Our complete guide to how to install Kodi on Fire Stick.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the most popular streaming devices on the market, and for good reason. It is affordable, lets you watch all the major streaming services in full 4K, has convenient voice command and cool smart home integrations, and is pretty much “plug and play.”
One of the reasons that the Fire Stick works so well is that it uses a locked-down operating system, so they have more control over your user experience. That means that there are things that you can’t do, though, and one of those things is installing Kodi!
You probably have friends who have told you that Kodi is an essential application if you want to stream the best online content. So what do you do if you have a Fire Stick?
You actually can install Kodi on Fire Stick, it just takes a few extra steps. In this article, we will take you through how to install Kodi on a Fire Stick starting with “jailbreaking” your device and using Downloader to install apps from sources other than the Amazon store. We’ll also take you through the basic setup of Kodi and how to find the content that you are looking for once you have it downloaded.
What Is Kodi?
While you have probably heard of Kodi, you might still be a bit confused about what exactly it is, since the story will sound different depending on who you talk to.
Kodi is open-source home theater software that you can run on a variety of devices, including your smartphone, PC, and streaming box. It was originally designed for Xbox as the Xbox Media Player but has long since evolved. Nevertheless, it is still sometimes called XMBC.
Kodi can be used as a home media center, pulling in your movies and music that are stored on a device, such as your PC or server, and playing them on any device, such as your smartphone or Android TV box. It can play any file format, and it also draws in content from online databases such as IMDB to give you information about what you are watching and help you categorize your content.
These days, though, most people don’t use Kodi to watch YouTube and stream their own home videos.
Many developers are keen on Kodi and have developed add-ons that you can install within the app. These can do a variety of things, such as give you live weather updates, listen to live radio, and create slideshows from your favorite photos.
What the most popular add-ons do is let you access premium streaming content without paying for it. How? They scour the internet for existing media streams of content and make them available to you via Kodi.
Is this legal? Currently, it technically is, at least in most places. The law is a little bit unclear and behind the technical times. We all know that downloading copyrighted content without permission is illegal; however, with Kodi instead of downloading you are streaming the content, so may not technically have broken the law. It is legally dubious, though.
Thus, while the Kodi application itself is completely legal, some of the things that you can do with it aren’t. Whether you are operating in a legal gray area or not, when you are using Kodi, we recommend that you always protect your anonymity with a VPN. Find our recommendations for the best VPNs to use with Fire Stick here.
How To Install Kodi On Fire Stick
So, now that you know what Kodi is and what you can do with it, how do you install it on Fire Stick? Follow the steps below.
Jailbreak Your Fire Stick
The Kodi app is not one of the many apps available for download in the Amazon App Store, so you will need to download and install it from elsewhere. To be able to do this you need to enable Developer Options on your device. This is sometimes called “jailbreaking” your device.
Jailbreaking your Fire Stick is simple and safe, as long as you are careful about what you download and install afterward. While the Amazon App Store checks apps for safety before making them available in their store, when you are downloading third-party apps from unknown sources, you need to do that due diligence yourself.
Generally, a quick Google and a look at a few of the many online forums frequented by streamers will give you a heads up if there is anything to be worried about.
To complete the jailbreak, head to Settings and choose My Fire TV. Here you should find Developer Options and within this menu the option to switch on ADB Debugging. This will then reveal the option to let you Install Unknown Apps, which you will need to enable.
Now that you have given yourself permission to install apps from unknown sources, you need a source from which to do so. The easiest way to do this is using the Downloader app, which is available in the Amazon App Store, so just download it from there.
The Downloader app was made by Elias Saba of AFTVnews to solve the problem of not being able to download third-party apps onto Fire TV devices. Before this, there were other, more complicated workarounds, but Downloader has changed everything.
The app is simple since all it does is download files and install them on your device, but unlike many copies that came before, Downloader also includes a full-featured web browser so you can search for and navigate to what you want.
When you download the app you will be asked to give Downloader permissions to access your storage. It will need this to download and install the apps you choose, so hit Allow.
Sideload Kodi Using Downloader
Once you have installed Downloader, you can use it to download and install Kodi. Use the Downloader app to navigate to Kodi and choose the version you would like to download. We always recommend downloading the latest version, which is currently Kodi 19.4 “Matrix.”
Once you have downloaded the APK for Kodi, you will see a permission screen to verify the permissions that you would like to give the app. Kodi should be asking permission to modify or delete content on your internal memory, which it needs to do as a media center.
