Updated For Kodi 18!
Need help setting up Kodi on your TV Box, PC, or another device? Then this is the ultimate guide for you.
The original Kodi Setup Guide for Kodi 16 Jarvis was one of the most popular posts on this site. Now, I’ve updated it for all you Kodi 18 users. But don’t worry if you are using an older version of Kodi; this guide will still help you. The software under the hood is mostly the same.
I get a lot of questions about how to best set up Kodi on streaming devices, such as TV boxes. This guide will also help you with that.
The best thing about Kodi is that there are so many different options and tweaks you can do to really make it your own – from different skins, different backgrounds, and of course, third-party add-ons.
But, that also means Kodi can be pretty complicated – especially if you’re just getting started.
But, for newcomers, finding your way around the forums can be challenging, and the Kodi community seems to assume quite a bit of existing knowledge.
This article should give you the basic information you need about Kodi to get set up and watching, and then you can take on the Kodi Wiki and Forums to maximize your Kodi experience.
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How This Kodi Setup Guide Is Organized
If you’re starting from scratch, you can read this guide from start to finish and end up with a complete installation. Or, you can use the hyperlinks below to jump to the sections you want, and ignore the rest. It’s OK. My feelings won’t be hurt.
Keep in mind, though, that no matter what Kodi setup guide you read, you’re always going to have to tweak it a bit to suit your own needs.
Kodi works on lots of different hardware, and thus, there are many options and settings to change; there’s just no way to account for all of them. But, if you follow this guide along with me, you’ll be well on your way.
Oh…and don’t worry about making any mistakes along the way. You can always reset Kodi and start with a clean slate if you mess up.
Jump To A Section
- What Is Kodi?
- What’s Changed In Kodi 18?
- Installing Kodi
- How To Use Kodi/XBMC
- Adding Videos To The Library
- Adding Music To The Library
- Adding Pictures To The Library
- What About A VPN?
- More Resources
- FAQs About Kodi
Information You (May) Want To Know
I mentioned earlier that Kodi works on many different systems: Android, Linux, Windows, and Mac to name a few.
To make writing this Kodi setup guide easier, it was written using screenshots from my Windows 10 PC. SnagIt and Photoshop are much easier to use on a PC, sorry.
But don’t worry, the interface is almost identical from system to system, so if you’re familiar with Kodi on Windows, you’ll be able to use the Android or Linux versions just fine.
I’ve only covered (for now) information that is available in the stock version of Kodi. I don’t cover any tweaks that individual manufacturers have done to their Kodi/XBMC versions, nor do I look at installing add-ons from third-party developers that aren’t in the Official Kodi Repository.
Articles about third-party add-ons could fill an entire library and I have to draw the line somewhere.
Finally, if you’re using XBMC, then you can still use much of this guide. Kodi is the new name for XBMC (see What Is Kodi below). So, if you’re looking for something to teach you how to use XBMC, you’re still in the right place.
The best thing about Kodi is that there are so many different options and tweaks that you can do to really make it your own. Click to tweet
What Is Kodi?
Kodi, which used to be called XBMC, is an open source media center that grew from an amateur project to play content on the original Xbox. If you’re good with acronyms, you’ve probably already figured out that XBMC originally stood for XBox Media Center.
It is designed to be used from your living room couch, so you’ll often hear that Kodi has a “10 foot user interface.” It allows users to play almost any file format for video, music, podcasts, and pictures on your TV, no matter where you store them.
If you’re wondering what’s in a name, Kodi versions have usually been named after popular sci-fi, comic book, or generally geeky references:
- XBMC v8.10 Atlantis (2008) – (Stargate)
- XBMC v9.04 Babylon (2009) – (Babylon 5)
- XBMC v9.11 Camelot (2009) – (King Arthur mythos)
- XBMC v10.0 Dharma (2010) – (Lost)
- XBMC v11.0 Eden (2012) – (Garden of…)
- XBMC v12.0 Frodo (2013) – (Lord of the Rings)
- XBMC v13.0 Gotham (2014) – (Batman – and my personal favourite)
- Kodi v14.0 Helix (2014) – (Helix TV show)
- Kodi v15.0 Isengard (2015) – (Tolkien)
- Kodi v16.0 Jarvis (2016) – (Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence)
- Kodi v17.0 Krypton (2017) – (Superman’s home world)
- Kodi v18.0 Leia (2018) – (Star Wars)
What’s Changed In Kodi 18?
