Is your Kodi not working like it used to? Having issues streaming shows or movies?
Over the years, I’ve answered thousands of comments on this blog and helped tons of people resolve their issues with Kodi streaming add-ons like Exodus, Exodus Redux, Seren, Gaia, Scrubs V2, etc.
After replying so many times with many of the same tips, I thought I should compile a comprehensive list of troubleshooting tips I usually give to people to help get their Kodi setup running smoothly again. I hope this helps you!
What Kind of Kodi Streaming Issues Am I Talking About?
The streaming issues I’m referring to could take many forms. Here are examples of streaming issues in Kodi which I address in this article…
- An episode or movie doesn’t contain any source links
- “No Stream Available” error message when trying to play a source link
- Video tries to play, but never starts
- Video plays, but buffers periodically
- Video stops while watching it
If your experience falls into one of these, then this is the article for you. Let’s get into it!
Update November 2019: TVDB Maintenance Outage
A lot of people have been complaining about all kinds of add-ons not working, specifically with TV shows. The reason for that is that TVDB was undergoing maintenance with an outage that breaks any add-on that is using it (which is almost all of them!). You can read more about the maintenance outage over on Reddit.
But, then it turns out, it was more than just the maintenance outage, but the maintenance was TVDB rolling out their new API which introduced breaking changes. Now all the add-ons need to be updated to support the changes in the API.
The only things to do right now are…
- Wait it out while add-ons update,
- Use an add-on that doesn’t use TVDB, like a live TV / playlist add-on like cCloud TV for instance,
- In an Exodus fork, go into calendar and it will bring up episodes by day so and you can access them directly without going through the TV Shows folder,
- Or until the add-ons update to support the new version of TVDB’s API, you can fix it yourself using these instructions if you’re savvy with code
1) Are You on the Latest Versions of Kodi and the Add-on?
I’ve personally experienced issues where a streaming add-on completely breaks and no shows will get any links. The issue is sometimes due to old version of Kodi or the add-on you’re using.
Other times, there have been issues where an update breaks the add-on, and it can sometimes be fixed by uninstalling the add-on and reinstalling it. I’m aware of this happening on a large scale both with the Exodus add-on years ago and with Seren add-on more recently.
For Kodi, make sure to visit kodi.tv to check if you have the latest stable version.
- If you are using Android, don’t install Kodi manually, but use the Google Play Store to install Kodi that way it stays up to date.
- If you are using Windows 10, install Kodi from the Windows Store so it always stays up to date.
- For everyone else and for those using the Amazon Fire Stick (which doesn’t have the Google Play Store), you’ll need to install your Kodi updates manually. See how to install Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV or Stick.
2) Are You Using an Abandoned Add-on?
If you’re still using Genesis, it was replaced by Exodus! If you’re still using Exodus, it has been replaced with lots of different forks, but then made kind of a come-back.
Kodi has been a bit of a game of “whack-a-mole” in recent years. Add-ons are developed, become popular, and then get shut down.
To stay on top of the latest top add-ons that are working for people, you need to check out my real-time Kodi add-on tracker. It will tell you which add-ons are online vs offline, which ones have been updated the most recently, and which ones are more popular.
Looking for a beginner step-by-step tutorial to set up everything from scratch the right way? Check out my Complete Guide to the Ultimate Kodi Setup.
3) Did You Just Install a New Repo or Add-on?
Sometimes it works fine without restarting Kodi, and sometimes there are issues and you need to restart Kodi.
I’ve seen it happen enough times where Kodi needed a restart after installing something new, that I’m now including it in this list of troubleshooting tips.
4) Did You Remember to Install and Enable Providers?
If you find that no sources are found and you get “No stream available” for any videos, and it happens so fast that you realize that it’s not even trying, here is the fix.
This happened with the older lambdascraper version of Exodus Redux (before it was updated to the Openscraper version), and it could happen with the Seren add-on as well.
To fix it, go into the settings for the add-on, go the providers and make sure you have providers selected. If the add-on supports the manual installation of providers, make sure to find the provider package that is recommended for that add-on and install it.
5) Is Auto-Play Turned On?
I get a lot of comments from people saying that when they try to watch a show or movie, it won’t play. They talk as though whatever was played was their only option and it just doesn’t work.
If auto-play is turned on in your add-on’s settings, then you may not even be aware that your Kodi add-on is just selecting the first link (thinking it should work fine), but then it doesn’t.
If you have auto-play turned on, highlight the episode or movie you want to watch, and press the menu button (or “c” on a keyboard). Select “Play using…” to get the list of links. Then, you can go through each one until you find one that works.
6) Are You Using Real-Debrid?
In case you didn’t know, the developers of video streaming add-ons do not host these videos. All they do is aggregate video streaming links from websites around the Internet to index them to make them easy to browse and search for within Kodi. These add-ons have no control over the servers that actually host the videos, and sometimes those servers get overloaded or even go offline.
