It’s always annoying when Kodi runs into a problem, especially as it can be difficult to find the root cause of an issue on your own. While the most common advice given is “check Kodi’s logs”, this isn’t always helpful since the logs are designed with experts in mind.
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.
The type of Kodi problems you may run into include:
- Kodi crashes when it loads
- Addons won’t delete
- Issues with hardware acceleration
- Kodi buffering issues
- Video stuttering
- Black screen or blank screen
- Kodi freezes during playback
- Kodi search not working on addons
- HD and 4K streams stuttering
- …and more!
We’ll provide some guidance, direction, and insight into common problems you might face when using Kodi.
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 piracy.
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 from 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. Best of all, this service has no connection limit, meaning you can protect all of your devices at once.
BEST VPN FOR KODI:IPVanish is our top choice. Has a large uncongested network of servers and achieves good speeds. Strong security and privacy features make IPVanish a favorite for Kodi and Amazon Fire TV Stick users. Try it risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee.
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 into issues while trying to fix Kodi on your Firestick that never occur on the Android version of the software. For this reason, 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, it’s a sure sign that something has gone wrong. First, consider when this problem began and what your actions were just prior to the problem beginning.
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. Note that certain some older addons may not have been updated to work with Kodi 19; if you haven’t used Kodi in a while, it may be better to start over instead of manually reinstalling every addon you’ve ever used,
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.
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 Indigo addon from the TVAddons repo. Once installed, click the Maintenance Tools tab, then the Clear Cache button on the right.
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 Indigo tool’s Factory Restore option, found under the Maintenance Tools tab.
Kodi streams won’t play at all
There are three main reasons why a stream might not load. First, make sure you’re connected to the internet. This is simple enough: without internet access, you can’t watch videos hosted online.
The addon may no longer work. Unfortunately, development teams come and go all the time, often due to the threat of legal action. In cases like these, you won’t be able to install new addons from the repo in question, and addons you already have may become unstable or refuse to work.
Most commonly, this error occurs when you try to access a region-locked service from outside of its required country. For instance, if you’re attempting to use the iPlayer WWW addon from outside of the UK, the streams won’t load. You can bypass these restrictions by connecting to a VPN server in the appropriate region before starting the addon.
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 are likely the culprit and should be removed using the Indigo tool. 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, this service 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 mistakes 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, 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 have changed the way the software reads and process addon code, making some older addons obsolete with newer versions of Kodi (for instance, Kodi 19 updated the app to use Python3, which caused many older addons to stop working).
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 a significant risk to your system’s security. For this reason, we’d advise against installing them in the first place.
Finally, it’s possible that this particular addon doesn’t work with your version of Kodi. For instance, until fairly recently, LibreELEC users couldn’t install the Netflix addon due to its reliance on files that weren’t present in just-enough-OS platforms.
Can’t uninstall or delete Kodi addons
At times, you may find a build or a specific Kodi addon causes a conflict with your Kodi installation. If this occurs, you may try to load up Kodi, only to have it crash every time. Thankfully, Kodi addons can be deleted from outside of your Kodi interface.
If you need to delete a Kodi addon, you can do some from your %APPDATA%\Kodi\addons\ folder.
To find it on your system, do the following:
- Go to your C: drive
- Click on Users
- Find the name of the user account you use for your computer and select it
- Click on AppData
- Click on Roaming
- Select the Kodi folder
- Now find the specific plugin causing your issues, and delete it directly from this folder
If you’re unsure which plugin is causing the issue, try deleting your most recently installed addons or repositories and loading Kodi to see if it works. If worst comes to worst, you can delete as many addons or repositories as necessary without causing any harm to your base Kodi installation. You may, however, need to reinstall your addons again later.
Videos frequently stutter or load 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 geo-locking or region-locking. 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.
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.
Kodi addon searches and streams not working
There is a little-known error that can cause your Kodi addons to not perform searches, updates or streams correctly. For example, you may find that some addons can’t pull any newer or older content, even if it normally should be available. If this is the case, try checking your device date and time.
Particularly if you’re using set-top box purchased through Amazon or eBay, there’s a chance the date and time are incorrect. Kodi and its addons utilize the system date and time to correctly pull data. If that information is wrong, you may in-addon searches may pull in bad results or limited results, and it may even impact your streaming or addon updates.