While Kodi 18 Leia uses the same great software under the hood, there are a few changes you will notice.
First and foremost, the user interface is quite different when it comes to installing add-ons. Now you can both manage files and add-ons on a single screen, without needing to toggle between the two to complete an install. Kodi 18 also has a section dedicated to the dependencies of each add-on, so if an install fails, you can see exactly what’s not working.
Kodi 18 has also been optimized for gaming. There is now access to a significant library of emulators with associated control support, so there is no longer a need to set these up manually.
You can now also install Netflix and watch it directly on Kodi in full HD, which is what we were all waiting for really.
You will probably also find Kodi 18 Leia’s interface noticeably that little bit faster, and the interface just a little more user friendly.
Are you ready to set up Kodi?
Download & Setup Kodi
Depending on what device you’re using, you’ve got several different options on how to install Kodi. No matter what, you can always find all of the latest versions on the official Kodi download page at: https://kodi.tv/download/ (shown below).
Android users can install Kodi directly from the Google Play Store if it’s available on your device or sideload the Android app using the latest APK.
For those of you who may not know what that is, sideloading an app is when the app is not available on an app store like Google Play Store or the Amazon App Store. When that happens, you download the APK (Android Application Package), which will help you set up Kodi manually. Update: Check my tutorial on How to Sideload Android Apps for step-by-step instructions.
If you choose to go the manual route and sideload it, be sure you’re using the correct version. Since Android can run on both ARM and Intel processors, there is a different version of Kodi for each CPU architecture.
Since Kodi is available in the Google Play Store now, you probably won’t have to sideload it on any Android device you have.
If you find that extremely rare TV box that can’t get to the Google Play Store, I have an older video showing how to sideload XBMC 13 Gotham on an Android stick PC. Even though it’s an older video, the steps will still work to download newer versions of Kodi.
Once you’ve installed Kodi, it’s time to learn how to navigate the interface.
How To Use Kodi/XBMC
Remember when I said earlier you’ll hear the words “10 foot user interface” quite a lot? Here’s what that means:
The older versions of Kodi had their main controls laid out in a ‘ribbon’ along the center of the screen and were configurable to a certain extent. Kodi 17 introduced a new skin (or theme) that aligned everything along the left hand side of the screen to match Netflix and Plex, and this continues in Kodi 18.
The main menu includes these categories by default: Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Music, Music Videos, TV, Radio, Pictures, Add-ons, and Weather. (Whew. Try saying that in one breath.)
Depending on the skin, you can sometimes add extra categories or hide unused ones.
The Context menu will provide extra functionality depending on what screen you’re on when you click it. For example, in the image on the left, I brought up the contextual menu for a movie – Wonder Woman. Here, the context menu gives us the option to play the video, mark it as watched, or pull up additional information on the movie.
On other screens, the options you see may be different, depending on what makes sense for that media type.
To pull up the Context menu, it depends on what type of device you’re using Kodi on:
- Android: Long Press
- Mouse: Right click
- Keyboard: ‘C’
- Amazon Fire TV: Menu button
- NVIDIA Shield controller: ‘X’ button
Kodi Setup Guide: Video Library
One of the most important steps in setting up Kodi is creating your media library. Let’s start by adding videos to your library. If you haven’t ripped your movie collection to your hard drive, you’ll need to do that first. Check out my tutorial on DVD and Blu-ray ripping with MakeMKV.
Before you start just adding every file on your hard drive, there’s some work you need to do first.
Kodi expects the media files to follow a certain format, and that format is different if the file is a movie or a TV show. If the filename isn’t listed correctly, then Kodi may not be able to tell what it is.
Why does that matter? Well, Kodi uses a process called scraping to pull data from the file. If Kodi isn’t able to scrape correctly, then it may do one of two things: It may ignore the file and skip over it when creating your library; or worse, it could mistake the file for a completely different movie.
