YouTube Kodi addon

If you’re building a home media center, it’d be a mistake to ignore YouTube. After all, it’s the world’s biggest video-sharing platform and offers everything from cat videos to long-form video essays. Best of all, if you stream YouTube on Kodi, you won’t even have to put up with the service’s (increasingly frequent) ads.

Unfortunately, due to changes in YouTube’s backend, there are a few extra steps involved; you can’t just install the addon and get started. Don’t worry, though: we’ve provided detailed step-by-step instructions to get you up and running in no time.

First off, use a VPN with Kodi

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Step one: Installing the YouTube Kodi addon

To begin with, we’ll need to install the YouTube addon. Here’s how:

  1. Start by clicking the Add-ons menu item on Kodi’s main screen
  2. Click the Download menu item
  3. Browse to the Video addons icon and click it to open up the list of available video addons.
  4. Next, scroll down until you find the YouTube menu item. Click it, then choose InstallYouTube Kodi Addon - Install 4
  5. Once the YouTube Kodi addon has installed, click the icon to open it

Step 2: Setting up the YouTube Kodi addon

The bad news is that, in order for YouTube to work, you’ll have to spend a few minutes setting up a personal API key. This will allow the app to verify that it’s really you accessing the service, and getting started is easier than you might expect. Just follow these steps and you’ll be watching your favorite creators in just a few minutes:

Note: there is a video walkthrough of this process but we’ve provided instructions below just in case the video ever becomes unavailable.

  1. First, visit Google’s Developer Dashboard and sign in with your Google account
  2. Click the CREATE PROJECT button and click Create
  3. Hit the ENABLE APIS AND SERVICES button at the top of the screen
  4. Scroll down and select YouTube Data API, then click Enable
  5. On the next screen, select Create Credentials
  6. Click on the words “API key” above the drop-down list, then hit the Create button
  7. Hover over CREATE CREDENTIALS and choose OAuth client ID, then CONFIGURE CONSENT SCREEN, then External
  8. Type a project name and click the Save button
  9. Select the Credentials option on the left of the screen, hover over CREATE CREDENTIALS and click on OAuth client ID again
  10. Under Application type, choose TVs and Limited Input devices
  11. Hit Save then OK

Step 3: Configuring the YouTube addon for Kodi

Now we just have to put it all together. Here’s how to add your new API key to the YouTube Kodi addon:

  1. Copy your API Key (it should look like a long string of numbers and letters)
  2. Return to Kodi, right-click the YouTube addon and select Settings
  3. Scroll down the list on the left and hover over API
  4. Paste your API Key into the API Key field
  5. Click the checkbox under the OAuth 2.0 Client IDs heading and then click the pencil icon on the right-hand side
  6. Copy your Client ID and paste it into the YouTube addon’s API Id field
  7. Copy the client secret, then paste it into the final empty field in the Kodi addon, API Secret before clicking the OK button
  8. Open the YouTube addon, click Sign in, and copy the code that’s shown
    YouTube Kodi Addon - Link Account
  9. Visit and log in with the code you just copied (note that you’ll have to do this twice — that’s normal)
    YouTube Kodi Addon - Link Account
  10. Select your account, then click Allow
    YouTube Kodi Addon - Link Account
  11. You’ll see a scary-looking warning screen. This just lets you know that the app hasn’t been verified for safely. However, as we’ve just created it, we know exactly what it does so there’s no need to worry. Click Advanced, then Go to YOURPROJECTNAMEHERE
  12. When you return to Kodi, you should be able to browse YouTube as normal

Additional YouTube settings

The YouTube Kodi addon actually gives users quite a lot of control over what they see, so you might want to check out its settings pages. Note that as of the time of writing, the Age gate and Safe search features do not appear to work.

Here are a few of the settings you might want to tweak:

  • Video quality: If you have particularly slow internet, you might notice smoother playback with lower-quality video
  • Audio only: Conserve data by essentially turning YouTube videos into podcasts
  • Auto-Remove from “Watch Later”: This just saves you a few clicks when you stream a video in your Watch Later playlist
  • Refresh after watching: Removes just-watched content from your homepage
  • Configure subtitles: Automatically enable subtitles in a specific language (where available)
  • Folders: Show or hide various categories

YouTube on Kodi: FAQs

Can I create playlists using the YouTube Kodi addon?

The YouTube addon for Kodi maintains most of the website’s functionality (and actually improves on it in some ways) but it’s not perfect. For instance, you can’t add videos to custom playlists.

There is a workaround, though. If you right-click a video, you can choose to add it to the queue or the Favorites playlist. This isn’t ideal, but it does let users find videos again later so they can add them to the playlist they actually wanted.

Does YouTube for Kodi have a kids' mode?

Technically, Kodi’s YouTube addon does have an age gate and safe search built-in. However, we were unable to get either of these to work.

Instead, if you have children, you might be better off using the YouTube Channels addon (also in the official Kodi repo). This lets you decide which channels are available, with everything else blocked. It’s also possible to prevent children from tweaking these settings or adding new channels on their own, making it better for parents overall.

What else can I watch on Kodi?

Kodi has addons for just about everything. If you’re tired of YouTube, why not try out some of the best live TV addons, watch some movies, or catch up on sports? There’s something for the kids too, with lots of addons delivering children’s entertainment and cartoons.

See also: The best Kodi  live TV addons

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