Updated July 2020
If you are running Kodi on your Android TV Box, chances are you will need to update it regularly. But how exactly do you update Kodi on your Android TV Box? I have put together a step-by-step guide to show you exactly how.
While most TV boxes will need Kodi to be updated regularly, there are a few exceptions. How do you know if yours is one of them? I’ll explain that too.
The process for updating Kodi is slightly different for a generic Android TV Box and a TV box running the official Android TV interface, but I have put together separate lists of instructions for each.
But, let’s jump straight in. Why should you update Kodi on your Android TV Box, when should you not update Kodi, and exactly how do you go about updating Kodi on your Android TV box?
Why You Should Update Kodi
Team Kodi switched to a “release early, release often” development strategy.
This means they’ll push out smaller, more frequent releases that may add one feature or fix a specific issue every month or two, instead of waiting to push out one major release that fixes everything at once.
In theory, this means faster reaction time on any bugs and less chance that, by fixing one thing, something else would break. Most of the major software development companies release frequent updates, so this is the industry standard.
But for you, this means that if you want Kodi working its best, you need to update it regularly.
Why You Might Not Want To Update Kodi
So, if updating Kodi means you’re going to be using the latest, most secure version, why would you not want to update the Kodi app for Android TV boxes?
Many box manufacturers will release modified versions of XBMC\Kodi that are specifically tweaked for those boxes.
If you update Kodi with the method below, you’ll potentially overwrite that version of Kodi and lose some of those performance tweaks.
So, keep in mind you need to know what type of Android TV box you have and how it works with Kodi before making any updates yourself.
With that in mind, I recommend updating Kodi regularly, unless you specifically have a device with an easy setup, automatic-updater app already taking care of it for you.
How To Update Kodi On Android TV Box
(IF YOU HAVE THE OFFICIAL ANDROID TV INTERFACE, SCROLL DOWN TO “HOW TO UPDATE THE KODI APP FOR ANDROID TV” BELOW)
Now that it’s in the Google Play Store, the process of updating the Kodi Android app is as easy as updating any other app.
That’s the main reason why I recommend only buying TV boxes that come pre-installed with the Google Play Store. If your device doesn’t have access to the Google Play Store, the process becomes much harder and you’ll need to sideload the android app manually.
The process is also different if you have an Amazon Fire TV product, as it runs a modified version of the Android operating system. You will find a few helpful notes on this at the bottom of this article.
Assuming you have access to the Google Play Store, here are the simple steps you need to follow to update Kodi on Android TV Box.
Starting from your home launcher screen, you should see an icon for the Google Play Store or it may simply say “Store.” On the Ott TZ95 below, it’s shown as Google Store.
If you can’t find anything that looks like the store on your home screen, another way to get to it is through your “All Apps” page. You can see the same icon in the middle row in the screenshot below.
No matter where you find the icon, clicking it will get you to the Google Play Store, which should look something like this:
Now, in this example, Kodi is one of the highlighted apps Google is recommending to me—even though it is already installed on the device. Clicking on the Kodi icon will take you to the app description page, which will alert you if there’s an update available.
But what if it doesn’t happen to be one of the apps they recommend for me?
In the screenshot above, look to the top of the image to find the search bar. It’s the horizontal bar that says “Google Play” with three small lines just to the left of the text. Google calls those three bars the “hot dogs” icon (think of three hot dogs stacked on top of each other). Once you find those three lines, click on them to show the menu bar on the left.
We’re going to be doing two things while in the menu bar. First, we’re going to turn on automatic app updates, if it isn’t on already. Second, we’re going to manually update the Kodi app for Android.
Turn On Automatic Updates
Once auto-update is on, updating basically takes care of itself. Any time the developers release a new version of their app, it will automatically get updated on your TV box.
From the menu bar, scroll down to the Settings line and click on that to get to the main options screen.
Auto-update apps is the first item on the list. Click it to open up a toggle button-window for the setting where you can enable or disable auto-update.
