Quick start guide

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ First time user ▶ Quick start guide


Hello and welcome to Kodi!

Kodi is an open source media centre software that can play a wide variety of music and video formats in addition to viewing Live TV and using add-ons (plugins) to further enhance your Kodi. The software can be installed on a variety of platforms as detailed on the First time user wiki page.

Kodi is designed with the Home Theater in mind using a 10-foot user interface rather than on a small monitor while you sit at your desk. Because everything is designed with the home theater experience in mind, the best way to interact with Kodi is with a remote control or keyboard, rather than with a mouse. If it helps, think of Kodi as the ultimate DVD-player/set-top-box. Be aware that mouse functionality is limited.

This guide is designed to point you to the correct information that will assist in correctly setting up your Kodi. We strongly recommend you follow the guides to ensure the correct setup.

We strongly urge you to not follow the numerous YouTube video guides as nearly all those guides have been written with the single minded purpose of Piracy and Copyright Infringement. THERE IS NO SUPPORT FOR THAT HERE at Kodi.

If you have not already downloaded and installed the Kodi software, return to First time user and follow the installation instructions for your chosen operating system.

Kodi does not sell hardware, nor are we affiliated or promote any of the so called "Kodi boxes" that are advertised for sale. We strongly urge you not to purchase these devices as they are normally pre-installed with add-ons used for piracy and copyright infringement, and some have been known to contain malware. The Kodi forum does not provide support for these types of devices.

Basic Controls

Read this page to familiarise yourself with the menu system and other screens in Kodi.

See: Basic controls

Library Mode

Why do I need a library?

One of the features that makes Kodi so great is the ability to display all types of artwork and metadata (plots, directors, actors etc) in a visually stunning format.

The Libraries are accessed from the Main Menu using...

  • Movies, TV Shows or Music Videos for the Video Library
  • Music for the Music Library.

To use the numerous features that are only possible with a correctly setup library, your video and/or music collections need to be added to the library to correctly function.

Kodi consists of two libraries - Music and Video. The following guides have been created to guide you through the setup process of both.

icon Guide to Create and Modify your Video Library
Kodi has the ability to create separate Movie, TV Show and Music Video libraries that can display your collections in an Artwork and information rich display. Follow these pages to step through the creation of your libraries.
icon Guide to Create and Modify your Music Library
The aim of these modules is to provide the required information to enable you to correctly set up, modify, and reinstate your Music library as required. As this guide is created for the new user, most pages have been created with minimal jargon and short explanations in an effort to reduce information overload and confusion. Where extra information is provided, note is made to what can be safely ignored.

File Mode

If you do not want to create the libraries and take advantage of these features, then you can hide Menu items and access your media through the inbuilt file browser accessed from the main menu by selecting Videos then Files.

Be aware that using this mode, Kodi becomes a simple media player with limited functionality. There will be no extended artwork and no movie information amongst many other missing features which all require a library to function. In effect, Kodi is a simple file browser similar to Windows Explorer, and will simply allow you to browse your folders and files as set up on your hard drives.

Live TV and Radio

With a pre-installed backend PVR Tuner, Kodi can be used as the front end interface to view and record live TV and radio, similar to a TiVO setup.


Note! Games support is not available before Kodi v18 Leia! The Games option allows you to add stand-alone games and games running in emulators which can be launched from Kodi.

Games does not yet use any library functions and is simply a file browser. Kodi has support for many game controller settings for configuring gamepads, joysticks, keyboards, and mouses, for use inside those games/emulators that are running natively inside Kodi's runtime.

Kodi add-ons

An Add-on is another piece of software that can be added to a program to further expand and enhance the features of that program. Imagine a smart phone and all the additional Apps that can be installed to enhance its functionality. Kodi has the same ability and these apps are referred to as Add-ons. Kodi has a growing list of community driven add-ons which can be installed from a common official repository, while still enabling third-party developers to also host their own unofficial repositories for add-ons that any user can choose to add themselves.

Adding Pictures

The Pictures option allows you to add your home photo collection to Kodi which you can then easily display on your large, high definition TV screen.

Pictures does not yet use any library functions and is simply a file browser. If you set up either the video or music library, you will be familiar with setting up a source for pictures.

Using a remote control

Kodi is primarily designed for the home theatre using the 10-foot user interface principles controlled with a remote control. Alternatively a (wireless) keyboard can be used.

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