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Home icon grey.png   ▶ iOS ▶ iOS FAQ
Emblem-important-yellow.png NOTICE:
v14.2 "Helix" will be the last version of Kodi to run on the Apple TV 2. For more information read the announcement here.

Other iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc) will still be supported.

Kodi FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for iOS, including iDevices and the Apple TV 2 (black).


1 General FAQ (all devices)

See also: All platforms FAQ for FAQs that apply to all versions of Kodi.

The following applies to all supported iOS devices, including: Apple TV 2, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

1.1 Installing and updating Kodi for iOS


1.2 SSH

  • Secure Shell (SSH) is used to send remote commands to the ATV2. You will need this for many Kodi related tasks detailed on this page. For SSH access you can use putty or Tunnelier on Windows, in Mac OS X, or any standard terminal/shell in Linux.
  • To SSH into an iOS device open your SSH application and type in:
  • For most things you can and should use "mobile" as the user, as shown above. For some tasks, such as upgrading Kodi itself, you will need to replace "mobile" with "root".
  • The default password (for "mobile" or "root") will be alpine

1.3 Is Kodi for iOS different from normal Kodi?

  • The current stable version of Kodi for iOS is Kodi v14.2 Helix. This is the same code that all of the other platforms (Linux, Mac, Windows) are using.

1.4 How do I find out what version of Kodi am I running?

  • Kodi -> Main menu -> System -> Lower submenu -> System info. Note the build date.

1.5 Formats and resolutions iOS devices can playback

  • Kodi on iOS can playback most formats supported by Kodi in standard definition.
  • H.264 (up to High Profile) encoded videos that are not interlaced are supported for high definition (720P and up) using hardware video decoding.
    • The iPad 2 (and later) and iPhone 4S (and later) are the only exceptions to this and will play some other HD codecs due to the more powerful CPU inside using software video decoding.
  • Videos with 16 reference frames will not playback correctly (using 16 ref frames is out of spec for most codec standards anyways)
  • Videos at 60FPS may not playback correctly for reasons not yet known (possible hardware limitation).

1.6 Accessing media

  • You'll want to connect to media that's being shared from a computer, HTPC, or NAS device on your local network, especially with the ATV2 since it only has 8 GB of space. iPad and other iDevices can store files locally, and the iPad specifically can also use the Apple Camera Kit to use USB drive and SD cards. Guides for these will be arriving shortly, until then try searching the forums or Youtube.

1.7 Add-ons and skins

  • Kodi for iOS is a full version of Kodi and will be able to use all non-platform specific add-ons and skins. For iPad users, a "Re-Touched" skin is included in Kodi that makes the device easier to use. See Skins for more info about switching to other skins.

1.8 Transferring files like add-ons, skins, and others over

  • To manually install a skin/add-on/repo "by zip", see this guide. The guide will also give you the basic gist of how to transfer files over using SSH/SFTP.

1.9 Backing up Kodi's settings

  • The most common way is to copy the userdata folder (via SFTP) (not to be confused with FTP) from the iOS device to another computer:
/private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/ for all of your Kodi data, add-ons, skins, etc, or just
/private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/userdata/ for just the settings files themselves (which takes up less space, but means you would have to re-download add-ons, etc). (Forum:92778).
  • To restore, SFTP the directory back to its original location, then SSH to the ATV2 and run the following command to reset ownership/permissions:
chown -R mobile:mobile /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/
  • A new add-on has been created for easily backing up and restoring Kodi settings on any platform: Add-on:Backup

1.10 Use USB to transfer files to/from ATV2/iDevices

  • By installing afc2add you can have full file access of the ATV2 or an iDevice when it's plugged into a computer via USB. Once installed you can access the files by using an application such as iPhoneBrowser or iExplorer (formally iPhone Explorer).
    • For ATV2: To install afc2add you can either do it through the NitoTV menu or SSH into the ATV2 and type in apt-get install us.scw.afctwoadd
    • For iDevices: search for "afc2add" in Cydia.
  • You can use this to transfer logs out of the ATV2/iDevice, place add-on zips, restore backups (remember to repair permissions), or even store a video files on the internal memory.