You should probably put some thought into how your library is organized, but that is a longer topic than I have room for here. But if you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll make it easier for Kodi to figure out what’s in your library.
How To Organize Your Media Library
There are two common ways to organize your media folder:
- One folder containing all of your media files
- Each movie or TV series in it’s own folder
It’s your choice how you want to organize your media library. There are pros and cons to each method, and that’s a topic for another article. But I will offer this piece of advice. If you have a larger library, it will be easier to manage if each movie is in it’s own separate directory.
How To Name Movies
If you choose to use subfolders, movie folder names should include only the title and/or the year.
Tip: To improve the scraper’s performance, add the year within parenthesis to the end of the folder name, or filename.
\Movies\The Usual Suspects(1995)\somefilename.avi
How To Name TV Shows
If you’d prefer to have one folder for all of your media files, you would include the same information in the same order, but you would change the filename, rather than the folder name.
\TV Shows\House (2004)\Season 1\House.S01E01–Everybody Lies.mkv
\TV Shows\12 Monkeys\Season 1\S01E01 Splinter.avi
How To Add Movies To Your Library
Kodi uses the same general process to add Movies, Music, or Pictures to your media library. There are differences, of course, but the three processes will all start out the same.
Just in case you’ve skipped to this section and plan on ignoring the Adding Music or Adding Pictures sections, you’ll see much of the same information repeated. It’s worth reading each topic, though, because there will be some specific information for each section that won’t be included in the other two.
Start by scrolling down to Movies on the menu. Once you’re there, click the button that says Enter Files Section. If you don’t have anything in your library, it will take you directly to the screen below.
If you know the path of your media server, you can take a shortcut and enter it directly in the box here. I’m going to assume you don’t have that memorized or even written down someplace safe. In that case, you’ll need to Browse for it.
Depending on how your media server is set up, you’ll have a couple of different options here.
Kodi doesn’t care if you’ve got your media files on your Windows PC that you’re networking to, a dedicated Network Accessible Storage (NAS) device, or simply an external hard drive that has one folder with hundreds of movies on it. Kodi will figure it out.
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume you’ve already set up your server how you like it. The most popular option for home servers is some sort of Windows Network (SMB), so that will be the one we discuss here.
You’ll also have the option to add files from an external storage device, usually a flash drive or external hard drive. Another popular option is via UPnP (Universal Plug and Play). There are some inherent security risks with UPnP, so I don’t recommend it if at all possible.
My network devices are named after characters, places, or things in movies. In this case, they’re characters from Big Hero 6. No judging, please.
Since I’ve already added some shares, you’ll see my external NAS listed here, along with some subfolders. If your storage device doesn’t populate, you can click “Add Network Location” at the bottom of the list.
In this case, I’m adding the “Video Samples” folder, which is inside the “Videos” shared folder.
The way my files are set up, this is as far down into the file structure as I want to go. In each sub-folder underneath, there is a different video title. As you’ll see later, there are multiple versions of the videos in each folder, so there will be some duplication.
A good rule of thumb is to go as deep into your folder structure as you can, but not too far that you lose videos. Remember, Kodi can see in the current folder and any sub-folders below. It won’t look in the folders higher than whatever folder you’re in.
Once you’ve decided on your folder, click OK.
That will take you back to the Add Video Source window and add the file path to your media server in the box.
By default, Kodi will choose the folder name as the name for the share, but you can change the name of the share in the Enter a Name for the Media Source box.
Once you’ve chosen the folder, the next step is to tell Kodi what type of files are in the folder and to set some options for the Scraper.
This window is split into three parts. In the upper-left section, there’s a dropdown box titled This directory contains. The options here are:
- Music Videos
- TV Shows
Once you make a selection, you’ll have one or more options in the Choose a scraper section in the upper-right.
In this example, I’m adding a folder of movies, so I’ve selected that from the drop-down box. Because of that choice, there are some Content Scanning Options in the bottom half of the window.
Remember when you set up your media library in the How to Name Movies section? Here’s where that choice is going to come into play.
Under the Content Scanning Options header, the first option is whether or not Movies are in a separate folder that match the movie title. If your files are all in the same folder, leave this unchecked. If instead you have your movies in separate folders, make sure this option is checked.
