Why Is Kodi Not Working? 12 Common Problems & Fixes

Kodi not working? Are you having trouble installing or launching the app? Or perhaps Kodi buffers video files for too long? Regardless of the technical issue you are experiencing, you’ve come to the right place because we can help!

First of all, you should know that our editorial team has been using Kodi for several years daily. Considering that we like to dive deep into this application and test its limits, we’ve encountered a fair share of problems. In other words, you can be sure that we know how to fix problems with Kodi. So, let’s start talking about what to do when Kodi isn’t working.

Why You Should Always Use a VPN With Kodi

Kodi boxes are excellent hardware that comes free of charge and can easily adapt to meet your needs. However, they are increasingly becoming an attractive target for hackers. At TechNadu, we recommend our readers use a reliable VPN to deal with Kodi’s serious privacy and security issues and to avoid trouble with law enforcement. We recommend using ExpressVPN to protect yourself when using Kodi.

The other benefit of using a VPN is to save yourself from third-party addons. A seasoned Kodi user will tell you that there are thousands of addons, but only a handful are officially supported. And since these addons have access to your whole system, they are arguably the weakest point. 

The argument is quite conclusive; you should use a VPN with Kodi even if you intend only to watch legal content because the number of loopholes and flaws makes it easy for cybercriminals to take advantage of you.

Kodi Not Working? Here's How to Fix

Without any further ado, let’s jump to what you truly want to know. Here’s how to fix when Kodi is not working - along with a rich set of possible solutions.

1. Kodi Fails to Start (Crashes on Startup)

We’ve prepared 2 solutions to this problem, which luckily doesn’t happen too often. Here’s what to do when Kodi crashes on startup and refuses to launch.

Fix #1: Download the Latest Visual C++ Redistributable

If you’ve bought a new Windows PC recently, or if you’ve recently installed a fresh copy of Windows, Kodi can sometimes fail to launch.

The application crashes on startup without showing you an exact error message. So, here’s an easy fix for this problem.

In many cases, installing the latest Visual C++ redistributable resolves this issue. It’s interesting to note that Kodi should check for any missing files on your system during the installation - but this doesn’t always happen.

So, go to Microsoft’s website and download the latest update.

Fix #2: Update Kodi to The Latest Available Version

With each new update, Kodi receives plenty of bug fixes, meaning there’s always a chance that the bug you’re encountering has been fixed in the meantime.

ATTENTION

Kodi 19 ‘Matrix’ is the latest available major version of the application (Kodi 19.1Kodi 19.2, Kodi 19.3, and Kodi 19.4 were also released). Still, if you haven’t updated Kodi yet, know that the latest version breaks compatibility with a large number of add-ons.

You’ll need to wait for third-party developers to make their add-ons compatible with Kodi 19, which could take a while. We’ve seen some progress when it comes to add-ons from Kodi’s official repository. However, the situation is still very problematic for add-ons that come from outside Kodi’s repository.

Therefore, if you use many add-ons, stick to Kodi 18.9 for now. Keep in mind that downgrading from Kodi 19 to Kodi 18 can be a very tricky task to accomplish (even impossible in many cases).

Downloading Kodi From Official Website

So, here’s how to update Kodi to the latest available version.

  • Visit the download section on Kodi’s official website. Select your operating system under the ‘Choose Your Weapon’ section.
  • Pick the ‘Recommended’ tab and download Kodi’s installation file.
  • In some cases, if you fail to fix the issue, you can try via the ‘Pre Release’ tab, where you can download a beta Kodi version.
  • Now, reinstall Kodi on your device. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t remove the existing Kodi installation if you want to keep your media library intact. Simply reinstall Kodi, and it will automatically patch any applicable files.
Tip

Updating Kodi requires you to reinstall the application. It means that you need to repeat the same steps you took when installing the application. To see our detailed installation guides for all kinds of platforms, we have a dedicated article on how to update Kodi.

Learn: How to fix Kodi stuck on the loading screen issue

2. Kodi Is Freezing, Pausing, or Crashing Frequently

There are several possible reasons why Kodi might be misbehaving. So, here’s what to do when Kodi stops working - by freezing when launched or if the application crashes.