Kodi black screen or blank screen issues
There are a few issues that could be causing a black screen on startup, or creating a blank screen during regular Kodi operation.
One such problem arises when attempting to upgrade from Kodi 16 to version 17+. The change from the Confluence skin to the new Estuary skin may cause you to experience some errors related to the Addons.db file.
Consequently, the fix for this issue is to delete your Addons.db file, which just caches information on your addons. Don’t worry, deleting the file will not delete any of your addons.
You can find this file in the following locations, based on your operating system:
- Android: Android/data/orgkodi/files/.kodi/userdata/Database
- Windows: Click start and type %APPDATA%\kodi\userdata\Database
- Mac: /Users/[YOURUSERNAME]/Library/Application Support/Kodi/userdata/Database
- Linux: ~/.kodi/userdata/Database
- iOS: /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/userdata/Database
- OpenElec/LibreElec: /storage/kodi/userdata/Database
Alternatively, if you’re using an Android box or an Amazon Firestick, you may want to Force Stop Kodi, and then Clear Cache in the app settings. This should also help clear up the issue.
Kodi search not working on addons
If you’ve been using Kodi 19 (Matrix), you may find that the search function in your addons is not working. This is because you may be using addons that have not been properly updated for Kodi 19.
When you use an addon search function, that addon caches information so that you can easily retrieve a result from the search. Kodi 19 changes some of the Python code requirements, making it so that any addon not properly updated to match will fail to work properly.
There is nothing users can do to fix this problem. You must wait until the addon developers update their code. Many have said that they’ll only be supporting Kodi 19 and up from now on, so there’s really no reason to hold off on updating.
HD and 4K streams stuttering
There are a number of issues related to streams stuttering. For example, your internet speed may not be fast enough to handle the 4K or HD stream, and this may result in more buffering. However, especially with 4K, there’s a good chance your device may not be able to handle the higher quality video.
Do a quick Google search of your specific device. Especially if you’re using Kodi on a Firestick, if you’re trying to process 4K streams you will get stuttering. This is also true if you have an older Firestick and you’re trying to get 1080p streams.
My YouTube addon doesn’t work anymore
Recently, YouTube changed the way its API works, which in turn, broke the YouTube Kodi addon, and any addons that relied on it. However, there is a relatively simple way to fix this armed with nothing more than a Google account.
Essentially, you have to create a personal API key. This sounds complicated but there’s a detailed, step-by-step guide to this on the Kodi forums that will get you back up and running in a matter of minutes.
Kodi won’t open
Usually, if Kodi won’t open at all, it’s a sign that something has gone pretty significantly awry. You might have installed an addon that’s incompatible, or perhaps your build wasn’t designed for the version of Kodi that you’re using.
The easiest solution is to delete your Addons27.db file (called Addons33.db in Kodi 19). This will disable (but not delete) all of your installed addons, allowing you to enable them one by one and identify the culpit.
Addons27.db and Addons33.db will be in different locations depending on which operating system you’re using. Here’s where you can find them:
- Windows: %AppData%\Kodi\userdata\Database
- MacOS: /Users/<your_name>/Library/Application Support/Kodi/userdata/Database
- Linux: ~/.kodi/userdata/ Database
- Android: Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata/Database
- iOS: /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/userdata/Database
I can’t get a certain Kodi build to work
We often receive questions from people who have a fresh Kodi installation yet who are having problems watching anything. After a little digging, they reveal that all they have installed is a build. There are several problems with this:
- Builds tend to include unofficial addons, which we can’t provide support for.
- In our experience, builds are rarely kept up to date, which means they often include several addons that have since been taken down.
- These builds tend to cause more problems than they solve.
Our advice is to uninstall your build and manually install each addon you want. This way, you won’t have dozens of addons you’ll never use, plus you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact addon that’s causing any problems should anything go wrong.
General performance issues
If you’re finding that Kodi runs slowly even with few addons installed, or if you’re having a problem that’s more difficult to pin down (for instance, if it only occurs sometimes, or if it’s more of an annoyance than anything else), the easiest solution is usually to reinstall Kodi.
This may be a good time to consider updating the latest version if you haven’t already. After all, Kodi 19 changed a lot under the hood and developers will be designing with the new architecture in mind moving forward. In other words, you’ll have less choice and will find it much more difficult to get help in the future if you stick with Kodi Jarvis, Krypton, or Leia.
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.