Why Did Kodi Stop Working?

Tips to get Kodi fully-functioning again

TV next to window and couch
Lisa Fotios/Pexels

If you’re like many cord cutters, Kodi has become a necessary tool to use for your viewing entertainment. When Kodi begins messing up, your television viewing comes to an abrupt halt. Here are a few things that can go wrong with Kodi and some tricks to get back to your viewing entertainment.

Likely Issues Why Kodi Isn't Working

Kodi Keeps Crashing

  1. If Kodi randomly crashes, an easy troubleshooting step is to clear any errors is to restart Kodi. On most devices, except for Fire TV or Fire Sticks, select the Power button, then click Reboot.

    Kodi screenshot showing the Power Options menu.

    For Fire Stick\TV’s click Settings, then Device, then Restart. You could also unplug the power from these devices, wait a few seconds then plug the power back in.

  2. Another easy troubleshooting step is to try updating your Kodi software. Like with add-ons updates are meant to fix or improve the program.

  3. If you’re still having crashes, the next step is to reset Kodi to its default settings. This will clear up any adjustments or tweaks that you or an add-on may have performed. It also gives you a fresh start for possible performance issues. Using Ares Wizard is the easiest way to accomplish this.

    Click More, then click Erase all Data/Fresh Start

    Ares Wizard withing Kodi about to erase all data.

    You’ll see a dialog box confirming the removal of all add-ons, etc. from Kodi. Click Yes.

    Confirmation screen with Ares Wizard during reset.

    You will see an Options dialog allowing you to keep some settings such as favorites, sources, or add-on settings. For a complete reset, do not keep any of these settings. Then click Proceed.

    Ares Wizard within Kodi showing the options for wiping data.
  4. Finally, the last troubleshooting step to undertake is to reinstall Kodi. This will wipe any add-ons or tweaks you’ve done to Kodi. While it may seem drastic, sometimes starting completely fresh is the best way to clear up any problems you’re having.

Video Keeps Buffering

There is nothing more frustrating than when you’re trying to watch something, and it keeps buffering and pausing constantly. As stated earlier, your VPN app can be a major resource hog causing buffering or no stream at all. If you’ve resolved that possibility, then looking at your cache is the next logical step. There is a handy add-on to enable the clearing of your cache and increasing video cache as Kodi itself doesn’t have these kinds of tools built-in.

Ares Wizard gives you a lot more control while giving you an easy to understand interface. You’ll have to download and install it first.

  1. To clear the cache using Ares Wizard, click Maintenance, then Delete Cache\Temp. You'll get a confirmation of how many files were deleted in the Cache. Click OK to continue.

    Ares Wizard maintenance mode.
  2. You might also want to clean any temp files. This is very much like cleaning files on your computer. While in Ares Wizard click Maintenance, then click Delete Thumbnails and Delete Packages individually. This is also an excellent housekeeping task for Kodi. Kodi will confirm the deletion of thumbnails. Select OK to continue.

    Ares Wizard maintenance screen showing thumbnails being deleted.
  3. You may need to adjust the video cache. There isn’t a perfect cache size to give you optimal performance, so you’ll have to experiment with the cache size to get better video viewing. To adjust video cache, click Tweaks >Advanced Settings Wizard. Then click Next.

    Advanced settings within the Ares Wizard.
  4. Ares Wizard will then report the amount of RAM you have available to use and the recommended maximum amount. This is typically about 1/3 of your available RAM. Click Generate settings.

    Generating video settings within Ares Wizard for Kodi.
  5. The next screen will give you the Video Cache Size slider to adjust the amount you want to set. Once you’ve set the amount, click Apply these settings.

    Advanced video settings to adjust in Ares Wizard.
  6. You will get a confirmation and request to restart Kodi. Select OK to continue.

Additional Kodi Troubleshooting

While there could be a multitude of issues with Kodi and the numerous platforms it can be used on, many of the platforms experience the same problems. 

No Video Stream - Add-on Issues

There could be a couple of possible issues if you are experiencing no stream at all. Besides being blocked by your ISP (see VPN section above), a bad Kodi add-on could also be the culprit. Whether the add-on has stopped working or is no longer supported, re-installing the suspected bad add-on should remedy the lack of a stream.

Lack of Add-ons

Another possibility for getting a no stream message is that the movie or TV program may not have an available stream. Again, by installing additional add-ons, you can greatly increase your chances of finding the stream you want.

Network Problems

If you’ve already eliminated issues with VPN and your ISP, the problem could be with your home network. Whether you’re streaming or just surfing the web, your internal network will require a bit of attention on occasion. The best way to eliminate network issues (and this includes buffering issues) is to reboot your modem\router. While this may sound scary, all you have to do is unplug the power from your router for about a minute. Once you plug it back in, you should see it come to life and start communicating with your other devices. If you don’t see any lights, your router may need to be replaced.

Kodi Is Unable to Connect to A Source

This message is relatively commonplace with Kodi due to the free sourcing of add-ons. If you receive this error, the culprit is most likely that the site where your add-on came from is either down, no longer exists, or the server address is incorrect. You’ll want to verify the server URL first to make sure there aren’t any typos. If the address is correct, you may have to search online for another add-on repository as the host site may no longer exist.

Kodi and VPN Issues

If you’re unsure of what VPN is or aren’t using it, this is the first step to safe video streaming. Whether you’re watching licensed videos or other sources, VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a great way to secure your internet usage. However, VPN can also cause performance issues.

  1. If you’re not using VPN, your ISP may be blocking your Kodi streaming traffic. Not all ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) allow video streaming. This is especially the case if you’re illegally downloading content. Check with your ISP to see if streaming is allowed or if you are reaching your data limits. Some ISP’s will throttle (slow down) your data speeds if they feel you are overusing their service. If this is the case, you may not be getting a stream at all

  2. Because VPN is encrypting your internet traffic, this can significantly affect your streaming performance. VPN apps can vary on how much they slow down your internet speed. If you find your VPN is the possible culprit, try another VPN app. That stuttering video may just clear right up.