Kodi not working on your Firestick? Try these easy fixes

Published by on November 4, 2017 in Kodi

fire tv power adapter

The Amazon Fire TV Stick has quite possibly become the most popular device for Kodi users. Fire Sticks are cheap, reasonably powerful, easy to set up and use, and make Kodi installation easy. But when it comes to Kodi, you’re not likely to get any help from Amazon support if you encounter issues. And because Kodi is a free and open source project, the team behind the software doesn’t have the resources to dedicate to a full-time customer service desk.

Troubleshooting Kodi can be difficult because problems can occur at one of several different layers. It’s up to you to identify whether the issue is caused by your network, the Fire TV Stick, the Kodi app, the add-on you’re trying to use, or the source that the add-on is trying to stream from.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the common problems Kodi users encounter on their Amazon Fire TV Sticks and how to fix them. All advice is for Kodi 17 Krypton but you mind find it works on other versions too. If you use Kodi but not Fire TV, check out our article on more general Kodi problems and fixes.

Troubleshoot first

No matter what problem you may be encountering with Kodi, the first step is to troubleshoot and find where it’s coming from. We need to identify the scope of the problem, i.e., whether it’s limited to a specific addon, the Kodi app, the Fire TV Stick, or your internet connection.

  1. Check your internet connection. Open the Fire TV’s wifi menu to make sure you’re connected to the internet.
  2. Try a different streaming app like Youtube to see whether the issue is limited to Kodi.
  3. Try streaming from a different addon.
  4. Connect to a VPN to check whether your internet service provider is blocking Kodi sources.

For #4, we recommend IPVanish. IPVanish is a VPN that not only helps you troubleshoot problems but can protect your private information and your Fire TV Stick from hackers and snoopers. A VPN encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of your choosing. This prevents your ISP and anyone else from being able to discriminate against specific apps and sources by selectively throttling bandwidth.

We advise readers to use a VPN any time they use Kodi. IPVanish provides the speed and stability necessary to ensure a high-quality stream with minimal buffering.

READER DISCOUNT: Comparitech readers can get 60% off their next IPVanish subscription.

Universal fix: Uninstall, reinstall, and update

A lot of Kodi issues can be solved using a primitive but effective method: uninstall and reinstall. If it’s a particular addon you’re struggling with, just uninstall and reinstall that addon. If it’s a Kodi-wide issue, then completely uninstall and reinstall Kodi.

Don’t forget to update your addons and repositories as well. An out-of-date repo or addon can cause dependency errors and other problems. We’ll assume you know how to install repos and addons, but we’ll show you how to update or remove them.

To update or remove a Kodi repository:

  1. Go to Add-ons (just scroll down to it in the left sidebar, don’t click on it)
  2. Select Install from repository
  3. Long press the repo you want to update or remove and select Information from the context menukodi repo information
  4. Select Update or Uninstallkodi noobs and nerds

To update or remove addons:

  1. Go to Add-ons
  2. Long press the addon you want to update and select Information from the context menu.kodi information
  3. Select Update or Uninstallkodi update bbc iplayer www

Black screen or app crashes on launch

Problem: Upon launch, Kodi either loads a blank black screen or instantly terminates and goes back to the Fire TV home screen.

Solution: This bug often occurs when the app cache is too full for Kodi to run. Complete the following steps to fix it:

  1. Hold down the Home key on your Fire TV remote
  2. Go to Settings > Applications > Manage installed applications
  3. Select Kodi
  4. Select Force stop, then Clear cache 
  5. Back out to the home screen and launch Kodi again

You will see the “Preparing for first launch” message due to the cache just being cleared, and Kodi should then run normally. If this doesn’t work, skip down to this section and try removing the database file specified.

Disable hardware acceleration

Hardware acceleration is a main cause of Kodi crashes, particularly on Android. You can try turning it off to see if the issue goes away. From the Kodi home screen, click the gear icon to go to the settings menu.

Disable Kodi hardware acceleration

Next, select Player settings. At the bottom of the page is another gear icon with the word “Basic” next to it. Click this three times and “Basic” should become “Expert”. 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.

No stream available

Problem: When attempting to stream a video on Kodi, you repeatedly get the “no stream available” error.

