Like all technology, disaster can strike at any time, either due to a hardware failure, operating system crash which has corrupted Kodi data, or unexpected results from the use of a nightly or development build of Kodi. For these reasons, backups of Kodi are essential to enable you to quickly rebuild your setup.
There are many methods available to protect your data. The more common methods include manual copying of folders and files, Kodi backup add-on or popular 3rd party backup programs (not covered here).
This wiki page is not a step by step guide and requires that you have a general knowledge of computers and file systems. It will provide you information that will allow you to decide what to backup and which method to use.
2 Where Is Kodi Installed
Kodi installs itself in two locations.
2.1 Installation Folder
This location holds the core program files for Kodi and the location varies depending on which operating system in use.
The files in this location should not be touched as they are purely the program files. After the initial install, no add-ons, databases, caches or skins are installed here. There is no need to backup this section as you can simply download the latest version of Kodi and reinstall it.
2.2 Kodi Data Folder
Once Kodi is installed, all subsequent changes and usage data are saved in the Kodi Data folder which is the parent folder of the Userdata folder. When you install a new skin or an add-on it is installed in this folder. Playlists and edits to Nodes are stored here, and the library databases are created here along with the artwork cache and any other changes you make during your travels with Kodi
Basically anything you add or modify, after installation, occurs in this folder and sub-folders.
The location of this folder varies between operating systems and the table below lists their locations.
|Operating system||Kodi Data folder path|
|Windows Portable||<Install location chosen by you>\portable_data|
- Note: In some Android setups the path may be slightly different to the one stated above.
3 What do I Backup
The following sub-sections cover the most common backup scenarios, but if you are unsure we recommend the full Kodi Data folder backup.
The simplest method is the full Kodi Data backup which will backup everything except the original installation folder. It will preserve all add-ons, skins, library databases, playlists, cache along with all their respective settings and any other modifications you have made.
Once this backup is restored and Kodi is restarted, you should have a setup that is identical to the setup you had at the time the backup was created.
Note that once this backup is installed Kodi will perform the usual Repository Update check and if there are updates available for any skins or add-ons, these will be downloaded and installed unless you have previously disabled auto-update.
If your only concern is your artwork and library metadata, then using the Export function of Kodi will create backup files of the Music and/or Video libraries that can be quickly scanned back into Kodi.
For the Music Library we recommend using the Single File setting
For the Video Library we recommend using the Separate Files setting. Be aware of the required settings to import Play Counts, Watched Status and Last Played data.
You could also be more selective and backup certain components, but this will require advanced knowledge as cherry picking items may not always work as you may find that you have ommitted a critical file or add-on located in another folder. This is particularly true for skins that use multiple discrete skin helper add-ons which save data in their own location within the Kodi Data folder.
4 Backup Methods
Various methods that are available to backup your data.
This is a simple task if Kodi is installed on hardware that uses a full operating system such as Windows. Simply navigate to the Kodi Data folder and copy it to your backup location.
On other systems, you may need to connect via a network or install a 3rd party file manager downloded from the appropriate Store.
If you prefer an automated method, then the following backup add-on is available from the Official Kodi repsitory under Programs
These add-ons have been created by the community and can be used to backup or sync your video watched status with online sites:
- Add-on:MyEpisodes - online backup of watched items
- Add-on:MyEpisodeCalendar - online backup of watched items
- Add-on:Trakt - online backup of watched items
- Add-on:TVShow Time - online backup of watched items
- Add-on:WatchedList - local backup of watched items
4.3 Backup Software
If you are using a general 3rd party backup program for your computer, ensure you add the Kodi Data folder as a location for back up.
5 OS Specific
Information specific to operating systems.
If using LibreELEC, use the Backup and Restore options in the Settings page.
- See: LibreELEC Backup
Multiple Kodi Data folders can be saved in the Windows \Roaming\ folder. Kodi will always use the folder named Kodi. See image.
To safeguard against hard drive failures, you should also keep a backup in a secondary location.
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