Once you have agreed to the permission, you can go ahead and hit install. Downloader will let you know when Kodi is finished installing and you will be given the option to delete the installation file. This is always a good idea since it takes up unnecessary space on your device, and Fire Stick doesn’t have a ton of space in the first place.
Once you have done this, the Kodi app will be available in the Your Apps and Games section of your Home tab. It should now act just like any other app on your Fire Stick.
How To Setup Kodi On Your Fire Stick
Once you have installed Kodi on Fire Stick, you might be a bit disappointed with what you find. The application itself is more or less an empty shell, waiting for you to populate it with content. How exactly do you do that?
Add Your Own Media
If you have your own media content that you would like to watch through Kodi, these files are easy to add. You will see a range of content categories on the Kodi main menu including Movies, TV Shows, Music, and Pictures.
You can add files to these menu items. If you already have the content, just choose the category, select the add button, and then navigate to a folder on your device or on stored on a remote device such as a server.
Once you have added the file source, Kodi will index everything and populate these menu items with your content.
Install Repository Add-Ons
You probably also want to install add-ons for Kodi, which are pretty much just like apps for your smartphone and can do a wide variety of things. To decide which add-ons you want to use, you should probably spend some time browsing the catalog.
Select the add-ons section from your main content menu and enable the add-on browser extension. This will let you look through categories of add-ons under headings such as Look and Feel, Weather, Context Menus, and so on. The other thing to do is to go to Kodi forums and see what is popular.
If you find the add-on you want in the catalog, there is an install button for easy installation. Be sure to choose carefully, as these add-ons also take up space on your Fire Stick.
Install Third-Party Add-Ons
Many of the add-ons you want probably aren’t available in the repository, and you will need to “sideload” them, just like you sideloaded Kodi onto your Fire Stick.
To do this, you will need to enable this option within Kodi by going to the System Settings menu, selecting Add-Ons, and enabling Unknown Sources.
After doing this you can install Kodi add-ons that you find elsewhere, but first, you need to identify this “elsewhere” as a file source. To do this, go to File Manager and choose to Add Source. Click on None, and a wizard will open up that lets you add your own file source. Add the URL for the source media that you want to use and hit OK. At this point, you will also be asked to give the media source a name, so give it something meaningful that you will remember later.
Head back to the Kodi homepage and go to the Add-Ons menu. Hit the package icon in the top left and choose to install from a zip file. Navigate to the source file you just connected and select it. Choose to Install From Repository.
No, you still aren’t done. Head to the menu for the type of add-on that you are trying to install, such as Video Add-Ons, and hit the install button again. Finally, your add-on will be installed and you can start using it within Kodi.
Install A Kodi Build
Some people really enjoy searching the web for the best add-ons and tailoring Kodi to give them exactly the content that they are looking for. Some people will find this frustrating and may give up, but you don’t have to do it this way. Instead, you can install a Kodi build.
A Kodi build is basically a copy of someone else’s Kodi setup that you can replicate on your own device. They have already chosen the apps to give them the best media and installed lots of front-end add-ons to customize the user interface.
These are just as easy to download as other third-party add-ons; you just install them as Program Add-Ons. One benefit of this is that you only have to install it once, but you get anywhere from 30-50 add-ons to optimize your Kodi experience.
You can read our complete guide to installing Kodi builds and get our recommendations for the best Kodi builds to use on Fire Stick here.
How does Kodi deliver its content?
Kodi add-ons essentially work by scouring the internet for streaming links to content that already exists. This means that Kodi can create a library of content much larger than premium streaming services.
Why is Kodi saying “no stream available?”
Kodi uses database websites, such as IMDB, to help identify the content you are looking for. This means that no matter what you search for, some information will be found, but that does not mean that Kodi will find a corresponding stream. You will see this most often with new episodes of TV shows that haven’t aired yet or with older content that just isn’t that popular, and therefore isn’t streaming anywhere.
The Fire Stick is a great streaming device and it is always among our top recommendations, but it is not designed to work with Kodi. If you want the best of both worlds and want to use Kodi on your Fire Stick, it can be done. It is a relatively simple matter of enabling your device to install apps from unknown sources, and then sideloading Kodi.
Follow our step-by-step guide to get Kodi running and delivering content on your Fire Stick in no time.
Do you have recommendations for the best Kodi add-ons? Share them with the community in the comments section below.