Archive:Kodi v14 (Helix) FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions for upgrading to Kodi v14 (codename Helix) from a previous version. Includes how to enable some of the new features, where some controls got moved to, etc.

1 General FAQ

See also: All platforms FAQ for an FAQ that applies to all versions of Kodi.

1.1 What is Kodi? What is Helix?

Kodi is the new name for XBMC media center. "Helix" is the codename for version 14, just as "Gotham" was the codename for XBMC v13. You will often see "v14" and "Helix" used interchangeably in the community. It might be a little confusing with so many new names being used, but this is simply the new version of XBMC. As long as you call it version 14/v14/Helix, then everyone will know what you are talking about.

You can download Kodi v14 "Helix" by going to

1.2 Changelog

See: Kodi v14 (Helix) changelog (and add-on developers should also see Helix API changes)

1.3 What are some of the major new features?

Examples include:
  • Different selectable keyboard layouts for the on screen keyboard.
  • faster library scraping
  • updated ffmpeg including things like h.265 support
  • software decoding defaults to multithread decoding
  • more control over add-ons and their updates in the add-on manager
  • "big font" size in Confluence
  • Freescale i.MX6 support
  • ATSC sub channels for PVR in the US
  • PVR window changes for easier navigation and new EPG views (now/next/channel)
  • Archives (zip, bin, etc) files can be directly browsed

2 Upgrading

2.1 How do I upgrade to v14?

Note: Always backup your settings before upgrading, just incase!

  • In most cases you can just install Kodi v14 over XBMC v13. All your settings and library are saved and will continue to work in the new version.
  • WARNING: Android users: Do not uninstall XBMC v13 before installing Kodi v14. Doing so will erase your settings before the upgrade takes place.
  • After you install Kodi v14, you can then uninstall your old XBMC v13 install. XBMC v13 must be manually uninstalled in most cases since the upgrade has a new application name, depending on your OS.

See Archive:Migration from XBMC to Kodi for full details.

2.2 PVR add-ons for Ubuntu

  • PVR add-ons for Ubuntu need to be reinstalled as they will have new Kodi- names.

2.3 MySQL

  • As long as your MySQL server is set up to allow XBMC/Kodi to make new databases for the upgrade itself (see MySQL/Upgrading) then you don't need to do anything for upgrading a MySQL set up for Kodi. Even if you use "XBMC" in your advancedsettings.xml file, you can leave this the same and everything will still work.

3 Where did it this or that go?

3.1 Play button on remote no longer pauses

  • Custom keymaps might need to be adjusted to use the action ID playpause instead of play. "Play" alone has new behavior to only play and not pause. This can be done with a basic text editor and going into your userdata folder and into the keymaps folder.

3.2 Live TV

  • The Live TV home menu option has been renamed to just TV.
  • Some Keymap window IDs for PVR have changed and will need to be adjusted accordingly.

3.3 Audio encoder options

For Ubuntu users (and possibly other linux-based OSes), audio encoders are now binary add-ons and must be installed through apt-get.

3.4 Setting: "Remote control sends keyboard presses"

  • The setting "Remote control sends keyboard presses" from Settings → System → Input devices has been removed. This setting allowed remotes that emulated keyboards to be able to select letters on the on-screen-keyboard. This is now automatically enabled, and the setting is no longer needed.

3.5 Userdata folder

  • The userdata folder's parent settings folder has been renamed from "xbmc" to "kodi" (or .kodi for some OSes).
  • If you are upgrading from an older XBMC install, then Kodi will move/rename your "xbmc" folder to "kodi".

3.6 What might break when upgrading to v14? (add-ons, skins, remotes, etc)

Most things from v13 will work in v14. However:
  • Some add-ons may not work, prompting Kodi to ask you to disable them. You can keep using them if you wish (by choosing not to disable them), but doing so is unsupported.
  • Some skins might not be updated for v14 Helix when you update. Be sure to check the relevant section of for your skin to see if an update is planned.
    • Skins that have not been updated might not show the on screen keyboard.
  • Should your repo appear empty, or you are missing the new subtitles services, you may need to trigger a Force refresh on the Kodi add-on repository.
  • The default username for remote smartphone apps is now kodi and might need to be changed in the settings of those remote apps. You can also change the username back to "xbmc" or use a custom username (and optionally, a password) in Service settings.

3.7 No menus on screen when starting up

  • When using the default skin, Confluence, if you only see the blue bubble background and no menus or buttons, this might be due to the start up window option. If the start up window option was set to open up PVR/Live TV in v13, then Kodi gets "confused" in v14 and doesn't show anything. To fix this, press escape until you see the home screen and then go into Settings → Appearance → Skin → Startup window and re-set this to either "home screen" or "TV" if you want to keep starting up on Live TV.

3.8 Add-ons don't show Kodi updates

  • Sometimes add-ons and/or add-on updates might not work until you do a force refresh on the add-on repositories.

3.9 No letters on the on-screen-keyboard

  • If you cannot see any letters on the on-screen-keyboard then you need to switch to a v14-compatible skin or wait for an update for your existing skin.

3.10 No Live TV button on home screen

  • If you use IPTV Simple and your "Live TV" option disappeared, this is not because of the v14 upgrade. The Live TV option for IPTV Simple will disappear if it cannot access the playlist for the channels, such as a URL change or a server issue, or if someone has deleted the playlist.
  • Make sure you are using the included version of IPTV Simple and not an installed version (except for Ubuntu). If you've installed IPTV Simple from another add-on repo or zip file, uninstall that using the add-on manager and then enable the built-in version by going to System → Add-ons → Disabled add-ons → PVR.

3.11 Playing a video from home screen or smartphone remote doesn't save watched/resume status

  • This has since been fixed since the v14.1 bugfix update.

3.12 Empty TV shows are removed when the library is cleaned

3.13 ANDROID: No video or zoomed in video

  • Some Amlogic-based Android devices are having issues playing back video, either too zoomed in or only showing a black screen. This has since been fixed in the v14.1 bugfix update.

3.14 ANDROID: the x86 (Intel) version of Kodi doesn't work/keeps crashing

  • Some x86-based Android devices crash when using v14. This has been fixed as of the v14.1 bugfix update.

3.15 APPLE TV 2: Autobooting into XBMC/Kodi causes black screen

  • ATV2 users who previously auto-booted into XBMC might have issues upgrading to v14. This can be fixed by SSH'ing into the ATV2 (username:root , password:alpine) and running the command
    apt-get remove org.tomcool.xbmc-booter
    and then rebooting the ATV2.

3.16 APPLE TV 2: Two icons for XBMC and Kodi (may cause crashing)

  • ATV2 users need to manually uninstall the old XBMC icon in order for things to run smoothly.

3.17 LINUX: Media keys don't work (play, fast forward, volume)

  • In some Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Linux Mint), the OS might be "stealing" media keys (play, fast forward, volume, etc). A temp workaround is to "un-map" the media keys in the OS's keyboard/shortcut settings.

3.18 RASPBERRY PI: Can't playback RAR files

  • On most Raspberry Pi builds of Kodi, the ability to browse RAR files has been turned off to prevent out-of-memory crashes with some problematic RAR files. The feature can be manually turned on by going to: Settings -> Appearance -> File lists -> Support browsing into archives

3.19 WINDOWS: Crashing when using webserver or smartphone remote

  • This has since been fixed as of the v14.2 bugfix update.

3.20 Where can I get more help?

The Kodi support forums:, and/or the #kodi IRC chat channel on