Kodi is a simple media player, but with some distinct features and a unique design. Using it is not completely straightforward for first-time users. However, it does not require special technical skill or a learning curve for the user to start watching shows or movies on Kodi. It only needs a little help to learn how to use Kodi. In this guide, you will learn how to download, install and use Kodi on various devices.
How to download and install Kodi
Kodi is available on Android (both TV and mobile), Mac, iOS, Windows, Raspberry Pi, and Amazon Fire Stick & Fire TV. If you need to run the app on an android device or desktop, you can get it from either the associated app store or from the website. There is also a Windows Store version for Windows users, and an APK file for Android users to sideload the app.
You should, however, note that sideloading makes it hard to update the app. Hence, it is recommendable to get the app from the Play Store. The latest version of Kodi is labelled Kodi Krypton v17.6, but there is a bigger version underway.
Installing Kodi on Amazon Firestick & Fire TV
Firestick and Fire TV are the same except for a few small differences. Therefore, the installation method is the same for both. Currently, the Amazon Store does not have Kodi. Kodi users must, therefore, manually download the APK file from a reliable source and install it on FireStick.
First, you should set up your Firestick and prepare it for the installation. You will have to turn off the Collect App Usage Data and the Device Usage Data options by navigating to the Settings and clicking on Preferences.
You will also need to enable ADB debugging, and turn on the Apps from Unknown Sources option by navigating to the Fire TV/Firestick Settings and selecting My Fire TV/Device and then choosing Developer Options.
Next, download and install ES file explorer on the Fire Stick/TV. After that, you can install Kodi through the following steps:
- Step 1. Open the ES File Explorer and select the menu. Navigate to Tools->Download Manager->+New. A pop-up menu will show up and ask for the name and path.
- Step 2. Enter https://www.firesticktricks.com/kapk in the path field and Kodi in the Name field, and click OK.
- Step 3. Select Download Now, and the downloading process will begin. After the download is complete, click Open File and then click Install.
- Step 4. Click Install again and to install the Kodi app on the FireStick.
After the installation, the Kodi app does not appear on the home screen. To find it, go to Settings->Applications, Manage Installed Applications, Kodi and click Launch.
Installing Kodi on Android Mobiles and Tablets
Unlike Amazon FireStick/Fire TV, you do not have to sideload the Kodi app on Android mobile devices and tablets. The app is accessible through the Google Play Store. The Play Store only allows safe and trusted apps. Hence, Kodi being the Play Store assures us that it is safe. Here`s how to install the Kodi app on Android:
- Step 1. Open the Play Store
- Step 2. Look up for Kodi
- Step 3. Once you find it, follow the onscreen instructions and install the app.
Installing Kodi on Windows PC
The process of installing Kodi on Windows 10 is different from that of Windows 8.1 & older. If you are using Windows 10, you can easily download the official Kodi application from Microsoft Store. Here’s how to do that:
- Step 1. Click the Cortana search button and enter “Kodi.” The Kodi icon will appear in the search results as a “Trusted Microsoft App”
- Step 2. You will need to click the Kodi icon, and you will be directed to the Microsoft Store
- Step 3. On the store, click the “Download” or “Get” button, and Microsoft Store will do the rest of the installation process.
Windows 8.1 and older
You can still download Kodi from the official Kodi website, kodi.tv if you are using other versions of Windows. Once you have opened the official website, you can click the Download button on the homepage, or you can go straight to https://kodi.tv/download and download the Kodi application.
On the download page that appears, navigate down to the logos of supported platforms/devices and do as follows:
- Step 1. Click the Windows logo. Ensure you choose the Recommended tab in the next window
- Step 2. Click the Installer (32-Bit) option and then download the Kodi installer file onto your computer
- Step 3. After the Kodi installer file has finished downloading, open it and follow the instructions to install Kodi
Note that even if your computer runs on 64-bit, you will still need to select the 32-bit version of the Kodi application on versions below Windows 10.
Installing Kodi on Mac OS
Kodi is not on the Apple App Store; it has a Mac OS version on the Kodi official website. For Kodi to work, you must use Mac OS 10.X or higher. Below are the steps for the installation of Kodi Krypton 17.6 on Mac:
- Step 1. Open the https://kodi.tv/download link on the Safari web browser (Safari auto-mounts the DMG file)
- Step 2. Scroll down then click the Mac OS logo. Ensure that you select the Recommended tab on the pop-up window
- Step 3. Click Installer (64-Bit) and follow the normal process to install Kodi on your Mac computer.
Installing Kodi on iOS (iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone)
The official Kodi website says that you have to jailbreak your iOS device before installing Kodi. However, there are third-party app stores, such as TweakBox, that have the iOS version of the Kodi application. To install Kodi using TweakBox, you first have to install TweakBox.
- Step 1. Open tweakboxapp.com in any browser and download TweakBox.
- Step 2. Install TweakBox and give the permissions the app requires during the installation.
- Step 3. Run TweakBox and open the Apps tab at the top.
- Step 4. Search for Kodi among the apps on the list.
- Step 5. Click the Kodi icon when you see it and follow the onscreen instructions to install Kodi on iOS.
Installing Kodi on Android Smart TV and TV Boxes
Android TV Boxes and Smart TV supports the Google Play Store. Kodi Krypton is also an official entry in the Play Store, therefore, installing the app is straightforward.
