Getting started with Kodi can be challenging, especially since it works with many platforms. If you have various devices in your household that could run Kodi, you may be wondering what’s the easiest route to go for a novice. With that in mind, I’ve compiled this brief guide to help you get things up and running quickly.
Installing Kodi on Windows
Installing and using Kodi on Windows is ideal for beginners – it’s dead-simple.
- Download the installer from the official Kodi download page.
- Double-click on its installer and follow the prompts of your installation wizard.
- Once the installation has finished, you can launch Kodi and begin personalizing it, or leave the defaults – they should work just fine.
Installing Kodi on Android
You have two options here.
- If your Android device has Google Play, search for Kodi and install it from the official store.
- Otherwise, download the APK file from the official Kodi site and sideload it.
- Note: To sideload the app, you need to enable the installation from the Unknown Sources in your device’s security settings first. Then tap on the APK file and install Kodi.
Installing Kodi on macOS
- When you download the Kodi installer for macOS, it appears as a disk image file. Double-click it, and it will pop up in your Finder as a new device.
- Just like with other apps for Mac, you can install Kodi by drag-and-dropping it to the Applications folder.
- Once it’s installed in your Applications folder, just eject the disk image – voila.
Installing Kodi on iOS
You need a jailbroken iOS device to run Kodi, that’s why I’m not a fan of this setup. Only the tech-savvy should ever consider jailbreaking their iPhones because it opens up numerous security risks you should know how to avoid.
That said, the simplest way to install Kodi on iOS is via Cydia Impactor, an app for Windows and macOS that enables you to install third-party apps on your iOS device.
- First, download Cydia Impactor and the Kodi installation file you can get from the official Kodi site.
- Connect your iOS device to your computer. Note: close the iTunes if it launches automatically.
In your computer, launch Cydia Impactor → drag-and-drop Kodi to your iOS device → click start to initiate the installation.
- Cydia Impactor will ask for your Apple ID. You can safely use an alternative username and password if you worry about privacy (you should always worry about it).
- After the installation, go to your iOS device’s Settings → General → Profiles and Device Management → open the profile with your Apple ID → tap Trust to allow Kodi to run on your iOS device.
- You are good to launch your Kodi now.
Installing Kodi Addons
Once you have Kodi up and running on your device, you probably want to populate it with some of the most popular add ons. Kodi is, in essence, a media player and organizer – it comes without add ons when you first install it. So if you want a media hub on steroids, see how you can install Kodi add ons.
If you can find the add on zip archive on GitHub, by all means just download them and install the plugin directly. That way, all you need to do to install your add on is:
- Launch Kodi
- Go to “Install from zip” option. Choose it.
- Kodi will install the plugin for you.
Installing from a Repository
If you can’t find the add on zip archive, which is often the case, you could install it through a repository. Most add ons, including the unofficial add ons, are available through repositories maintained by developers.
There are also repositories that have a myriad of add ons, such as Indigo or SuperRepo. Installing such a mega-repo enables you to access and install multiple add ons without going through the hassle of the manual installation every time. This option also makes updating your add ons quite easy since Kodi will check for the updates automatically.
- To install a new repo, find its zip archive and download it.
- Then, in your Kodi, choose “Install from zip” and browse your new repository for awesome add ons:
- Choose Install from repository → choose the repo → choose the add on category → pick your add on → install. It’s that simple.
Adding a Source via File Manager
When you install your add ons directly or through a repository, you may have to work via Kodi’s Add Source option, which is basically a file manager. When you use it, you link Kodi directly to the URL of the repository. You can also download entire repositories or standalone zip files.
Choosing a Device to Run Kodi
Ultimately, it comes down to your preferences. But if you consider the following criteria, some platforms come out more user-friendly and versatile than others:
- The ease of installing Kodi itself
- The ease of installing and using Kodi addons
- Device usability when streaming
Based on usability and availability of addons, Android and Windows are my top picks for Kodi.
Android is ubiquitous and developer-friendly, so you can enjoy a wealth of addons and use many popular devices, such as Android TV box, Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire TV, Chromebook, WeTek Core, and Element Ti4 TV boxes on top of your typical smartphones and tablets. That makes Android one of the go-to OS for Kodi streaming buffs looking to set up their TV boxes.
Note: I suggest avoiding fully-loaded Kodi TV boxes since they attract a lot of negative attention. With some sellers of fully-loaded Kodi boxes already behind bars, it makes sense to stay on the safe side and set up your Kodi all by yourself. Thankfully, it only takes minutes.
Using a Keyboard with Kodi
When it comes to browsing the Internet through Kodi, Windows comes out on top simply because typing is easier with a keyboard, whereas Android TV boxes come with remote controls. Anyone who’s tried browsing the web on Android TV without a keyboard knows what I mean – typing is mind-numbing.
Even when you first install Kodi and set up new add ons, you need a physical keyboard for your Android device. So it makes sense to connect one right from the get-go.
Alternatively, there are excellent remote control and keyboard apps on Google Play. That way, you can use your smartphone or tablet as an infrared-connected controller and keyboard.
Using a VPN with Kodi
Finally, after you install your Kodi, boost its features through various add ons and enhance your usability through remote control and a keyboard, you are well-advised to protect your streaming with a good VPN.