Kodi is one of the best ways to organize your entertainment content. Right “out of the box,” Kodi offers a ton of ways to make your library look better and help you find something to watch. But there’s more to Kodi that comes with a simple initial installation. For many of Kodi’s biggest fans, the real appeal of the app lies in its add-ons. That’s why we’re here today to discuss how to install Kodi add-ons.
Add-ons are extensions that can change and expand the ways in which Kodi works. There are a ton of these things: since Kodi is open-source, anyone with the right skill set can make add-ons that play nice with the program. Those add-ons can do anything from change the way Kodi looks to add new ways to stream content.
Some add-ons are endorsed by Kodi. Some aren’t — and some are even illegal. Kodi has made a greater effort in recent years to banish the bad eggs and actively endorse certain legal add-ons, but it’s still possible to get the shady ones, if that’s what you’re into. Meanwhile, fans of using Kodi legally will have no trouble getting the add-ons they want (and should also have no trouble distinguishing between the good ones and the bad).
How to Install Kodi Add-ons: 3 Different Methods
There are a few different ways to get and install Kodi add-ons. Depending on which add-ons you’re after, your options may vary.
The first and easiest way to install Kodi add-ons is to grab them from the default repository. Kodi makes this easy to do right out of the box.
Another method is to add a new repository. Like the default repository, other repositories give you quick access to a selection of add-ons through Kodi’s menus. Once you’ve added a new repository, you can add add-ons from it using the same process as is used with the default repository.
Finally, you can add Kodi add-ons by downloading them directly as .zip files, then installing them using an option that’s built into Kodi.
Here is everything you need to know about all three methods.
Method 1: Using the Default Repository
This super-simple method requires you to do nothing other than click a few things in Kodi’s menus. It’s all you’ll need in order to get the add-ons that Kodi approved of most.
Step 1: Select the Add-ons Tab
Add-ons get their own tab in Kodi’s main menu. If you’re using the default skin, you’ll find the Add-ons button on the left side of your screen.
Step 2: Navigate to the Add-On Browser
If you don’t have any add-ons yet, you’ll see a screen that looks like this:
Click Enter add-on browser.
If you do have add-ons already, your screen will look a little different:
But you can still quickly reach the right spot. Just select Install from repository and you’ll be a little bit ahead of the game when you move on to the next step.
Step 3: Select “Install from repository” and select your add-on
You should see a menu that looks like this:
Click Install from repository. Kodi will serve up a file system full of different categories of add-ons. Just surf around and check out your options. When you find one you want, click it!
Step 4: Just Press “Install!”
Once you’ve clicked on an add-on you want to install, you’ll get a simple screen with a button that says Install. You probably would have figured this out yourself, but that’s the button you’ll want to hit in order to install the add-on.
Method 2: Add a New Repository
A repository is a big stash of add-ons. These add-ons aren’t installed yet when you grab a repository — the idea of the repository is that it makes installing add-ons easier. Kodi has an official repository of add-ons built right into its out-of-the-box version, but you can also add repositories of your own.
Of course, now we’re talking about add-ons that have not been specifically approved and endorsed by Kodi. Plenty of these sorts of add-ons are legal, and lots of them are great, but you’ll want to use your own judgment here.
Step 1: Find the URL of a Repository You Want
For our purposes here, I’ve chosen the extremely popular SuperRepo repository.
In subsequent steps, we’ll tell Kodi this URL so that it can download the repository. The URL for the SuperRepo depository is http://srp.nu/ — you can find the URLs of all sorts of other repositories online. Again, just keep in mind that repositories (like the add-ons they contain) can run the gamut from safe and trustworthy to, well, less so.
Step 2: In Kodi, Navigate to Settings>File Manager>Add Source
Settings is a top-level menu option in Kodi. If you’re using the default skin, the Settings button is a little gear button above the main menu, between the “Power” and “Search” buttons.
Once you’re in the Settings menu, just click the File Manager button. It’s on the right side of the bottom row if you’re using Kodi’s default look.
You’ll be greeted with a little menu with two options. Select Add Source. You’ll have to double-click it.
Step 3: Input the Repository URL and Name
Double-clicking Add Source will give you a pop-up menu. You’ll see an option labeled <None>. click that, and you’ll get another pop-up window that prompts you for “media locations.”
