Kodi not working? How to fix common Kodi problems

Published by on November 11, 2017 in Kodi

Is Kodi not working for you? The solution is often easier than you might think. In this article we’ll be showing you how to fix Kodi problems including freezing, crashing, and videos that won’t play.

How to fix Kodi problems

It’s always annoying when Kodi runs into a problem. It’s often difficult to find the root cause of an issue on your own. While the most common advice given is “check Kodi’s logs”, they’re often unhelpful and can be confusing to the point of uselessness.

The good news is that most of Kodi’s problems can usually be fixed in just a few minutes. This guide will help you troubleshoot and resolve some of the most commonly encountered Kodi issues. With luck, your problem will be fixed and you can get back to watching your favorite TV shows and movies in peace.

It’s important to note that third-party addons are less stable than official ones. They are notoriously unreliable and often come with their own problems. Additionally, third-party addons usually use unlicensed sources. For these reasons, we advise our readers to use only official addons and seek properly licensed content wherever possible.

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 privacy.

Why you should always use a VPN with Kodi

VPNs are often used to hide unlicensed streaming from a user’s internet service provider (ISP). Despite this, using a VPN can greatly benefit people who only use official streaming sources.

VPNs work by encrypting a user’s internet traffic. This prevents it being accessed by any outside observer. This renders the majority of Man-in-the-Middle attacks useless and also prevents your ISP from throttling your connection based on your browsing habits.

Every VPN will slow your connection down to some degree so it’s important to find one that has minimal impact on your browsing speeds. Also, some VPN providers keep detailed logs of your activities. This greatly reduces the level of privacy you can expect your VPN to provide.

We recommend using IPVanish. It offers fast, consistently stable connections to servers across the world. Further, it’s one of the easiest VPNs to install on an Amazon Firestick or other mobile platform, and keeps no logs of your network traffic.

READER DEAL: save 60% on an IPVanish annual plan here. IPVanish has a seven-day money back period so it can be tried risk-free.

What are some of the most common Kodi problems?

Kodi is one of the most portable media center software packages and can be installed on a huge range of devices including Roku, Apple TV, and Nvidia Shield. However, while Kodi works in a similar way across platforms, each device has different system resources, user profile folders, and subroutines. This can make it difficult to troubleshoot Kodi. For example, you may run issues while trying to fix Kodi on your Firestick that never occur on your Android app version of the software.  While the solutions below work in most cases, we can’t guarantee that they’ll address the root cause of a problem across all Kodi installations.  

Kodi keeps crashing, freezing or pausing

Remove recently installed addons, updates, or builds

If Kodi is consistently crashing or freezing that’s a sure sign that something has gone wrong. First, consider when this problem began and what your actions were just prior to this. If the issue started after you installed a particular addon, try uninstalling it and see if the problem persists. Likewise, if you just installed an addon update or customized Kodi build you might want to uninstall this to remove it as a potential cause.

Disable hardware acceleration

Hardware acceleration is one of the main causes of Kodi crashes, particularly on Android. You could try turning this option off to see if the issue goes away. Doing this is simple: from the Kodi home screen, click the gear icon to go to the settings menu.

Disable Kodi hardware acceleration

Next, click Player settings. At the bottom of the page you’ll find another gear icon with the word “Basic” beside it. Click this three times and it should turn to “Expert”. Now highlight the Video tab, scroll down to the bottom of the list on the right and disable the Allow hardware acceleration – DXVA2 option. Restart Kodi and see if the crashing persists.

Clear Kodi’s cache

When Kodi plays streaming videos, it downloads a few seconds at a time to the cache. This allows for faster access and smoother streaming. However, when the cache fills up entirely it can cause Kodi to behave erratically. Choppy video is a tell-tale sign that the cache is getting full and although the cache usually empties itself, sometimes it needs to be flushed manually.

Kodi doesn’t have any built-in tools that allow you to do this, so you’ll have to install the Ares Wizard addon. Once installed, click the Maintenance tab, then the Delete cache\Temp button on the right, about halfway down the screen.

Clear Kodi's cache with Ares Wizard

If you’re looking for a different maintenance option, TVAddons also provides an addon called Indigo that works similarly. You’ll find a cache-clearing tool there was well.