The second option to Scan recursively is one I always check. This will force Kodi to look in any sub-folders for new files.
Depending on what scraper you use, there may be additional options listed under the Settings button at the bottom. These options determine whether or not Kodi will keep the original title, enable fanart, trailers, or where to get ratings from. Click OK when you’ve made any changes.
The final step is for Kodi to start scanning your new folder share and adding the videos to the library.
Thankfully, Kodi will let you move on to do other things while the scanning process does it’s thing. The only status bar you’ll see is in the very upper right hand portion of the screen. Be warned: If you’ve got a rather large library, this process could take a long time. But, once it’s done….
Your individual titles will have a full-color background image, a poster-art, and some basic information such as resolution for each video, depending on what options you’ve chosen and what skin you’re using.
And back on the main Kodi home window, you’ll see thumbnail views of the last five movies you’ve added to your library above the center menu ribbon. In theory, if you’re consistently adding videos to your library, these will be the files you’ll want to watch first.
There are a lot more tweaks and settings to help you get the most out of your videos, but let’s look at adding some music to Kodi next.
How To Setup Kodi: Music Library
Adding music to your library is the second biggest part of your Kodi setup. As of Kodi 16 Jarvis, it now follows a similar process as adding videos above, but that wasn’t always the case.
New Music Library
Prior to Kodi 16, there was a definite difference between how you used the Music Library and the Video Library. For some odd reason, scanning files into your Music Library was a two-step process, unlike the automatic scanning available in the Video Library. You actually had to manually pull up the context menu and select Scan to Library.
Now the system will ask you if you want to scan all the files in the folder immediately after you add a new source – just like it does for the Video Library.
Advantages To The Music Library
Kodi first announced the new Music Library in December 2015 on a blog post on Kodi.tv. They listed quite a few enhancements, which I’ve highlighted below:
- A consistent-looking library view just like for Movies and TV Shows
- Searching your music files is now enabled
- Library splits up the music in sections: Genres, Artists, Albums, Singles, All songs, Years, Top 100 (based on your playback), Recently Added/Played Albums, and Compilations
- Ability to use Smart Playlists to further filter
- Rate your music and filter based on that rating
- Share music over you home-network provided that the clients support UPnP
- Scan for additional information like artist biography or album review/synopsis using the Context menu in album or artist library
This can be enabled by default in Settings -> Music -> Library -> Fetch additional information during updates
Tagging Music In Kodi
In the Video section, I mentioned that Kodi needed files to be in a very specific format in order for the scrapers to figure out what the files were. The same holds true for your Music Library.
Unlike Videos and TV shows, Kodi doesn’t look at the file names themselves; it looks at the ID tags embedded in the file.
What this means is that each file (song) must have ID3v1, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, Vorbis Comments or APE tagging. If the files aren’t tagged, Kodi won’t be able to figure out what the song really is.
If you think about it, this makes sense. When you look at a movie, you only need a combination of the movie title and the year in order to figure out what the movie is. For example, Transformers (1986) is very different from Transformers (2007), but with those two pieces of information, you can easily determine which is which.
With music, it’s much harder. If an album is released, a song can have live and studio versions of the same song, acoustic or full band versions, even karaoke versions – all on the same album. Or worse, different artists can release different songs with the same title in the same year.
How can Kodi figure it all out without making the file names incredibly huge?
That’s where tagging comes in. Tagging embeds information in the file itself including Artist, Album, Year, Track Number, Genre, Length, and Bit Rate. Tagging can even hold information on the beats per minute or rating of the song.
What if your music files aren’t tagged?
How To Add Music To Your Library
Because the new Music Library is modeled after the Video library, this will hopefully look very familiar if you’ve been following along. If you haven’t been following along….why not? 😉
Start by scrolling down to Music on the side menu. The submenus underneath Music may look different than the screen on the left. This image is from a fresh installation with no music files whatsoever.
If that’s the case, Kodi is smart enough to realize you’re either going to want to install a music add-on or set up your library. There’s no need for it to show any additional information such as Artists, Albums, Songs, or Library since they don’t exist yet.
Whether you have nothing in your library yet or you want to add files to an existing library, click Enter Files Section to continue. If you already have done this and you don’t have anything in your library, it will take you directly to the screen below.