Manually Update Kodi
If you head back to the left-side menu, you’ll see an option for My Apps & Games.
Click on it and it will show you a list of all the apps that are currently on the device. The cool part is that it will sort all of the apps needing updates at the top of the list.
You can update each one manually, or click on the Update All box on the top right-hand side.
Once the update is finished, you can launch it from your home screen or right from the Google Play Store.
How To Update The Kodi App For Android TV
(IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE OFFICIAL ANDROID TV INTERFACE, AND JUST HAVE AN ANDROID TV BOX, SCROLL BACK UP TO “HOW TO UPDATE KODI ON ANDROID TV BOX” ABOVE)
Updating Kodi on the official Android TV is pretty straightforward as well, since you can find it on the Google Play Store for Android TV.
From the main home launcher screen, click on the app for the Google Play Store.
The Android TV version of the Google Play Store is a bit more streamlined than the normal Android version, and much easier to navigate—especially when using a remote control.
On the left-hand side, you’ll find four menu options: Home, Games, My Apps, and Settings. You can turn on Auto-Update Apps from within the Settings menu, as you would above.
If you click on the My Apps menu, you’ll get to a list of all the apps on your Android TV. They’re still going to be sorted by whichever apps have updates available, only this time, the possible updates will be on the left side of a side-scrolling list of apps.
Here, it’s easiest to select Update All to download all the potential updates in sequence. If you want, you can also download each update individually.
Once the app finishes updating, you can access your newly updated Kodi app from the home screen.
What About Amazon Fire TV?
While Amazon Fire TV is built on the Android operating system, it has been modified for Amazon, so the process for updating Kodi is a bit different again.
While you will find the Kodi app in your apps menu, you won’t find any options for updating it there. However, you will be able to check which version of Kodi you have installed and therefore whether you need to update.
Before updating, you will first need to enable developer options. You can do this in the My Fire TV menu. Click Developer Options and choose to enable Apps from Unknown Sources.
You can then search on the Fire TV home screen for an app called Downloader, which you should download and install.
Using the downloader app, you can then browse the Internet to find the latest Kodi updates on their website: https://kodi.tv/download. You can then download and install the update. Make sure to delete the update file when you are done to conserve space on your TV box.
Other Things To Consider
When you are taking the time to update Kodi on your TV box, remember it is not the only thing you should update to keep your TV box running the way it should.
First and foremost, don’t forget to regularly check if there are firmware updates for your machine. Firmware is the software that tells your hardware what to do, so this comes from the manufacturer, and you will need to go to the manufacturer’s website to find out about updates.
You can find out everything you need to know about firmware and how to update it here.
You will also want to ensure your TV box is protected by both antivirus software and a VPN.
You wouldn’t go online on your PC without an antivirus program, and you shouldn’t go online with your TV box without antivirus for the same reasons. If you are running Kodi and accessing files from questionable sources, this only increases your risks. If you need to know more about why you need antivirus protection, read my article.
If you are looking for recommendations for the best antivirus software for your TV box, I recommend:
This is affordable antivirus protection from a big name provider. In fact, you can get it for free if you don’t mind ads and sacrificing a few features.
There is an app specifically for Android TV available in the Google Play Store, so you can download it directly to your box without any fuss. It also comes with a VPN included as standard (though you’ll probably want to upgrade this VPN if you are using Kodi).
Another big name antivirus company, they offer a free version for Android you can download from the Google Play Store directly to your Android TV box. This lightweight antivirus doesn’t run in the background, so it doesn’t eat up your speeds while you are streaming.
It is back-compatible as far as Android 4.1, which is important as many TV boxes run older versions of Android.
McAfee is probably the best-known name in antivirus software, and they offer free, ad-supported antivirus software for Android. There is also a paid version that unlocks additional features. As well as scanning apps on download, it regularly scans to see if any of your applications are leaking data.
