NFO files/Creating

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ NFO files ▶ Creating

1 Introduction

This page explains the various methods available to create NFO files.

For template and example NFO files, see... Templates and Samples

2 Kodi Created nfo

This option requires that your library has already been scraped with metadata.

Using the built in Import & Export function of Kodi will export the existing library metadata into individual nfo files which are correctly created and saved.

This is useful if you have an existing library and would like to backup the library or to import the library into another Kodi installation.

Using these exported NFO files, it is possible to edit the metadata and Refresh the changes back into the library

See: Import & Export

3 Manual Creation

See- Templates and Samples

NFO files can be created using a simple text editor such as Notepad in Windows, or the equivelant in other operating systems. There are dedicated code editors that can also be used. They will not provide the required Kodi tags, but they will avoid glitches when saving the nfo file, which is commonly experienced with text editors.

Two common code editors that can be used:

Structure of the nfo file:

1. The file is saved as Unicode Transformation Format-8 (UTF-8). The first line of the file will contain the following...

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>

2. The second line and the last line of the file contains the appropriate opening and closing tags for the class of media. Avaliable classes are...

<movie></movie>, <tvshow></tvshow>, <episodedetails></episodedetails>, <artist></artist>, <album></album> and <musicvideo></musicvideo>

3. Between the opening and closing category tags are the tags for the metadata. Each tag must have an opening tag and a closing tag. eg...

<title>Blade Runner 2049</title>
    <title> = opening tag 
    Blade Runner 2049 = metadata 

</title> = closing tag

4. Available tags are listed in the appropriate Metadata NFO page.

5. Once created, the file is named as follows:

Albums album.nfo
Artists artist.nfo
Moviesnote <VideoFileName>.nfo or movie.nfo
Music Videos <MusicVideoFilename>.nfo
TV Shows tvshow.nfo


  • NFO Files are named the same as the video file except with the .nfo extension.
  • We recommend using this filename format to name nfo files.
Kodi may also scan nfo files named movie.nfo. To use this name, the setting Movies are in separate folders that match the movie title must be Enabled in the Set Content Screen
  • If the above setting is not enabled, Kodi will ignore the movie.nfo. If the <VideoFileName>.nfo file is available, Kodi will scan this one instead, otherwise an online scrape will be performed if a valid scraper is set for the Source.
  • If you use movie.nfo and later Export your library to Separate Files, Kodi will still create the nfo file in the <VideoFileName>.nfo format and two nfo files will exist. If a Refresh or rescan is run in future, and the above setting is still enabled, the <VideoFileName>.nfo file will be ignored in favour of movie.nfo, which means any changes you may have made to the library entry (play counts, watched status etc) will not be re-scanned back into the library.
  • We recommend using the <VideoFileName>.nfo format for nfo files to avoid the above traps.

4 Media Managers

Media Managers can create nfo files in one of three ways:

  1. Scraping- This is the same process as performed by the Kodi scraper. The Media Manager will fetch metadata from the online scraper site and will create the nfo file which then needs to be scanned into the library, unlike Kodi that imports the metadata directly into the library.
  2. Manual- The Media Manager offers an interface that allows you to manually type in the data.
  3. Combination- A combination of both methods can be used. If you are not satisfied with the scraped metadata, then you are able to modify it.

The following is a list of Media Managers on the forum. Questions regarding their use should be directed to the media manager developers.

Be aware there are many other media managers available that claim to be Kodi compatible but have not been updated in many years. Use of these incompatible media managers have been known to corrupt the library database which requires rebuilding using the Kodi scrapers.

5 Scanning nfo files

To add a new title to the library using nfo files:

  • The normal Library Update function, or
  • Locating the new title in Videos>Files then pressing i on a keyboard or
  • Selecting Scan to library from the context menu

To load changes to an existing title in the library:

After the NFO files are scanned into the library, they are no longer used and only serves as a backup.

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