2 Apple TV 2 (black)

This is the FAQ for the Apple TV 2 (black). For the original Apple TV 1 (silver) see: Apple TV 1 FAQ

2.1 Apple TV 2 specific requirements

  • To Install Kodi on ATV2 you must have a jailbroken Apple TV 2 running versions 4.1 to 5.3
  • Kodi only works on the second generation Apple TV (ATV2), which is the black version that outputs 720p. Kodi does not work on the newer third generation Apple TV (ATV3) that outputs 1080p (Full HD), because there is no jailbreak for the ATV3.
  • Future Isengard feature: Kodi v15 will not run on the ATV2. Kodi v14.2 is the last version that will support ATV2.

2.2 Apple TV 3

  • As the Apple TV 3 (ATV3) is not jailbroken, and is unlikely to be jailbroken soon, Kodi cannot be installed on it.

2.3 Remotes for ATV2

  • The ATV2 remote works with Kodi and can be customized. See: Joystick.AppleRemote.xml for ATV2 for a custom setting that uses up/down for longer FF/RW jumping.
    • How do I bring up the context menu? - Press and hold MENU
    • How do I bring up the OSD during playback? - Press and hold SELECT
    • Changing the volume - Up and down while in full screen playback.
  • The ATV2 can also learn remotes in its native settings. Kodi will respond to these learned remotes. See here for instructions.
  • Web interface, including add-on interfaces
  • Kodi smartphone and tablet remote apps.
  • Bluetooth keyboards can be used since ATV software v5.2 or with earlier versions using BTstack. See this forum post for more info.
  • Harmony Remotes have experimental support and you can teach the ATV2 to use most standard IR remotes via Settings -> General -> Remotes -> Learn Remote. You can get additional functions by following these instructions.
  • The Apple iOS Remote app for iTunes/ATV

2.4 Resolutions ATV2 can play and output

  • The ATV2 can playback most videos saved as high as 1080p, but will only output a 720p signal to your TV. To see if you can really benefit with 1080p output, please consult this chart

2.5 USB hard drives and devices

  • The Apple TV 2 can not operate as a USB host, so hooking an external drive or any other USB device to it will not work. To access media it must be located on the local network, ATV2's limited internal memory, and/or streaming from the internet.

2.6 Sleep/Shutdown

  • Kodi will disable any sleep timer (if set) in ATV iOS since the sleep timer will cause Kodi to crash. When Kodi quits it will turn the sleep timer back on to whatever it was set at before.
  • The Apple TV 2 does not have a real "sleep" or shutdown function. Even under the native Apple software, the unit is always powered on, and only fakes sleeping. There is no way to sleep or shutdown the Apple TV 2 without physically pulling the power.
  • Given that the ATV2 uses only a few watts of power, the cost of running the unit 24/7 for a whole year is only a few dollars. Leaving it on does not damage the unit.

2.7 Setting time zones on ATV2

  • iOS 4.3 and higher, offers the ability to set the Time Zone via the Apple TV GUI, under Settings -> General -> Time Zone.

2.8 Native ATV2 software after Kodi installation

  • Kodi is installed onto the Apple TV internal flashdrive, much like any iOS app, but you will still be able you use your Apple TV software as normal, Kodi will only be an extra option that you can launch from the Apple TV's original menu when you want to utilize the extra features and functions that are available in Kodi compared to the original Apple TV software. So Kodi will not replace the original Apple TV software, it instead complements the existing Apple TV software.

2.9 Software updates from Apple will crash Kodi

  • When you install Kodi it will install a dependancy with it that will block the updates to Apple's iOS software so nothing else is needed.

2.10 Finding the ATV2 software version

  • From the Apple TV main menu go to Settings -> General -> About and click Select to toggle between Apple TV software version and iOS build version. Apple TV software is the application running on top of iOS similar to how FrontRow runs on MacOS. It's similar versions are easily confused with the iOS versions. More info on the Apple TV software versions is available here.

3 iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

3.1 iDevice requirements

  • To install Kodi for iOS you must have a jailbroken iDevice running iOS 4.0 through 8.1.2. (4.3 or higher recommended).
  • Future Isengard feature: Kodi v15 will require iOS 5.1.1
  • For hardware: iPad (1,2,3,4), iPad Air (1,2), iPad Mini (1,2,3), iPhone (4, 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6+), iPod touch (4, 5).

3.2 Touch screen controls

  • Context menu: Single-finger long tap or two-finger single tap the menu item.
  • Go Back: Two finger swipe left.
  • Zoom into/out of Image: Pinch.
  • Slide out menus: Hold the menu item to bring it up, then swipe right to access the sub content.
  • iDevices can use the multitasking player control bar and lockscreen controls for music.