While a VPN is always a good idea as far as security is concerned, again, it is even more important if you dive into the more legally dubious areas of Kodi. But even if you don’t, you should be protecting yourself with a VPN, and you can read about all the reasons here.
And for Kodi, you don’t just want any VPN service, as you will need one that supports streaming and/or P2P file exchange (torrenting). In addition to this, while all VPNs will cut your internet speeds, some cut them more than others. You don’t want slow speeds to kill your 4K streaming pleasure.
When you are using Kodi, you need a VPN service that supports streaming and torrenting, gives you lightning-fast speeds, has a solid level of encryption (256-bit AES), and a no-logs policy. Our top three VPN services for Kodi all have these features, and a lot more.
Highly affordable at $72 for a one-year plan, you can connect up to seven on your devices on this single plan. You get amazing coverage with 6,500 servers in 90 countries, and while they all enable streaming and torrenting, there are also dedicated servers to do this even better.
Unlike many VPN services, CyberGhost VPN successfully unlocks the major streaming services.
NordVPN is just $84 per year for six devices, which gives you access to 5,500 servers in 60 locations. Again, you can stream and torrent on all of their servers so you always have access to the content you are looking for. NordVPN also offers excellent support if you think you might need it.
A bargain at just $77.99 per year for 10 devices, IPVanish only has 1,400 servers in 75 locations, but fewer users than its competitors. They actually offer the fastest internet speeds of the three options here.
You can read more in-depth reviews about the 10 Best VPN Services for Kodi here.
FAQs About Kodi On Android TV
How Do I Get Kodi On Android TV?
Getting Kodi on Android is simple, as it is an app available through the Google Play Store. All Android TV boxes should have access to the Play Store to download apps directly to your TV box. You will automatically be given the latest version of Kodi when you install via the Google Play Store.
Setting up Kodi to work with your media library and to access third-party content is more complicated. Read our Ultimate Guide: How To Set Up Kodi.
Can I Update My Android Box?
There are three levels of software on an Android TV Box that might need updating. The first is your firmware, which is the software that tells the hardware of your TV box what to do. This update is released by the manufacturer of your TV box, and you should check their website for downloads and instructions. You can also read our guide: How And Why To Update Your Android TV Box Firmware.
On top of this is the Android Operating System (OS), which is the “master” software on your TV box that makes everything work. You can update to new versions of your OS through the settings menu on your TV box, and will probably be promoted to do so when new releases are available. For example, if you have Android 7.0, you will be prompted to update to Android 7.1 when it is available. However, you are unlikely to be able to upgrade from one OS. For example, you won’t be able to upgrade from Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) to Android 9.0 (Pie). In 2020, I recommend that you don’t get an Android TV box with an operating system lower than Android 7.0 (Nougat).
Then there are individual updates for applications such as Kodi, Netflix, your VPN, and so forth. The majority of these can be managed through the Google Play Store. You can update these apps manually, or set them to update automatically when new updates are released.
Will I Lose My Addons When I Update Kodi?
If you update Kodi properly, you shouldn’t lose any of your addons when updating Kodi on Android TV. It is important to remember to just update the app, and not to delete and reinstall the Kodi app, or you will lose your addons.
The addons you use in Kodi will also need to be updated periodically. You should be notified in the Kodi settings menu when updates are available, and you can update the addons from there. You can also set your Kodi addons to auto-update.
Updating apps on your Android TV Box can be as simple as updating apps on your Android smartphone. It’s a simple matter of going to the Google Play Store and downloading the latest updates, or you can set your TV box to do that automatically, without you having to remember to check in every few months.
If you run Kodi on your Android TV Box, it is probably at the center of your viewing experience, so ensuring it has all the latest fixtures and fixes is important. This is why it is almost always a good idea to update your Kodi app regularly.
The only exception to this is if you have a TV box that runs a modified version of Kodi, in which case, you should follow the manufacturer’s guidance. This is an important detail to check when purchasing your TV box.
If you have any personal experiences updating Kodi on Android TV, please share them with the community by commenting below.