Fix #1: Clear Kodi’s Cache Files

Kodi’s cached data can include everything from files, scripts, and images, to other media stored on your device. These are typically the files you access pretty often, which helps the application improve its performance. However, if there’s a problem with the cache, this will force Kodi to crash.

What you need to do in this case is clear Kodi’s cache files. Click on the provided link to learn how that’s done using a third-party addon called Indigo.

Indigo is a hugely powerful maintenance addon that has the potential to resolve numerous issues, and we highly recommend using it.

Fix #2: Disable Hardware Acceleration

This problem is more present on Android devices, which is why we recommend you disable hardware acceleration if you have any kind of Android-based device, including a range of TV set-top boxes.

So, make sure to go through the following steps.

Kodi Settings Hardware Acceleration
  • Launch Kodi on your device.
  • Go to Settings by clicking on the cogwheel-shaped icon (top-left corner).
  • Click on the ‘Player’ button on the left side of the screen. If you have an older Kodi version, this option should be named ‘Player Settings.’
  • Click on the gear icon (bottom-left corner) until it says ‘Expert.’ On the right side of the screen, you’ll see an option that says: ‘Allow Hardware Acceleration.’
  • Make sure to disable hardware acceleration by clicking on the ON/OFF switch on the right. To apply this change, you’ll need to restart Kodi.

Fix #3: Reset Kodi to Factory Settings

Restoring Kodi to factory settings is done via an addon called Indigo. This is a maintenance addon that you can use to resolve all kinds of Kodi-related issues.

Tip

Keep in mind that resetting Kodi to its factory settings will delete any custom content you have - including videos, photos, and music. In other words, you will need to import your media library once again.

Here’s how to reset Kodi to its factory settings by using Indigo:

  • First, make sure to install Indigo. You can check how that’s done by clicking on the link we’ve provided above.
  • On the home screen, you’ll see an option named ‘Factory Restore.’ Click on it.
  • You’ll be asked whether you want to perform this operation, so go ahead with ‘Yes.’
  • Once everything’s done, restart Kodi and import your media library once again.

Fix #4: Update the 'URL Resolver' Addon

In many cases, faulty addons cause Kodi to not work properly. We suggest you disconnect from the Internet first. Then, open Kodi and delete any recently installed addons.

You can also try to update Internet scrapers (while being online, of course), and here’s how that is done:

  • Launch Kodi and go to Settings. Then, click on the ‘System’ button.
  • Scroll down to the ‘Add-ons’ tab and click on ‘Manage Dependencies.’
  • You will see an entry named ‘URL Resolver.’ Select it and then select ‘Update.’
  • Make sure to restart Kodi.
Tip

This solution typically applies to Kodi users who rely on unofficial (third-party) addons. Many of those rely on URL Resolver to scrape content from the Web.

3. Kodi Shows the 'Failed to Install a Dependency' Error

Kodi addons rely on different types of dependencies to work. For example, we have Web scrapers searching the Internet for media streaming links. If the scraper doesn’t work, the addon won’t work either.

Now, let’s talk about how to resolve this. You’ll find all you need to know in our article on resolving Kodi’s dependency-related issues. More precisely, we’ve decided to show you the 3 most effective solutions to this error, so make sure to click on the provided link.

4. Kodi Shows the ‘Unable to Create Application’ Error

In some cases, updating your Kodi to the latest available version can cause certain issues when Kodi stops working.

When it comes to other solutions to the ‘Unable to Create Application’ error, here’s what to do if this is happening on a Windows PC.

Kodi Proflies XML File
  • Go to My Computer on your PC.
  • Now, make sure that you can see hidden files. This is done (on Windows 10) by clicking on the ‘View’ tab and then selecting ‘Hidden Items.’
  • Now go to C: > Users > Your Username > App Data > Roaming.
  • Next, go to Kodi > Userdata.
  • This is where you’ll find a file named profiles.xml. Delete the file.
  • Now, restart your PC and launch Kodi. The application will create a new ‘profiles.xml’ file, and it should start successfully.
Tip

You can also access the ‘profiles.xml’ via Kodi by going to Settings > File Manager > Profile Directory. Right-click on the file and delete it from there.