Solution: Assuming you’ve gone through our troubleshooting steps, this problem occurs when Kodi is for some reason unable to locate sources from which to stream a video. Unfortunately, it’s not a very specific error. Not only could the addon in question be causing the problem, another addon could be a factor as well.

There is a chance that the addon is no longer supported by the repository where you originally got it, in which case you’ll need to find it elsewhere. For example, the TVAddons repository and many others went offline earlier this year due to legal issues. Although the repository came back, it’s now under a new web address, so the addons you installed from the old repository may no longer work.

Once you’ve confirmed the problem is within Kodi and the repo and addon are still being maintained, try updating Kodi, repositories, and the addon itself. To update Kodi on Fire TV Stick, you’ll need to download the latest version from the official Kodi website and install it just like you would if it were a fresh install, only this time you’ll be given the option to update instead. Note that if you’re updating from Kodi 16 to 17, you’ll need to completely uninstall the old version first.

Read more: How to install (or update) Kodi on a Fire TV Stick

No app found to handle this file

Problem: This error message occurs when attempting to install Kodi on Fire TV from an APK file, but Fire OS has no compatible apps to handle APK files.

Solution: Start by following our guide on how to install Kodi on a Fire TV Stick. If you’ve followed those instructions and still get the “no app found to handle this file” error, then the problem is probably with the Downloader app. Make sure you’re using the latest version of Downloader, which supports the installation of APK files. A previous version did not, which caused the error.

To update an app on Fire OS:

  1. From the Fire TV home screen, select Apps > Store
  2. Click the menu icon at the bottom fo the Store page
  3. Select My apps > Update available
  4. Click the Update button next to Downloader

Crash during playback

Problem: If Kodi crashes during playback, you may need to adjust some of the advanced settings like cache memory buffer size, CURL timeout, and buffer factor. These are set to a universal default but can be modified manually or by one of several “wizards”. The problem is that many people get it wrong and set these figures too high for the Fire Stick’s hardware to handle, resulting in crashes and other bad behavior. On the other hand, having these set too low can lead to long buffer times. Unfortunately, there are no magic numbers to enter here, even across seemingly identical devices.

Solution: We recommend using the Advanced Settings Wizard that comes with Ares Wizard. It will scan for and calculate the optimum settings for your device. Learn more about how to do this in our article on how to fix buffering on Fire TV.

Performance-related issues

Problem: This is a broad issue that can result in one or more possible behaviors that all stem from the Fire TV Stick being too underpowered for the task at hand. Symptoms include:

  • Lag
  • App crashes
  • Reduced video quality
  • Lower frame rate
  • Slow motion video
  • Out-of-sync sound
  • Long buffering times

Solution: These aren’t so much bugs specific to Kodi as they are limitations of the Fire TV Stick hardware. For that reason, we recommend checking out our other article on how to speed up your Fire TV Stick.

Build-related issues

Problem: There’s no shortage of custom builds out there for Kodi, but sometimes they can have an adverse effect on performance or cause bugs when running Kodi on Fire TV. Almost all builds require more resources than stock Kodi, and most aren’t optimized for the Fire TV Stick’s limited resources. Because they aren’t usually vetted by experts, Kodi builds can also contain vulnerabilities, malware, and spyware that can damage your device and/or steal your private information.

Solution: If you encounter problems, learn how to uninstall a Kodi build on Fire TV here.

Hanging on shut down

Problem: Sometimes Kodi gets stuck when you attempt to close it. You’ll probably notice this behavior after a Kodi update of some sort. It occurs because of a failure to correctly update a database file, such as when upgrading from Kodi 16 to Kodi 17. Sometimes this can also cause a black screen on startup followed by the app crashing.

Solution: The solution is to delete a file called “addons” followed by a number and the .db file extension. In most cases, this will be addons27.db or addons20.db. Here’s how to delete it:

  1. Launch Kodi and select the Gear icon to open the settings menu
  2. Go to File manager > Profile Directory > Database
  3. Long press addons27.db, or whatever version of this file you have, and select Delete

Overheating

Problem: Overheating can permanently damage your Fire TV Stick. Since it’s probably plugged into the back of your TV and out of plain sight, the issue may be hard to spot. If you notice your Fire TV Stick is hot to the touch, we recommend first diagnosing the root of the problem. Overheating usually goes hand in hand with hardware performance issues. If you don’t have any of the other problems on this list, check out our guide on how to make your Fire TV Stick run faster.