3.3 Remotes for iDevices

  • Direct touch screen input
  • Web interface, including add-on interfaces
  • Kodi smartphone and tablet remote apps.
  • Bluetooth keyboards can be used for navigation and playback, in addition to text entry.
  • Headphone remote control of Apple headphones or on bluetooth headphones can control play/pause and next/previous item (playlist or auto play next).

3.4 Resolutions iDevices can play and output

  • iDevices can playback most videos as high as 1080p.
  • Retina and widescreen is fully supported on iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5c, 5S and iPod touch 4, 5.
  • Retina GUI is supported for iPad 3, 4, iPad Air, and iPad mini 2 (Retina) but video playback is still clamped to 720, pending some issues.
  • Native video out as of v12 (Frodo) is now supported for HDMI adapter, VGA adapter, and AirPlay mirroring (to ATV2/3 only for mirroring). See #iOS to TV.

3.5 How to use video output to a TV


Native video out as of XBMC v12 (Frodo) is now supported for HDMI adapter, VGA adapter, and AirPlay mirroring (to ATV2/3 only for mirroring). Currently limited to 720P outout:

HDMI/VGA adapter (A4 processor or higher) AirPlay mirroring (requires A5 processor or higher)

1. Before opening XBMC, first plug in the video out adapter and connect it to the display

1. Before opening XBMC enable global AirPlay mirroring

On iOS 6: Double-tapping the home button, swiping from left to right to bring up the volume control and AirPlay icon, and selecting your Apple TV from the options.

On iOS 7/8: Bring up the Control Center by swiping from the bottom of the screen to the top, and then selecting AirPlay, and then select Apple TV from the options.

2. Go to Settings -> Appearance -> Skin and change the skin to something like Confluence (not required, but makes operating XBMC on a TV easier).
3. Go to Settings -> System -> Video output and change it to "Display #2"
4. Now you can use the iDevice screen for directional navigation by swiping. Tap to select things, two finger tap to go back.

Note: AirPlay mirroring only works from an iDevice with an A5 or higher SoC (iPhone 4S, iPad 2/3), and will only stream to the native AirPlay feature of Apple TV 2 and 3 (in other words, it won't work with XBMC's AirPlay server as a target).

3.6 iPad camera connector for USB and SD cards

  • Kodi for iOS can read videos and files via the iPad Camera Connector Kit though the SD card reader or the USB port adapter (drives must be self powered or hub powered). Files should show up under /var/mnt/mount1/.
  • As of iOS 8.1.x, it seems that mounting only Apple HFS(+) formatted SD cards is supported.
  • There are limited reports of success mounting FAT32 or exFAT formatted SD cards, even those less than 4 GB in size. Previous versions of iOS (7.x) appear to have supported more file systems.
  • To use an HFS+ formatted SD card in iOS 8.1.2, a known good workflow consists of:
  1. Press the Home button two times quickly and swipe up to close Photos or Kodi, if open.
  2. Insert the Camera Connection Kit with SD card installed.
  3. Wait several seconds until the message appears: "Cannot Use Device - USB Storage: The connected device is not supported." This may not appear if using a powered USB hub and separate card reader.
  4. Launch the Photos app. It may appear unresponsive and even terminate and re-launch automatically. Wait about 30 seconds in total for the activity to subside.
  5. Launch Kodi. Add a Video source with the path "/var/mnt/" to view videos stored on the SD card.

4 Troubleshooting

Have you tried switching it off then on again?

4.1 Getting more help with Kodi for ATV2/iOS


4.2 Userdata folder and logs

  • Userdata folder: /var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/userdata/
  • Debug log: /var/mobile/Library/Preferences/kodi.log
  • Syslog: /var/log/syslog
  • CrashReporter: /var/mobile/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/*.plist

4.3 Errors while installing

  • Check out this guide for help with SSH/install errors.

4.4 Repair settings

  • Settings or sources not stored and updates are failing? This can happen when the setting xml files are manipulated outside Kodi. Connect to your iPad/ATV2 as root using an ssh client and repair file permissions.
  • Run the following SSH command on the iPad/ATV2:
chown -R mobile:mobile /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/

4.5 Reset ATV2 without unplugging

  • Hold "menu" and "down" buttons for 5 sec.