5. Kodi Fails to Connect to a Source

Every time you want to add an external source (when trying to install an addon, for example), you will need to add a URL. If Kodi fails to open/find that URL, you will see a notification saying that it can’t connect to the source.

So, here’s what to fix this Kodi problem.

  • First, make sure that you’ve entered the URL correctly.
  • Check if the URL you’re trying to use begins with ‘HTTP’ or ‘HTTPS’ and check for any uppercase or lowercase letters.
  • If you’re 100% sure that you’ve entered the URL correctly, the repository might be offline. In that case, try installing some other addon from a different source.

6. Kodi Addons Fail to Play (Stream) a Video

In case you can’t access video streams after installing an addon, we suggest 2 options. First, update your addon to the latest version. If that doesn’t help, try using a VPN.

Fix #1: Update Your Kodi Addons

Keeping your Kodi addons updated is essential. This is even more important for unstable or newly released addons, which typically require a few updates to eliminate issues. Taking a backup of your data will help you to restore it later for normal functioning even If the new version of addons doesn't allow you to load Kodi properly.

With that said, here’s how to manually update Kodi addons.

Uninstalling Kodi Addons
  1. Open Kodi and navigate to the Add-ons section.
  2. Now go to Video Add-ons, where you’ll find the addon you are looking for.
  3. Once you find it, right-click on its icon and pick ‘Information.’
  4. Finally, click on the ‘Update’ button to manually check for a newer version.
Tip

Don’t forget to remove any addons you no longer use. In some cases, they can cause certain technical problems with Kodi, especially if they get automatically updated. Here’s how to uninstall Kodi addons or stop Kodi from auto-updating.

Fix #2: Use a VPN to Unblock Geo-Restricted Content

In many cases, fixes for Kodi-related problems might be out of your reach. That’s because Kodi is often associated with piracy, which forces certain ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to block or throttle Kodi-related traffic.

This usually produces problems with buffering, which makes streaming video files close to impossible.

The most reliable way to fix this issue is by using a VPN application. These are quite technical yet easy-to-use solutions that encrypt your Web traffic.

By being encrypted, your traffic can’t be throttled by anyone, including your ISP. And also, you’ll get to use Kodi addons that are unavailable in your country due to geo-restrictions.

Tip

In case you’ve never used a VPN before, it’s advisable to learn about the basics of this type of software. Therefore, read more about VPN applications, and then read about how VPN apps work. Once you’re ready to make your pick and start using it, you’ll want to check our guide on how to install a VPN for Kodi.

Since VPNs are subscription-based, you need to do your research before deciding on which one to use. A good place to start is our in-depth overview of the best VPN for Kodi. That’s where you’ll see that we strongly recommend subscribing to ExpressVPN - which is truly the best VPN right now, suitable for the majority of Kodi users.

7. Kodi Addons Fail to Return Any Search Results

Kodi won’t be able to search for files if the date and time of the application/device aren’t set correctly. This causes issues with individual addons, especially those that list entries based on dates.

Therefore, to resolve this problem, you need to check your device. This can be a computer, a media streaming device, or a TV set-top box. Double-check if the date and time are set properly.

Tip

If you’ve just upgraded to a major new Kodi version, there might be a chance that you’re using not-yet-updated Kodi addons. It might take a few months until developers update their addons and make them compatible with (major) new Kodi versions. Read this guide if you see this error message "The Add-on Is Not Compatible With This Version of Kodi."

8. Kodi Fails/Refuses to Uninstall an Addon

In some cases, Kodi will present a series of errors that prevent you from uninstalling individual addons. So, here’s what you need to do.

Fix #1: Delete Kodi Addons - The Right Way!

At times, faulty addons can force your Kodi to crash. When that happens, you need to remove recently installed addons. There are different ways to do this, with the easiest one being from Kodi’s interface.

For more information on how to do this procedure properly, make sure to check our article on how to delete Kodi addons.

Fix #2: Delete Kodi's 'Addons27.db' Database File

If you’re experiencing problems related to Kodi’s black screen or blank screen issues - you can resolve these by deleting a file named ‘Addons27.db.’ It’s also important to note that this issue usually happens when updating Kodi to a major new version.

