Basic controls

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ First time user ▶ Basic controls

This page describes the basic controls that are used in most areas of Kodi, as well as the Kodi home screen. This page assumes you are using the default skin for Kodi, Confluence.


1 Home screen

XBMC home.jpg

The home screen in the default skin, as well as most other skins, show the user the major areas of Kodi, such as videos, music, pictures, etc. Menus can be laid out in various different ways, but in Confluence most options are in a horizontal menu.

Pressing left or right on the main menu "ribbon" will highlight different main options, which then have additional more specific options that can be selected when the user presses down . The main options are:

  • Videos - Shows the top level of all video areas, including file views, movie library, TV show library, music video library, playlists, and video related add-ons. Users can also use this to navigate to more nodes in the library, showing movies or TV shows by year, genre, actor, or even custom created nodes for specific people, moods, etc.
  • Movies - This is a short cut to the "All movies, by title" node in the video library.
  • TV shows - This is a short cut to the "All TV shows, by title" node in the video library.
  • Music - This is the main music view, which can be toggled between a basic file mode or a meta-data rich "library mode" via the sidebar menu. Users can also find playlists and music/audio-related add-ons in this section. Like with videos, the library mode has nodes that show different listings and can be customized.
  • Pictures - Shows a basic file-based image viewer, as well as picture-related add-ons.
  • Programs - "Programs" is normally just a selection of "program"-type add-ons, such as add-ons that control lights or show sports scores. However, some platforms such as Android will also list other installed programs, which can be launched from within Kodi.
  • System - All the system settings, system info, profile controls, and file manager.
Note: Certain options, such as "Movies" and "TV shows" will only show up once files have been scanned into the library (see adding videos to the library). Even without a scanned in library, users can still use the "Videos" button to select and play videos using file-based navigation.

In the Confluence settings different main menu options can also show add-on shortcuts. For example, video related buttons/tabs can be set up to show shortcuts to your most used video add-ons. Video, music, pictures, and "programs" can all have add-on shortcuts.

Above the main menu ribbon is a search button, which searches for videos and music that have been added to their respective libraries. It does not currently search for add-on content.

Below the man menu ribbon are two additional buttons and an RSS ticker:

The home screen also displays the current date and time, and can optionally show weather information, if set up.

1.1 RSS ticker

Kodi can display an RSS feed on the home screen of the default skin/interface (Confluence), as well as any other skin that supports RSS feeds. By default, the RSS news feed is taken from, but the feed can be changed to almost any RSS feed.

2 Contextual menu

The context menu gives you quick access to some functions that also can be accessed by the keyboard directly (e.g. Queue item), while other functions (e.g. Change content) are only accessible from the context menu.

You can bring up the context menu either by:

  • right-clicking with the mouse.
  • pressing the C key .
  • pressing the guide button on a MCE remote.

Examples of the context menu:

See below for specific explanations of the contextual menu on different menus and areas of Kodi

3 Sidebar menu

Mini player sidebar-video.png
Many options, mostly related to view control, can be accessed with the left hand sidebar menu.

You can bring up the sidebar menu either by:

  • bringing the mouse cursor to the left side.
  • pressing the key, when browsing Files.
  • pressing the key, when browsing the library views List, Big List, Thumbnail, Media info, Media info 2 and Media info 3.
  • pressing the key, when browsing the library views Poster wrap and Fanart.
Change current library view.
Hide watched
Global toggle to hide watched items in Files and your Movie and TV Show libraries.
Update library
Updates all libraries.

Additional information about the sidebar menu's functions in different parts of Kodi can be seen on these pages:

4 Profiles

Profiles allow users to save all of settings as a profile and change them at the touch of a button. It also allows you to grant access to specific folders and network shares based on the profile being used. This is ideal for systems that have multiple users. It works much the same as setting up individual users on your home computer.

5 Favourites

Kodi allows you to add links to your favourite programs, pictures, videos, music, files, add-ons, and more via the favourites menu. Some video add-ons have this support also. So you can access from the home menu easily without having to navigate otherwise complex paths, making it easier for you and your family to access your most common content.

6 Shutdown menu

Pressing S on the keyboard, or by selecting the Shutdown icon in the lower left corner of the default Confluence skin the home screen brings up the shutdown menu.


The options on this menu are from top to bottom:

Exits Kodi to your operating system.
Power off system
Powers down your system
Custom Shutdown Timer
Kodi will shutdown your computer after you enter the countdown time.
Suspends your computer.
Hibernates your computer.
Restarts your computer.

7 File manager

Kodi has a built-in filemanager which lets you transfer/copy/move/delete/rename/create files or folders on your local hard drive, or any of Kodi's supported file sharing protocols as long as you have correct permission on remote shares to read/write to all files. You also would need to setup Kodi to Allow rename and file deletion see Settings/Appearance#File lists if you wish to perform rename/delete operations.

8 On screen keyboard

Future Helix feature: This section already needs to be expanded in general, but Helix will bring some very significant chances to the on screen keyboard. Probably enough to even justify making a seperate page for the OSK. This includes basic usage, the different layout options, etc. If anyone wants to help add this information, please do.

  • Kodi can use USB keyboards or you can use the remote control-friendly on-screen-keyboard.
  • Kodi for iOS will use the native iOS on-screen-keyboard. This also allows iOS to have clipboard paste support.
  • Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS have clipboard paste support for text entry.

9 System information screen

Editor note: There's really not much to say about this, as the system info screen is pretty self explanatory. This section just needs a screen shot and a basic description of what information is summarized there.

10 Profiles

Profiles allow users to save all of settings as a profile and change them at the touch of a button. It also allows you to grant access to specific folders and network shares based on the profile being used. This is ideal for systems that have multiple users. It works much the same as setting up individual users on your home computer.

11 Weather

Kodi uses add-ons to provide weather information. You can select from various global and regional weather add-ons and customize various location options. Additional weather display options are found under Settings/Appearance and sometimes under the individual skin options, depending on the skin you use.

12 See also

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