Either way, we’ll be going to the Files section to set up your music library.
Depending on how Kodi is set up on your network, your shares may appear in this menu. If you know the path of your media server, you can take a shortcut and enter it directly in the box here. If you don’t know the path, you’ll need to Browse for it.
If you already have some files set up, there’ll be a list of folder shares in an intermediate menu before this with an option to Add Music. I covered folder shares in the Video section above, but just in case you skipped that section, I’ll touch on it again in a little bit. But as you can see below, the shares I set up in the previous section are listed here.
My music is stored on the same NAS (Network Accessible Storage) server as my movies, so I’ll select Windows Network (SMB) to continue. Depending on how your network is set up, you may have your files stored on an external drive or even a UPnP server somewhere else on the network.
Since I know the name of my NAS server, I’ll select it from the list.
Once I select a device, Kodi then looks at any folders it finds and asks where my music is located. In this case, I only want to go one more level down, since that’s where the Artist sub-folders are located. As you’re navigating through your folders, Kodi will keep updating the file path at the bottom of the screen.
Once you get as far down as you want, click OK.
That will take you back to the Add Music Source window and add the file path to your media server in the box.
By default, Kodi will choose the folder name as the name for the share, but you can change the name of the share in the Enter a Name for the Media Source box.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the big improvements to the Music Library is that it will automatically ask you if you want to add the media from this source to your library. Unless you’re adding multiple folders and want to scan at the end, I would always select Yes.
Scanning your Music Library will usually take considerably longer than scanning your Video Library. Most of us have libraries with several thousand songs in them, and that can be time-consuming to scan and index. Be patient here.
Once Kodi finishes, you’ll find the recently added albums on top of the main ribbon on the Kodi home window.
Kodi Setup Guide: Pictures
Kodi does a lot more than just play movies and music. Kodi can also take your photo library for a spin too.
There isn’t as much functionality included in the picture viewer, mostly because there isn’t a whole lot you can do with images out of the box. That being said, there are quite a few great add-ons to help put a little spice into your image library.
Adding Pictures To The Library
If you’ve added music or movies to your library, then this is going to look very familiar. From the Kodi home screen’s ribbon, scroll over to the Pictures option. Here there’s only one sub-menu listed below for any Add-ons you want to install. That’s not what we’re looking for, so click on the main Pictures option instead.
Just as with Movies and Music, you can install Kodi Add-ons and add files to your media library on this screen. Also, when you do have pictures in your library, their folder names will be listed in this menu as well.
Unlike the Movies and Music tabs, the Pictures menu is much simpler. In fact, all you can do on this page is add pictures to your library or install an add-on.
Let’s walk through how to add pictures to your Kodi media library. As you can probably guess, you’re going to want to click on Add pictures… to start the process.
By now, Adding a Source should look familiar. If you know the file path, you can enter it in the text box, or click Browse to search for it.
All of the drives your Kodi installation can detect will be listed here.
My pictures are stored on a Western Digital MyCloud Network Accessible Storage (NAS) device, which could be found in one of three ways, depending on how I set it up: Network File System (NFS), Universal Plug and Play UPnP devices, or Windows network (SMB). In my particular Kodi setup, it’s configured as a Windows network (SMB) device.
Navigate to the folder your pictures are stored in. For this example, I went to one individual folder without any subfolders. Kodi won’t list the individual pictures, only the folder names.
Once you’ve found the folder, click OK to continue.
Once you click OK, you’ll be brought back to the Add Pictures source window and your folder path will be listed in the text box. Choose a name for your pictures and click OK to continue.
That will take you back to the main Pictures sub-menu and your folder will be listed on the menu. In my case, you can see my Sample Pictures folder listed between Picture add-ons and Add pictures...
Kodi will then attempt to scan the folder to get a better idea of what kind of files are in that directory.
After the scan is complete, click in your new directory and take a look at your pictures library.
Pictures Sidebar Menu
You can access the Pictures sidebar menu by moving the mouse to the left-hand side of the screen and selecting Options on the lower left-hand corner, or by pressing the left directional arrow if you’re using a remote control with a D-pad.