4.6 Stuck on a bad skin

  • If you changed skins and now can't navigate back to change it back, delete the guisettings.xml file:

rm /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/userdata/guisettings.xml

4.7 No sound with DTS or AC3

  • It's probably not the Kodi software on your ATV2, but has to do with your receiver. Try this solution.

4.8 AC3 files stutter or have static noise

  • AC3 Audio (without using passthrough) can stutter and pause video.
  • Audio output could also be the culprit, go to Apple TV -> Settings -> Audio & Video -> Audio Output and set it to "16 bit".

4.9 Not enough space/memory

  • Have you run out of space on your ATV2? Check with (via SSH) the df -k command. If any /dev/disk* filesystems are at 100%, use du -h / to see what's taking up space. or to show which files are, for example, bigger then 9 Mb do find / -size +9000b
  • First places to check are:
Note: you can clear out the files in these folders, but don't delete the folders themselves
    • /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/addons/packages <- As of v12, this folder should be limited to 200 MB by default, and shouldn't need to be manually cleaned out.
    • /private/var/mobile/Library/Caches/AppleTV/Video/LocalAndRental
    • /private/var/mobile/Library/Caches/AppleTV/Video/Other
    • /private/var/cache/apt/archives/
  • See also #Thumbnails for saving space with smaller thumbs or moving them to a network location.

4.10 Thumbnails taking up too much space or are causing long loading times

See: HOW-TO:Reduce disk space usage

4.11 Audio issues and/or slow video playback

  • Make sure that your audio settings are correct. Wrong audio settings will have severely negative effects on video playback.
  • Check to see if your speaker setup is really correct
  • If passthrough: make sure you only enable the audio codecs your receiver supports.
  • Select the correct audio output device for analog and passthrough.
  • Gapless playback for music isn't working.
  • Not actually an issue with Kodi: Apple does not provide support for HD-audio passthrough in their audio API, CoreAudio.

4.12 Performance: video buffering, stuttering, choppiness

  • Switch to a different network protocol (especially if you are using SMB), i.e. NFS, FTP, WebDAV, etc.
  • Try sharing the media on another device to rule out a device-specific (or network) issue.
  • Turn off thumbnail generation (does not affect thumbnails from a library scan), Kodi -> Settings -> Video -> File lists -> and deselect 'Extract thumbnails and video information'.
  • Disable playback sync completely, Kodi -> Settings -> Video -> Playback -> turn off "Sync playback to display"
  • If you are having buffering issues using a Time Capsule on WiFi, try this.
    • See also #Thumbnails for speeding up the GUI when it's loading large/lots of thumbnails.
  • Make sure the video isn't interlaced.
  • If the video is in HD, make sure it is using the h.264 codec (up to High Profile. Hi10P will not work, mediainfo can help).
  • Use a wired network connection (if possible, even if just for testing to rule out wireless network issues).
  • Configure Audio Output in Kodi -> Settings -> System -> Audio output -> Select "Optical/Coax", even if you are using HDMI (it will still work).
  • Set to 16-bit audio, Apple TV > Settings > Audio & Video > Audio Output and set it to "16 bit".
  • Try using an ATV iOS version before 4.4.4 to minimize system resource consumption.
  • Reboot to clear out the ATV2's RAM. Sometimes other "apps" like Netflix don't always release RAM when they are done.

4.13 Other crash reasons/fixes

  • Check your logs for clues.
  • Have you tried to repair permissions on Kodi's settings?
  • Are you using a feature rich skin? Check to see if you're running out of memory.
  • Does your kodi.log have any SQL errors ("database disk image is malformed")? Remove your databases and reboot: (via SSH) rm -f /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/userdata/Database/*db . Warning: This will reset your video and music libraries.
  • Try turning off thumbnail generation (does not affect thumbnails from a library scan), Kodi > Settings > Video > File and deselect 'generate thumbnails'.
  • Are you using AFP file sharing? If you're seeing LIBAFPCLIENT errors in your logs you may want to switch to a different protocol. AFP is generally stable but development is orphaned at the moment.
  • If your Windows 7 SMB share stops streaming, try this fix
  • Do you have Firecore Media Player installed? Try removing it and testing again.
  • Recent versions of Plex on ATV2 can cause Kodi to crash. [1]
  • Is an Apple software update crashing Kodi? Try blocking them.
  • Be sure to disable the native ATV2 AirPlay server in the ATV2's settings. Using the native AirPlay server will crash Kodi, so use Kodi's built in AirPlay server instead. See here.
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