Customize Kodi menu options

When you first install Kodi, its main menu comes with a default layout that allows you to play any kind of media you want. However, everyone’s media habits are different. Not everyone wants to see the day’s weather or look at pictures on their media center, after all.

Thankfully, Kodi is endlessly customizable, and this applies to the look and feel as well as the content you can access. Below, we’ll walk you through the process of adding, removing, and editing Kodi’s menus so you can make a media hub that really speaks to your own needs.

What is Kodi?

Kodi is a software media player from the Kodi foundation. It runs apps called “addons” that allow users to stream video from virtually any website. It can be installed on Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, PC, Mac, and Android or iOS. Unlike the default software that comes with Apple TV or Amazon Fire Stick, Kodi is open-source, and its addons are created by independent developers. Many streaming-video users prefer Kodi for this reason.

Kodi is often accused of being used for online piracy. This reputation is undeserved since the official Kodi repo only includes addons that use properly licensed sources, with piracy-minded users having to find unlicensed addons elsewhere.

Warning: Kodi should only be used for content to which you have the legal right to access. Neither the Kodi Foundation nor Comparitech advocates the use of Kodi for piracy.

Before we start: Always use a VPN wth Kodi

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Basic methods to change menu options in Kodi

How to delete menu items you don’t want

If you want to get rid of some menu options you never use, here’s how to do it:

  1. From the main menu, click the gear icon in the upper-left corner
  2. Kodi gear icon
  3. Select Interface then Configure skin under the Skin tab
  4. On the left side of the screen, select Main menu items
  5. Using the toggle buttons on the right side of the screen, deselect all of the menu items that you want to get rid ofKodi skin settings main menu items
  6. Hit escape several times to back out to the main menu. The items will no longer be there, so you’ll have a shorter menu that is easier to navigate
  7. Kodi fewer menu items

Change the background

Besides customizing the actual menu items, you can also change the background images that appear when you move your cursor over these items. There are two ways to do this.

The first way is to click the gear icon, then choose InterfaceConfigure skin Artwork → Choose background pattern. Each time you click Choose background pattern, a new piece of background art will appear. There are seven available by default.

Kodi skin settings

The second way is to install a new set of background images. You can do this by navigating to Skin settingsArtwork  →  Select genre fanart pack. After installing the required addon, click this again and choose Get more… and scroll down until you find the Skin Backgrounds section.

Kodi artwork backgrounds

After selecting the package you’re most interested in, click Install. Go back to the Skin settings page, enable Show media fanart as background and select your preferred pack from the Choose skin fanart pack option. Now repeatedly click Choose background pattern until you find the pattern you like the most.

Kodi background installed

How to change Kodi’s color scheme

To change the colors of the menu, follow these steps:

  1. Click the gear iconKodi gear icon
  2. Select Interface
  3. On the left side, select Skin
  4. On the right side, underneath Skin, select -ColoursKodi change colors step 1
  5. Choose the color package you want from the list of options
  6. Kodi change colors step 2

Note: If you don’t see “skin” as an option under “interface settings,” make sure it says “expert” beside the gear icon in the lower-left of the screen. If it does not, click it until it does.

How to change Kodi’s default fonts

The default Kodi Estuary skin comes with two different font packages. The first one is called “Skin default” and the second one is called “Arial based.” To switch to the “Arial based” font, click the gear icon, then select InterfaceSkinFontsArial based.

Kodi fonts

See also: How to share Kodi libraries using UPnP

Advanced methods for changing menu options

If you want even more options for customizing the Kodi menu, you can install the Estuary Mod v2 skin. This will allow you to add new menu items that are not even available by default.

Keep in mind that despite having the name “Estuary” attached to it, this skin is not part of the official Kodi repository. Instead, you can find the latest working source from the addon’s post on the Kodi forum. Here’s how to install Estuary Mod v2:

    1. Find a suitable source from the Estuary Mod v2 forum page and download the ZIP file
    2. From the Kodi main menu, click Add-ons
    3. Select the box icon in the upper-left corner of the screenKodi open box icon
    4. Select Install from zip file. When the installation has finished, you’ll be asked whether you want to switch immediately. Click Yes
    5. Now when you return to the Skin settings page, you should notice significantly more customization options
      Estuary V2 Home Menu

How to use the Estuary Mod v2 skin to add menu options

Once you’ve got the Estuary Mod installed, you can add new menu items by taking the following steps:

  1. Start by highlighting the Home menu tab and click on Customize main menu
  2. Click the plus sign in the middle
    Estuary V2 Customize Main Menu
  3. A new menu called “<None>” will appear on the left. Click it, then choose what type of content it’ll display over on the right.
  4. Finally, you can change the button label or add a background to your new option if you’d like. When you’re done, return to the main screen to see whether you like the result
    Estuary V2 Custom Menu Label

The possible actions you can make a menu item out of are divided into ten folders, each with multiple options. Here is a list of some of the most interesting actions we found:

  • Hide episode plots to avoid spoilers
  • Greyed out watched items
  • Show music visualization screen when playing song
  • Show actors list
  • Enable gradient colors
  • Show, add, and remove animated posters

Related article: The best Kodi skins


Using these methods will allow you to customize Kodi’s menu to fit your personal preferences. If you don’t want to add any new menu options, you can use the “basic” methods described to delete menu options or change the background art, colours or fonts. If you want to add menu items, you can do so using the Estuary Mod v2 skin described here.

If you’ve found this tutorial to be helpful, you may also want to read our other Kodi guides, such as how to watch HD movies on Kodi.

Customizing Kodi’s look and feel: FAQs

How do I reset Kodi's skin to default?

Change Kodi’s skin and now regret the decision? No problem, you can get back to the default Estuary skin in under a minute. Here’s how:

  1. Click the gear icon at the top-left of Kodi’s main page
  2. Select Interface
  3. Under the Skin tab, click Skin
  4. Choose Estuary, then hit OK
  5. You’ll be asked if you want to keep this change, so click Yes

Will I lose my Kodi addons if I add a new skin?

Kodi skins only change the way the software looks and what information is displayed. As such, installing skins should never cause you to lose any addons.

That said, you might lose them if you inadvertently install a build instead of a standalone skin. That’s because builds are effectively heavily-modded Kodi installations that come with their own look and bundle of (usually piracy-focused) addons. We advise against using builds but have no issue with custom Kodi skins on their own.

I've accidentally deleted a Kodi menu item, how do I get it back?

First of all, don’t panic! Restoring hidden menu items is really straightforward. All you have to do is navigate to the skin settings menu (Gear icon > Interface Skin Configure skin Main menu items) and toggle the button for whatever you disabled back on.