From the sidebar menu, you can change settings related to how you view your pictures and how you view slideshows. The View options are fairly self-explanatory, but I want to touch on the slideshow settings. They are listed under the Misc Options heading.
Once you’re in a folder that has pictures in it, you’ll see three things listed in the sidebar menu: Slideshow, Recursive Slideshow, and Randomize. The only settings change here is the toggle for randomizing the order your photos appear.
The Slideshow and Recursive Slideshow options will both (predictably) start a slideshow using the pictures in this folder. A Recursive Slideshow will also look in any and all sub-folders in the directory and include those images in the slideshow as well.
Slideshow settings in Kodi have been trimmed down slightly and made a bit easier to understand. Only a bit though. I think there’s still room for improvement, especially for users who aren’t programmers or whose primary language is not English.
Recursion is a topic I don’t hear about very often, unless I’m speaking with my computer programmer friends. A simpler way to describe this would be a toggle for “include sub-folders,” which would mean the same thing and is easier to understand.
How To Setup Kodi Add-ons
Add-ons are at the heart of Kodi. In fact, many people would argue that without third-party developers creating add-ons and adding extra functionality, Kodi would be nowhere near as popular as it is today.
Kodi includes an Official Kodi Repository filled with hundreds of add-ons, which are supplied and supported either by members of Team Kodi or by developers they trust. You can find an add-on for just about anything you want – skins, streaming services, sports, live TV…the list goes on.
If that’s not enough for you, there are tons of unofficial repositories on the Internet you can download add-ons from. Many of these add-ons are of questionable quality and even more questionable legality, so they’re not something I’ll cover in this Kodi setup guide. If you Google a particular add-on, I’m quite sure somebody out there has it covered. For more on this topic, check out my article Kodi is legal, but the way you’re using it probably isn’t.
Still, I’d advise caution installing anything that’s not official. I’m not here to judge, but I am here to look out for you.
How To Install Kodi Add-ons
The easiest way to install Kodi add-ons is to scroll down to the Add-ons menu and then Enter Add-on Browser.
The Kodi Add-on Browser
Once you open the Add-on browser, you’ll find a couple of different options.
- My Add-Ons: This will pull up a list of all of the add-ons, broken down by category, and whether they are enabled or disabled on this Kodi installation.
- Install from Repository: This is all of the add-ons available for installation in the Official Kodi Repository. We’ll go through the process for installing from here below.
- Install from Zip File: If you’re installing an add-on that’s not in the official list, this is how you’ll do it.You’ll have to download a zip file to your device and browse for it using this option. It’s a little more cumbersome, but it will let you install anything you want to.
- Search: If you know what add-on you’re looking for, or just have a general idea of the topic, you can enter it here and see the results.
- Recently Updated: This will show add-ons that have been updated recently.
For our purposes, we’re going to be installing one of the official video add-ons, so click on Install from Repository.
The Add-ons are broken down into several different categories like Context menus, Program add-ons, and Look and Feel add-ons. We’re going to be installing a Video add-on.
In this example, we’ll install the HD HomeRun tuner add-on.You can find out more about HDHomeRun in this article.
Once you select the add-on you want to install, you’ll be taken to a screen with a brief description and some additional options. Since we haven’t installed the add-on yet, most of those options aren’t available to us.
Click Install to continue.
Once you decide to Install an add-on, you’ll be taken back to the Add-on Browser and the installation will begin. You’ll receive a notification when the add-on installation has finished.
Once that happens, click back into the add-on and all of those options that were greyed out in the description page will now be available.
The one you’ll probably use most often is the Configure button. This is where you’ll find any options that the programmers of the add-on have enabled. Many add-ons won’t have anything available on this screen, so don’t be too surprised if it’s empty.
One final note: Kodi now gives you the option of configuring each add-on to either automatically update on it’s own or never update. Generally, I set my add-ons to automatically update Kodi because I want to be sure I have the latest version with new features or bug-fixes. Occasionally though, updating an add-on will cause it to break, so this enables you to find a version that works and keep it indefinitely.
There are six standard weather services in the Official Kodi Repository. Most are free to use, but some require registration on their websites to get the most out of them.