The solution is to delete a file called ‘Addons27.db,’ which contains cached data about your installed addons. You won’t remove any addons this way, as the file will be automatically generated the next time you launch Kodi.

So, here’s how to find and delete this file.

Kodi Addons27db Folder
  • Windows: Paste the following path to your Windows Explorer’s navigation path: %AppData%KodiuserdataDatabase.
  • MacOS: Go to Users > Your Username > Library > Application Support > Kodi > Userdata > Database.
  • Linux: Go to ~ > Kodi > Userdata > Database.
  • Android: Navigate using a File Manager to Android > data > orgkodi > files > kodi > userdata > Database.
  • iOS: Go to private > var > mobile > Library > Preferences > Kodi > Userdata > Database.
  • OpenElec/LibreElec: Navigate to storage > kodi > userdata > Database.

Once you open the ‘Database’ folder, delete the ‘Addons27.db’ file. There’s no need to restart your device; just open Kodi. The file will be created from scratch, potentially resolving Kodi-related blank screen issues.

9. Kodi Repository Not Working

You need to know that Kodi addons rely on remote servers. Even though they’re installed locally, they need an Internet connection to work. If something happens to those servers, the addon will stop working.

In general, Kodi addons can be quite unreliable, especially unofficial ones. They depend on their developers, who spend quite a lot of time maintaining their addons.

Learn: Why Are Unofficial Kodi Addons Not Safe for Use?

So, when you find a non-working addon or repository, we suggest you simply move to a new one. There are hundreds of addons on the Web, and we’re sure you’ll find an alternative.

Also Read: Best Working Kodi Addons / Best Kodi Repositories

10. Kodi Video Files Take Too Long to Buffer

Here’s what to do if you’re experiencing playback issues with your Kodi. We’ve prepared several handy solutions for you.

Fix #1: Fine-Tune Kodi’s ‘AdvancedSettings’ File

Even though Kodi is a lightweight application, you can allocate more resources to help the application run even better.

This is done via an XML file that you need to create and place within your 'User Data' folder. We’ll tell you how to create that file, where to put it, and how to make Kodi more powerful.

The first step is to create a new file with the XML extension that needs to be placed in your User Data folder.

Here’s how to locate Kodi’s ‘User Data’ folder on different operating systems:

  • Windows: Open the Run command by pressing the Windows Key + R. Paste the following code: ‘%APPDATA%roamingkodiuserdata.’ Press Enter, and you’ll see the corresponding directory. You can also use the provided navigation path by launching the Start menu in Windows 10 and pasting it.
  • Mac: Go to /Users/<your_user_name>/Library/Application Support/Kodi/userdata/.
  • Linux: Navigate to ~/.kodi/userdata/.
  • Android: Use a File Manager and go to this directory: Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata/.
  • iOS: Use a File Manager and open the following directory: /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/Kodi/userdata/.

Once you’ve found the directory, create a new file and name it ‘advancedsettings.xml.’ This is done by creating a new text file and making sure you are using the XML extension.

Kodi Troubleshooting - Advanced Settings 2

Using the image placed above, you can see the final look of the Advanced Settings file. Please note that the blue-colored text must be placed as you see in the image.

The white text presents variations you can use, depending on your device’s specifications. The green-colored text refers to explanations for what each of the available commands can do.

To help you understand what each of the commands is used for, we’ll take a closer look at every one of them:

  • <memorysize> is a command used to tell Kodi how many bytes to use. In general, you can use up to one-third of your free RAM and dedicate it to Kodi. However, make sure to calculate that number in bytes. You can use this Online Converter to convert units.
  • <buffermode> is a setting that defines the types of content that are allowed to be buffered. For example, you can instruct Kodi only to buffer locally stored content or to buffer any kind of file. ‘0’ is used to buffer all internet streams, ‘1’ is used to buffer anything compatible with Kodi, while ‘2’ is used to buffer Internet-based filesystems.
  • <readfactor> is how Kodi tries to read a video file. If you have a powerful processor, you can take advantage of that. The default value is 4.0. You can double it if you have a CPU that is above mid-range.