- Step 1. Turn on your TV (if you are using the Android TV Box, ensure it is connected to your TV)
- Step 2. After the home-screen loads, click the Play Store icon
- Step 3. Search for the Kodi app
- Step 4. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Kodi
How to Use Kodi
Before you use Kodi on Fire TV/Firestick, you should know that your ISP can see your streaming activities. If you get caught watching copyrighted content, you might face legal charges against you. Despite this, you can still enjoy your favourite content through Kodi privately using a trusted VPN service.
A reliable VPN will help you bypass content geo-restrictions, online surveillance and speed throttling. There are plenty of VPN services which you can easily download and install on your Fire TV/Firestick. If you choose to use one, then you only need to turn it on to secure your online activities.
Check our Best VPN for Kodi list to find some of the best VPN services.
After installing Kodi, you will see its home-screen or interface, which is also known as a “Kodi Skin.” Kodi has various skins with the options for Music TV shows, Movies, add-ons, etc. You can choose a skin based on your personal preference, so you can test out various skins to determine which one you like the most.
Once you set up your Kodi home-screen with your preferred skin, you can begin to stream. The most effective way to stream through Kodi is to install some add-ons. A Kodi add-on is like an application that contains the content that you would wish to view.
Kodi has thousands of add-ons which you can install, and you have the option to install as few or as many of the add-ons as you please. After you have installed an add-on, you will see the categories for viewing, including TV Shows, Genres, Movies, and more. The categories vary depending on the particular add-on you choose. Here`s how to install a Kodi add-on:
- Step 1. Click on the Kodi Settings icon
- Step 2. Click on System settings
- Step 3. Hover over the Add-ons menu item
- Step 4. Click the Toggle Switch and Turn on Unknown Sources
- Step 5. Select Yes and then click the Back button to return to the previous screen
- Step 6. Click on File manager
- Step 7. Click on Add source
- Step 8. Click None
How to use Kodi Add-ons
After you have installed a Kodi add-on, you can access it from the video add-ons section. To find a video add-on you have installed, go to the home-screen of Kodi and click on Add-ons. After that, click on Video add-ons in the next screen. Even if you do not click video add-ons, you can hover over it, and all the video streaming add-ons will show up on the right.
On the Video add-ons page, you will see the add-on icons. To open any add-on, you need to click it once. You will then see the categories with different titles listed. If you click on any category, you will either see the subcategories or the list of titles. It varies on different add-ons.
There can also be more subcategories in a subcategory. The point is to click through categories and subcategories and then click the title you wish to play when the list of titles appears. The add-on will begin to scrap various servers and bring you the streaming links. Once a link appears, you click it to start watching shows or movies on Kodi.
Almost all Kodi add-ons have a Tools or Settings section. Using this Category provides a great way to improve the performance of add-ons. Things such as downloading options, turning off provider choices, video quality, and others are all on the Settings Tab. In case you experience issues with your selected add-on, try to adjust using Tools to make Kodi run at its best.
Kodi is mainly considered a tool for viewing shows and films, but it has plenty of other capabilities. The user can also install music add-ons. There are many music and audio add-ons which contain lyrics, music videos, and other items.
One of the most significant abilities that a Kodi add-on offers is its simplicity. With the Kodi add-on, you can have TV shows and movies at your fingertips within minutes. However, if you want to have a more complex Kodi system, you might want to take a look at Kodi builds.
After installing Kodi and running it for the first time, you will see the default interface, which comes with the default skin called “Estuary.” Also, after installing Kodi, you will need add-ons to watch your favorite movies and shows. This is why you have to install various add-ons individually.
Besides the simplicity of the default interface, there is a way to make Kodi look different with the help of Kodi builds. The Kodi build can give the Kodi application a new skin, with a more exciting interface. A Kodi build can also pre-install numerous Kodi add-ons for a wide range of content types so that you do not have to do a manual installation.
Kodi builds installation and use
There are plenty of Kodi builds, but not all of them are perfect. There are popular builds which you can choose from and try at different times. Once you have identified a build, you will need a few skills, but it’s not hard to set up.
All the popular builds come with installation guides, so you will not need to worry about the installation process. Additionally, all the builds are almost similar in layout, barring a few small differences. Hence, once you have a grasp of one build, you will get the overall idea on how to use other builds.
A build comes with a menu bar, and there can also be a submenu bar beneath the main menu bar. You can pick an item in the menu bar, and other related submenu items will show up under it.
Adding Add-ons to a Build
Builds usually come preconfigured with many add-ons. Nonetheless, this does not guarantee it will always contain the add-on you want. In case you find out that a build does not include your favourite add-on, you have the option to install that add-on manually.
All the builds allow the user to install other add-ons over them. The installation method with a Kodi build is not much different compared to installation without one. Just like before, add the URL to Kodi, then install the repo from the source and finally install the add-on from the repo.
How to update Kodi
Update Kodi on Android
You can update the app from its download website or the Play Store. From the Play Store, you can search for Kodi, and you will find it on the list of search results. If you have Kodi installed, you will see its available updates on the store. Click on Update Kodi and follow the instructions.
From the download website, navigate to the icons list and click on the Android icon. After that, choose the ARM version. ARMV7A (32BIT) is suitable for 32-bit devices, while ARMV8A (64BIT) is suitable for 64-bit devices.
Updating Kodi on Mac
The process of updating Kodi on Mac is the same as on Windows. Here`s how to update on Mac:
- Open the browser and go to the official Kodi website, Kodi.tv
- Click on the Downloads menu
- Scroll down and choose MacOS
- Click on Installer (64-Bit), and the download will begin
- After the download is complete, open the file and click Install to install the latest version of Kodi.