Solution: Assuming you’ve done everything you can and the Fire TV is still overheating, you can try purchasing a USB-powered fan like this one. These handy gadgets plug into any USB port, which most modern TVs have nowadays. Point it at your Fire TV Stick, and you can make your Kodi device a bit less feverish.

Failed to install a dependency

Problem: Some addons depend on other addons to do their job. Dependency errors often occur when new addons are installed or when an existing addon is updated, and the two addons are no longer able to work together. A common dependency error for many users deals with URLResolver. The culprit is often a repository that has gone dark. Users who previously used the TVAddons Fusion repository frequently encounter this error.

Solution: Disable repositories that no longer function so that Kodi will search in working repos instead. To disable a repository:

  1. Launch Kodi and select the Gear icon to open the settings menu
  2. Go to File manager and locate the repo that needs to be removed.
  3. Long press the repo and a context menu will appear. Select Remove source.

Of course, you may not have the dependency that you need in any other installed repo. In that case, you will need to either find another repository that has the dependency or download the dependency and install it directly via zip file.

Buffering…

Long buffer times can be caused by a lot of issues that we address in another article on how to fix buffering on Fire TV. But here’s a quick fix that works with many popular add-ons:

  1. Go to Add-ons > Video add-ons
  2. Select the addon that’s having trouble. Scroll down and select the Tools option. This may be called something different depending on the addon you’re using.
  3. Select the options to Clear providers and Clear cache

Buffering can also be caused by a slow internet connection. Even if you have fast internet, internet service providers often frown upon Kodi activity and throttle bandwidth accordingly. If you think this might be the case, we recommend using a VPN.

A VPN encrypts all of a device’s internet traffic and routes it through an intermediary server in a location of your choosing. This prevents your ISP from seeing the contents of your internet traffic and where it’s going to and from. This means your ISP can’t discriminate against certain types of traffic or sources.

Our top recommendation is IPVanish, which offers plentiful speed so you no longer need to worry about buffering issues. You’ll also avail of better security and more privacy. IPVanish offers a 7-day risk-free guarantee, and Comparitech readers can get 60% off their next IPVanish plan when they sign up here.

Get your log files

If you’re still struggling to find the root of a Kodi problem and you’ve reached the end of relevant Google results, it might be time to ask for help on a forum. Don’t just post your problem and expect other people to magically know the answer, though. You’ll need to post the contents of your log file for others to diagnose the problem.

You can access the log file on a Fire TV Stick in a couple of different ways that we’ll explain here.

The first is using the Kodi Log File Uploader, an addon in the official Kodi repository.

  1. Go to Add-ons > Install from repository > Kodi add-on repository > Program add-ons > Kodi LogFile Uploaderkodi logfile uploader 1
  2. Select Install
  3. Go to back to the home screen and open the Settings menu by clicking the Gear icon.
  4. Go to System Settings > Logging and Enable debug logging
  5. Restart Kodi and make the error or bug occur again. You need to reproduce the problem for Kodi to log it.
  6. Head back to the main menu and select Add-ons > Program add-ons > Kodi LogFile Uploader and select the Uploader addon
  7. Kodi will upload your log file to a URL where you can find it. A message will pop up containing the URL, which looks like http://paste.ubuntu.com/########/kodi logfile uploader 2

Go to that URL and you’ll find your log file. Copy and paste the relevant contents of this file to whichever forum where you want to ask your question.

Note that if your problem involves Kodi crashing, then you’ll need to upload the log file from the previous session. To do this, long press the Kodi LogFile Uploader add-on in step #6 and choose Settings. Check the option to Post the old logfile, from the previous time Kodi ran.

If you want to get your log file via some other means, you can find it at {storage}/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/temp/kodi.log

You can post the contents of your log file to the official Kodi forum or the official Kodi reddit, but be warned that you’ll find no help with third-party addons there. Discussion about unofficial addons breaks Team Kodi’s forum rules in both locations, even if the addon doesn’t infringe on copyrights. Instead, you might try /r/Addons4Kodi for those third-party addons.

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.

Leave feedback

Once you solve your problem, it’s always good to leave feedback. We invite you to share your own tips and fixes in the comments. If you sought help on forums, always remember to let the community know whether their advice worked or not. Kodi can only continue to improve with help from its users.

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