Once you’ve entered the new values, save your file. Once again, make sure the file has the XML extension. That’s all you need to know. Kodi will do the rest.

Tip

Make sure that every symbol is properly entered. Take a close look at the image above and ensure that every command has its start and end. For example: <memorysize> and </memorysize>.

You will see that every command needs to be closed for Kodi to recognize this file. In case you mess something up, you can delete this file, and Kodi will return to its original state.

Learn: How to Stop Kodi Buffering Issues – 5 Proven Solutions That You Can Try Right Now!

Fix #2: Take Advantage of Real-Debrid

The truth is that Kodi’s addons act as repositories of links to media files. For example, when you start streaming a movie, it isn’t served from a particular addon’s server. Instead, that addon is using a link found on the Web to help you stream the content.

Real-Debrid solves this issue by letting you download and stream media files as fast as your Internet connection allows. Even if a download gets interrupted, you can resume downloading the file at a later time.

However, you need to know what addons support this service. So, check our article on how to configure Real Debrid on Kodi.

11. Kodi Can’t Play 4K or HD Video Files

Playing 4K files requires you to have a capable machine running Kodi. This is why we recommend you check whether your device is capable of playing 4K files.

You should also know that Kodi comes preloaded on several custom-made Android TV boxes. We’re talking about Kodi boxes here, which are usually quite affordable.

In general, all of those can play HD files (720p or 1080p). However, you’ll see that only a limited selection of Kodi boxes can play/stream 4K titles.

12. Black Screen When Playing Videos in Kodi

We’ve received reports of Kodi users experiencing a black screen when trying to play videos. Upon further investigation, our team has discovered 3 possible solutions to this problem.

Interestingly enough, we already wrote about those solutions - found in this article. We first recommend removing the ‘Addons27’ file. Then, you can clear Kodi’s cache. And finally, try updating Kodi to the latest version.

Final Thoughts

In our experience, troubleshooting Kodi is much easier compared to the other media player applications. In fact, the most common Kodi issues can be rectified in a minute by reinstalling a fresh copy of the app or clearing its data. Sometimes, even just rebooting the device works as a shot in the dark. Server problems, however, are out of an individual's control and could only be waited out.

FAQ

Why is My Kodi Not Working?

Kodi is an open-source platform where it’s common for things to go south. There are many reasons why it might get stuck or reboot in loops. We have tried covering many of those issues in this guide. In general, Kodi crashes when you try to install a custom build addon, which you could fix through the available maintenance tools. 

If the issue persists, you could try disconnecting your PC from the local WiFi. This helps because without the Internet, usually, the corrupted addons can’t do their job. You can then uninstall the addon that is causing the crash or reinstall Kodi altogether.

What To Do When Kodi Is Not Working?

If you are not sure why Kodi is not working, then the simple solution is to delete the most recent installed repository or addons and then retry to load the Kodi. However, if push comes to shove, try uninstalling as many repositories or addons as necessary to restore your base Kodi software.

If nothing works, the best way would be to reinstall a fresh copy of Kodi software.

What To Do When Kodi Addons Are Not Working?

Addons are mischievous. Depending on the error, they might not get installed, refuse to appear in the repository, or worse, fail to get uninstalled. 

First of all, check if only a particular addon is malfunctioning or if the problem is with all the addons. Usually, just one addon causes the crash or reboot loops. Uninstall the troubling addon and check if the problem persists.

If nothing works, you could always reinstall the Kodi app.

Why Is Kodi Not Working on Amazon Fire Stick? How To Fix It?

Diagnosing an error can be a little difficult on Amazon's Fire Stick. As the problem could occur at one of many different layers, recognizing whether the issue is due to your network, the Kodi app or the addon, or your Fire TV stick is important.

Once you know where the problem lies, you could use our guide to fix the error. In case you do not find a solution for your particular problem, try reinstalling the Kodi app from scratch.

We’ve reached the end of our ‘Kodi Not Working’ guide, and we hope you’ve managed to find a solution that works. In case you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below, and our editorial team will respond as soon as possible.

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