-standing addon with a very loyal user base. It is built upon a previously popular addon named Exodus, which isn’t working anymore. However, Genesis Reborn managed to replace the old addon successfully. You can count on watching movies and TV shows.
- UK Turk Playlists is one of our personal favorites. It offers a nicely organized menu with different content categories clearly displayed. It covers everything from TV channels, movies, TV shows, sports content, up to some niche categories.
- Quantum is another good option when it comes to all-in-one addons. This one caters to a broad range of users. No matter if you want to stream the latest Hollywood blockbusters or the latest soccer game – Quantum’s got you covered.
- USTV Now should be your go-to option if you’re interested in keeping up with the U.S. channels. Note that this add-on requires a subscription but it’s well worth it if you want to have a wide range of fully-functioning streaming links.
- The Pyramid is one of the oldest addons of its kind – but still going incredibly strong. It provides access to pretty much any type of content. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised by its popularity. We highly recommend checking this addon out.
Kodi’s add-ons can be quite overwhelming at times. There are thousands of those, where some of them work while others don’t. This is why we’d like to point you to our previously published overviews of different kinds of add-ons. We hope this will make our guide even more helpful.
- Numerous add-ons offer high-quality content in terms of resolution. This is why we’ve published a guide on the best HD video addons as well as our suggestions for 4K Kodi addons.
- If you want to keep your children busy, Kodi provides an answer. You can find our list of the best cartoon addons for Kodi by using the provided link.
- We know that Kodi is the ultimate sports center for many of you. Check out the very best live sports addons, aside from our overview of fully-working boxing Kodi addons. When it comes to other sports, we wrote about using Kodi to watch NFL, MLB, and WWE. Also, let’s now forget to mention how to watch UFC on Kodi.
- TechNadu also offers guides for regional content. Among published articles, you can find best Chinese Kodi addons, as well as Bollywood addons for Kodi. If you want to check out those funny Korean variety shows, here’s a list of updated Korean addons. There are also interesting Tamil addons as well.
- Finally, there are some amazing movies-related addons. Always make sure you’re reading an updated list of addons to avoid installing problematic and non-functioning ones.
Chapter 6: Customize Kodi Using Skins
As you know by now, Kodi is a highly customizable application. This also applies to its default UI (User Interface). The latest version of Kodi (version 17.6 – codenamed Krypton) brings a highly polished and fluid interface that also performs well. However, we love Kodi’s freedom of customization. This is why we can’t finish our guide to Kodi without mentioning a few skins. You can install skins for Kodi in a matter of minutes and they can completely change Kodi’s appearance.
- Those of you don’t like Kodi’s blue interface can go with a hue of green with the Chroma Skin. You can install it in just a few clicks.
- We’ve been hearing a lot about Google’s material design. Some of those design principles were applied to the Unity Skin. If you like flat design, you should definitely try that one.
- Renegades TV skin for Kodi is designed for those who like futuristic, yet someone visually aggressive design. You can often hear people talking about this skin as the ultimate Kodi skin for games.
- Finally, there’s a so-called Classic Skin that brings graphics inspired by popular movies and video games. These allow you to show your appreciation if you’re a loyal fan.
There is an incredible selection of skins – which all come free of charge. Therefore, don’t miss out on reading TechNadu’s overview of the very best Kodi skins.
Chapter 7: Use Customized Builds
If you have a few of your favorite addons, you can install them with ease. However, it can be very tedious to install a dozen add-ons one by one. This is where different builds for Kodi come into play.
In general, Kodi builds are installed the same way as add-ons. However, they contain a number of different add-ons and skins. This is how you can completely transform your Kodi and access an amazing library of streamable content under a couple of minutes.
- One of the currently popular builds is the Misfit Mod Lite. Aside from bringing a sci-fi interface, it grants you access to several of our previously mentioned add-ons including SkyNet, The Pyramid, and more.
- Kryptikz ZT is known for its polished user interface that seems perfect for larger screens. It also brings a very attractive set of add-ons that cover an incredibly wide selection of content.
- Long-term Kodi users know all about the No Limits Magic Build. This is because this build has been around for quite some time. It has been upgraded to support the latest version of Kodi.
- If you can’t decide which build to use, or if you want a larger selection, here’s an article on the best Kodi builds. We keep this article updated at all times – so you’ll only find fresh and updated builds.
Guide to Kodi: Final Words…
The truth is that Kodi is a comprehensive application. It will probably take some time until you learn all of its tricks. However, we hope that this guide to Kodi will bring you the basics when it comes to this home theater software.
In case you’d like anything to add, feel free to use the comments section. We’re always ready to listen to what your readers have to say and we’d gladly help with any issues. In addition, we’d appreciate if you could share this article with other Kodi users. Thanks!