Enter the repository URL into this text box. If you’re going with the SuperRepo repository, as we are in this example, you’ll be entering that URL we found above: http://srp.nu/
Hit OK, and you’ll be back to that first pop-up menu. You should see the repository URL in the spot where “<None>” used to be.
Now go ahead and give your media source a name using the text box near the bottom of the pop-up. For this example, we’ll label the SuperRepo repository “SuperRepo,” since that seems sensible enough.
Now go ahead and Hit OK.
What we’ve done here is given Kodi the directions to the repository online. With that done, we can now go download the repository through Kodi’s menus.
Step 4: From Kodi’s Main Menu, Navigate to Add-ons>Package Installer>Install from zip file
Hit escape or otherwise backtrack to Kodi’s main menu. From there, click the Add-ons tab.
Once in the Add-ons tab, you should see a button with an open box icon on it. That’s the Package Installer button, so click that next.
You’ll get a menu that includes the option to Install from zip file. Click that one.
Step 5: If You Haven’t Already, Allow Installations from Unknown Sources
Unless you’ve swapped the setting previously, Kodi is going to object when you click “Install from zip file.” You’ll get an error message that says “For security, installation of add-ons from unknown sources is disabled.”
No biggie. Just click Settings on that pop-up warning. It will take you to the screen where you can toggle that Unknown sources setting. Enable it, and you’ll be good to go.
If you click the wrong button, you can trigger the error message again by just repeated Step 4. Or, you can just navigate from the main menu to Settings>System>Add-ons to find the Unknown sources option on your own.
Step 6: Install Your Repository
Once you have told Kodi that you’re okay with unknown sources, you should get through Step 4 just fine. That will give you a pop-up menu that lets you locate the zip file you want. Since you’ve added your repository’s URL as a source in Steps 1 through 3, you’ll see your repository as an option (aren’t you glad you gave it a sensible name?). Click it!
Most likely, you’ll see more folders once you click on the main one. If you went with SuperRepo, as in our example here, you’ll want to next click the folder for the version of Kodi you’re using (as of this writing, Krypton is the current version). After that, you can choose to download the whole repository (the all folder) or just the parts that cover certani categories of add-ons.
Work your way through the folders and locate the right option for you. Once you find a zip file, click it to install it.
That’s it: your repository is ready to use. So let’s use it!
Step 6: Follow the Steps from Method A
You’ve added a lot of add-on options, but you haven’t actually installed a single add-on yet — so let’s do that now!
Now that you have a new repository, you’ll find its add-on options available alongside the ones from the default repository. To install an add-on from your new repository, just follow the same steps we outlined for the default repository. They’re right up above under the Method 1 header.
Method 3: Install a Kodi Add-on from a Zip File
Not all Kodi add-ons are included in popular repositories. And, sometimes, it’s just as easy to download an add-on directly as it is to download a whole repository. If you just want one add-on, why bother with the repository? In these cases, you can grab a zip file of the add-on in question and just add it directly.
Of course, it will be up to you to determine if the add-on is legal and safe. With that disclaimer, let’s go get ourselves an add-on.
Step 1: Download a Zip File (Or Set up a URL Source)
If we want to install an add-on from a zip file, then we’ll need a zip file, of course. Find the zip file of the add-on you want and download it.
Or, if you prefer, you can enter the URL of the zip file as a source in Kodi’s File Manager (Settings>File Manager>Add Source). For more detailed directions regarding this method, check out Steps 2 through 3 under Method 2.
Step 2: Navigate to Add-ons>Add-on Browser>Install from zip file
From Kodi’s main menu, select the Add-ons tab. If you don’t yet have any add-ons, you can hop right to the Add-ons Browser by clicking on the relevant button. If you already have add-ons, click the My Add-ons button and then select the ellipsis (…) to hop backwards into the Add-on Browser.
Once in the Add-on Browser, just click Install from zip file.
Step 3: Select Your Zip File
When you select Install from zip file, you’ll get a pop-up menu that will allow you to navigate through your file systems or select URL sources that you’ve given Kodi the details on. Depending on what you did in Step 1, you’ll either be headed to whatever folder you downloaded your zip file to or simply clicking on the source you created with Kodi.
Either way, Kodi will cheerfully download your new add-on. You’re done!
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