Reinstall Kodi

If the steps above haven’t solved your issue, you might want to consider a fresh Kodi installation. You can either do this manually by downloading your preferred version from https://kodi.tv/download or by using the Ares Wizard’s Fresh Start option, found under the More tab.

Kodi crashes and reboots continuously

There are a few reasons why Kodi might get stuck in a crash/reboot loop. If you’ve installed any custom builds recently, they might be the culprit and should be removed using the Ares Wizard. If this doesn’t resolve your problem, try disconnecting your computer from the internet.

The reason we suggest this is because the URLResolver dependency often causes problems and if Kodi does not have internet access, it can’t do its job. If this stops your crashing issue, try updating it by clicking the gear icon on Kodi’s main screen, then System settings. Next, scroll down to the Add-ons tab and click Manage dependencies. Click URLResolver, then click Update. If this doesn’t work, you can either uninstall addons until you find the one responsible for the crashes or just reinstall Kodi to start again with a clean slate.

Kodi is unable to connect to a source

Kodi repositories are usually installed by providing a path to the source. Sometimes you might find that once the source has been added, you’ll see a popup telling you that it couldn’t be accessed.

This is usually because the source address is incorrect. Check it and make sure you’ve entered it correctly. Common mistake include misspellings, not using the proper letter case (e.g., inserting upper or lowercase letters where they don’t belong), forgetting to include “http://” at the start, and in some cases, missing the repo’s file extension.

If the address has been entered correctly, more often than not, the repository has gone offline or been moved to a new address. You can test this by opening the source address in your browser; if the folder is empty or not found, that’s the root of your issue. Try researching the repo to see if it has been moved but bear in mind that alternative hosts are not always trustworthy.

Kodi can’t install an addon

If you’ve managed to install a repo, but an addon fails to install, there are several possible causes. The addon may be outdated or no longer supported by its developers. In this scenario there’s very little you can do. Older versions may still be hosted elsewhere, such as the SuperRepo repository, but these aren’t guaranteed to work and the older an addon gets, the more risk it poses to your system when installed.

Additionally, older addons may not work with newer versions of Kodi. New Kodi versions in the past have changed the way the software reads and process addon code, making some older addons obsolete with newer versions of Kodi.  

It’s also possible that the addon has uninstalled dependencies. These are additional addons that are required for the initial addon to work. That said, addons that have these dependencies are not official and pose significant risk to your system’s security. For this reason, we’d advise against installing them in the first place.

Video frequently stutters or loads for a long time

The majority of the time, a weak network signal or slow internet speeds are the cause of streaming problems. This has been covered in more detail in our Kodi buffering article, so it might be a good idea to start there.

If you can’t find any problems with your network, there might be another cause. Certain content providers restrict access to their videos using a process known as geolocking or regionlocking. This checks the IP address of anyone attempting to view the content and rejects the connection if the IP address isn’t from a particular location.

The good news is that this is easily bypassed. Users can connect their virtual private network (VPN) to a server in the correct location and will be able to access the previously restricted media. The correct server to connect to is usually fairly obvious: the BBC blocks anyone that isn’t inside the UK, NBC blocks those outside the US, and so on.

Videos look strange or the colors are off

Color issues are far less common and are not necessarily unique to Kodi. If the colors are slightly off, the problem is likely due to incorrect monitor settings. This issue isn’t always immediately apparent and may only be obvious with select videos.

Incorrect Kodi video settingsAn example of incorrect video settings in Kodi

This is because every monitor’s color profile is different. Most will have a button on the front that grants access to a picture options menu. However, if your monitor is properly configured, there are other possible solutions.

If your video is too large or too small, you’ve likely zoomed in or out accidentally. While playing a video, click the gear icon. Next, click Video settings. Look for the Zoom amount option—if it’s anything other than 1.0, that’s the problem. Make sure that the View Mode is set to “Normal” too.

It’s also worth checking the Brightness and Contrast values. These should be at 50%, and if they aren’t, they’re likely what’s causing your video to look strange.

Conclusion

Considering Kodi can be installed across a wide range of different devices, it’s actually easier than you might expect to troubleshoot. In fact, the most commonly seen Kodi problems can be solved relatively quickly. By the way, if you’re running into issues with Kodi on a Fire TV Stick, we’ve got a troubleshooting article just for you. Hopefully this guide has helped you resolve your issue and if there’s a quick fix you’ve found that we haven’t mentioned, feel free to let us know in the comments.

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