The official Kodi weather add-ons are:
- OpenWeatherMap Extended
- Weather Underground
- Yahoo! Weather
- Met Office
- Oz Weather (Australia-specific weather)
- Weather China (China-specific weather)
Each of these services has their pros and cons, so I recommend trying them out and seeing which you prefer. The basic installation process is the same for each, although as I mentioned earlier, you may need to go to the service’s website in order to register.
I’ll outline the installation for Yahoo! Weather below.
Getting Weather Information
We’ll go over installing a weather service in a moment, but I wanted to cover how to get the forecast first.
Once you have a weather service installed, you can navigate to the Weather section of the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Clicking on this option will bring up the most recent weather data, depending on your add-on choices.
Installing Weather Add-ons
No matter which of the Kodi Weather add-ons you choose, the installation process will start the same. From the main Kodi home screen, scroll down to the Weather section of the menu and you’ll see a screen that looks something like this:
You’ll have the option to Set a Weather Provider or Remove this main menu item. At the moment, there’s not much here because we haven’t installed a service yet.
The first line in the main window will let you choose the Service for weather information. Click anywhere on that line to bring up the service selection screen.
This screen will show you which weather add-ons you have installed on Kodi on this machine. At the moment there’s nothing here, but on the right-hand side, there’s a button that says Get more…
Here you can select which weather service you want to use. There’s no harm in trying a few of them out. You can only have one weather service active at any time and you can switch back and forth between services very easily.
Installing Yahoo! Weather
Yahoo! Weather is one of the more popular Kodi Weather services because it is easy to configure and doesn’t require any additional information from the user other than what city you want the forecast for.
From the Get more… window, scroll down until you see the Yahoo! Weather add-on and click it to install. After a very brief installation process, you’ll be back at the Weather – Settings window, but Yahoo! Weather will appear on the top line as the Service for weather information.
Yahoo! Weather is installed, but it still needs to be configured for your particular city. There is a single Settings option on the second line of the main window, directly underneath the Service for weather information line. Click on Settings to pull up the Location Setup window.
You can enter in several different cities depending on how simple or complicated you want your weather forecast to be. For me, I’m only interested in the city closest to me: Orlando, Florida. To enter a city, click on the line that says Location 1.
On the pop-up keyboard, type in the name of the city. I tried several different cities and small towns of various sizes and I wasn’t able to find one Yahoo! couldn’t recognize – even several ‘one stoplight’ towns I know.
If there is more than one entry for a particular city, Yahoo! will ask you to choose which one you meant. Since I’m not looking for the Orlando in South Africa or Brazil, I chose the top entry: Orlando (Florida -US).
Once you make your selection, you’re taken back to the Location Setup screen. Repeat the process for as many cities as you want weather information for. Once you’re done, click OK to continue.
Go back to the Kodi home screen and click on the Weather option to bring up the latest Yahoo! Weather information.
Within Yahoo! Weather, the sidebar menu will let you scroll through multiple locations if you have them set up. It will also let you manually refresh the data and quickly jump back to the Weather Settings menu.
What About A VPN?
Before you start downloading stuff on Kodi, you should really set yourself up with a VPN. This is not just to protect your identity and anonymity if you decide to dive into the more legally dubious areas of Kodi.
A VPN helps you unlock content that might be geofenced, such as Netflix USA (if you aren’t currently in the US or traveling) or BBC UK. It also encrypts your data to protect it against hackers. Think you don’t have anything of value on your TV box? Think again. What about your Netflix password and payment details?
These are only some of the very good reasons you should be using a VPN with your Kodi TV Box. If you want to dive in deeper, you can read more here.
If you are using Kodi, not just any VPN service will do. Not all VPNs support streaming or P2P file exchange (torrenting). Also, while all VPNs will cut your internet speeds, some cut them more than others. While this might not matter much when you are browsing the net, it will when you are streaming 4K content.