The way to get reliable video source links is to sign up for a Real-Debrid premium subscription. It is a MUST if you are wanting to watch most of your TV shows on Kodi streaming add-ons. Once you set up a Real-Debrid account and pay for some days, use this tutorial video to connect Real-Debrid (the same tutorial can be used for almost any streaming add-on).
7) Has Your Real-Debrid Subscription Expired?
I’ve had some friends and family run into this where they complained that nothing was working all of a sudden. Hundreds of links would be available, but when you try to play one, it goes through all of them in just a few seconds resulting in “No stream available”.
It turned out to be an expired Real-Debrid subscription.
If your Real-Debrid subscription expired, login to your Real-Debrid account and check to make sure your subscription is still active. If not, renew it.
8) Have You Checked the Real-Debrid Download Port?
If you have almost the same issue as the previous one (where Kodi add-ons are skipping all of your Real-Debrid links), there is one setting in your Real-Debrid account that might be the culprit.
Go to https://real-debrid.com/account and look under Account Settings for the setting called “Download Port“. It should be set to “Secured“. If it was set to Normal, then that was the problem.
9) Did Real-Debrid Get Disconnected
If your Real-Debrid links disappeared, sometimes updates cause that. Just to be sure, try to re-authorize Real-Debrid in the add-on settings or URLResolver / ResolveURL settings.
Read my post, Exodus Update Broke Real-Debrid; How to Fix.
10) Have You Cleared Providers & Cache in the Add-on?
I’ve had issues before where none of the links for a episode would work, and it was fixed by using this tip. I’ve also seen it where selecting a source link does absolutely nothing. You can hear the sound like you selected it (so you know it’s not an issues with the remote), but then it just sits there on the source list or episode list screen and nothing happens. I’ve fixed this issue numerous times by clearing providers and cache.
Usually somewhere in the settings or tools section, there will be a Clear Providers or Sources link and a Clear Cache link.
What this does is clear the cache of source links for episodes and movies, allowing the add-on to re-check for sources the next time. Sometimes, this will bring in new source links that weren’t there before. This will give you a higher chance of finding a good source link.
But again, if you use Real-Debrid, this will probably be less of an issue for you.
11) Is Corrupted Add-on Data Breaking Add-ons?
If you have the “no stream found” error in Exodus, and the Tools menu is missing, so you can’t clear providers or cache, then you might have this issue where the add-on data is corrupt and needs to be cleared manually.
The only solution that worked to solve this was to manually remove all files related to Exodus in the Kodi userdata folder, for example:
/storage/.kodi/addons/plugin.video.exodus /storage/.kodi/addons/script.exodus.artwork /storage/.kodi/addons/script.exodus.metadata /storage/.kodi/addons/script.module.exodus /storage/.kodi/userdata/addon_data/plugin.video.exodus
I don’t know which file got corrupted, but removing & reinstalling through the Kodi GUI did not help. The folders need to be deleted manually.
12) Is Your Internet Speed Fast Enough?
If you always have issues with videos that buffer frequently, especially with higher quality videos, you may want to check what Internet speed you get with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). I would say you would need at a very minimum 10mbps, but 25-50mbps is much more preferred. Go to speedtest.net and check your Internet speed.
While this will eliminate some problems, it won’t fix everything because many times the bottleneck is not your home’s Internet connection, but the bottleneck is the server which may be overloaded from too many people streaming videos from it. Again, use Real-Debrid to avoid that.
I also want to mention that sometimes the issue is not necessarily your bandwidth, but the quality of your internet connection. I frequently notice wifi issues across my house where it seems like there’s random packet loss. While my speed test was okay, my connection was inconsistent and unsteady.
Try rebooting your cable modem / router/ wifi. That usually gets me back up to fast streaming again.
13) Have You Adjusted The Hidden Kodi Cache Settings?
Did you know that Kodi has hidden settings that you can put in your advancedsettings.xml file that will tell Kodi how to handle its buffer cache? These settings define:
- What kind of content to cache
- Where to store it
- How much RAM it can use, and
- How fast it can download from a video to fill up the buffer!
To find out how to modify these settings, check out out my tutorial How to Fix Kodi Buffering with Hidden Cache Settings.
14) Is Your Kodi Streaming Box Too Old? Time to Upgrade?
Is your Home Theater PC or Kodi box getting a bit old and slow? Maybe it doesn’t have very much RAM, or maybe the hard drive is starting to go bad and get ridiculously slow. These things could cause issues with video streaming simply because the computer can’t handle it.
If you think you might be in the market for an upgrade, check out my top picks for Kodi streaming boxes.
15) Do You Have a Router from Sky (an ISP in the UK)?
I’ve received some helpful comments from British readers who shared this tip, and many have been thrilled when they found this setting and it completely unlocked their Kodi streams.
If you have a router from Sky, check the settings on it and turn off “Sky Shield” or “Sky Broadband Shield“. That setting is a web content filter that blocks access to some sites. Mostly, it blocks sites with malware or phishing scams, but it also happens to block sites that host video streams.
Turn it off and your streams in Kodi should start working!
If you can’t turn it off, you may need to get a VPN.
16) