Portable mode

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Installing ▶ Portable mode


Kodi can be installed as a portable application (portable install or portable mode) on MS Windows and, with caveats, on macOS. Other platforms do not support portable installations.

MS Windows


If you have a requirement to run a different version of Kodi or multiple of the same version without removing your current installation, Kodi has the ability to run in portable mode.

Follow these steps to install additional Kodi setups on the same computer.

  1. Download required version of Kodi and run the Installation
  2. During the installation process you will be prompted to specify the install location. This must be changed from the default location offered. Install to...
    • A removable USB device, or
    • Another folder or hard drive on your computer where standard users have write permission (e.g. not under Program Files)
  3. Once the Install has finished do not run Kodi until the remainder of these steps have been completed.
  4. Navigate to where you just installed Kodi and look for the file kodi.exe
  5. Create a shortcut to kodi.exe. Usually by right clicking on the kodi.exe file and selecting Send to then desktop (create shortcut)
  6. Right click on the newly created shortcut and select Properties. In Target:, add the switch -p after kodi.exe i.e. "E:\Kodi\kodi.exe" -p and save the change (see image)
  7. Go to your start menu and locate the newly created entry for your portable install (it will be under new name you gave the install). Right click on the Kodi shortcut there (do not run it!), select properties and make the same -p change as above. Note: In some cases an entry may not be created here. If you intend to only use the shortcut created in the previous step, this step can be skipped.[1]
  8. Start Kodi (via either the shortcut or the newly modified start menu entry). This will create a portable_data folder within the portable installation folder. This folder is the equivelant of the Kodi data folder created in standard installations.

Note: It is this shortcut that enables Portable Mode. If you create another shortcut and fail to add the -p switch, or start this portable version of Kodi in another manner, then the standard userdata folder will be created which may overwrite your existing installation of Kodi.

Location of Kodi data folder
When using Portable Mode, the location of the Kodi data folder is moved into the portable installation folder and named portable_data
Using the image example, the Kodi data folder will be located in E:\Kodi v18\portable_data


Stop hand.png Portable mode is recommended for testing/development on macOS by advanced users only. During updates, app bundles will replace the entire existing bundle, and any portable data will be lost.

osX 10.6.2 introduced the ability to provide arguments using open to execute an application bundle. This feature has been added to Kodi v19- Matrix.[2]

In a terminal window execute the following command

open <location_to_app_bundle>/Kodi.app --args -p


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