So, here are my top three VPN services I suggest you use for your Kodi TV box. All of them:
- Support streaming and torrenting
- Maintain internet speeds fast enough for 4K streaming
- Use 256-bit AES encryption technology
- Have a no-logs policy, which means that none of your personal data or online activity is recorded anywhere
- Feature a killswitch to cut your internet connection should your VPN drop out for some reason
- $72 for a one-year plan for up to seven devices
- 6,500 servers in 90 countries
- Unlocks all major streaming services
- $84 per year for six devices
- 5,500 servers in 60 locations
- Special packages and support services for businesses
- $77.99 per year for ten devices
- 1,400 servers in 75 locations
- Fastest VPN speeds available
For more in-depth reviews read: 10 Best VPN Services for Kodi.
Are you interested in finding out more about Kodi, or reading my other articles for some tips, tricks, and tweaks?
Take a look at these to help you get started:
- Do I need a VPN for Kodi?
- How to make Kodi look more like Netflix
- How to fix issues when Kodi is zoomed in too far to see the screen
- How to fix Kodi buffering issues
- Kore: The official Kodi remote
- Yatse: One of the most popular Kodi remotes
- 10 “Must Have” features for your next Android TV box
FAQs About Kodi
Should I Use Kodi?
Kodi is an excellent piece of software if you want to be able to control all of your media in one place, including streaming services, and share that media across your devices. With Kodi, you can network your television, computer, tablet, and smartphone, and watch all the same media. Where you left off on a movie on your television, you can pick up from that scene on your smartphone.
Kodi is one of the easiest ways to customize and streamline your viewing experience. You can access all of your favorite content where you want it, without having to continuously switch applications to engage with specific content. Kodi can play any file type, so there are no restrictions.
Is Kodi Legal?
Using Kodi is perfectly legal; however, you can choose to do illegal things with Kodi, and those things remain illegal. For example, there are Kodi add-ons that may allow you to stream copyrighted content for free. If this is illegal where you are, then it is still illegal to do with Kodi, even if it is possible.
How Do I Start Kodi?
Depending on what kind of device you are using, you can either download Kodi from their website or download the app from your app store. If there is no app available for your device, you can also download the APK from their website.
When you download Kodi, you will find yourself with an empty library, so you will need to start adding media from your own library, and installing add-ons to let you access streaming and other media services.
How Do I Use Kodi Properly?
Making the most out of Kodi is all about getting it set up to do what you want. Do you want it to be able to pull up playlists based on your moods? Do you want to switch easily and browse all of your streaming libraries at the same time? Are you all about bringing gaming to the big screen?
Kodi is infinitely flexible, so the key to using Kodi properly is to figure out what you want to do with it, and then take to the forums for advice on add-ons and set up. The Kodi developer and user community is large and generous; there are a lot of people out there willing to help you and make recommendations.
How Do I Put Kodi On My PC?
Setting up Kodi on your PC is simple, and starts with downloading the latest version of Kodi from their website, and then running the simple installer. If you need to upgrade, it is not necessary to uninstall your existing versions of Kodi, and you can install the new version on top if you are happy with your set up. When upgrading, stary by backing up to your appdata/Kodi directory.
What Is The Difference Between Kodi 17 And 18?
Kodi 18 introduces a new user interface and works a bit faster. It is also more convenient when it comes to add-ons, as you can now manage files and add-ons in the same place, so there is no need to toggle between screens to complete an installation.
Kodi 18 is also better for gamers as it comes with a large library of emulators with associated control support.
How Do I Fully Load Kodi?
Because it is a legal gray area, it is now pretty rare to get fully-loaded Kodi boxes. They have also become less popular, as fully-loaded boxes tend to come with a lot of extra stuff you don’t want and with add-ons that just don’t work.
You are better off determining what you want – sports, gaming, movies, TV shows, music – and then going onto the Kodi forums to find the best ways to load these onto your Kodi box (or using this in-depth guide!).
This is by no means an exhaustive Kodi setup guide. To do that would likely double or triple the length of this article. There were topics I touched on only briefly, and others which I didn’t mention at all.
However, this guide should help you get a Kodi installation up and running from scratch and get you to the point that you can start enjoying your media.
If you’d like further resources, one of the best sources is the Kodi section of this website. My advice is to follow this guide, but then to start playing around. Tweak. Modify. Ask questions. There’s so much that Kodi can do. Enjoy!
If you have any comments or first-hand experiences with setting up Kodi boxes, please post them below or share your pictures via our social media.
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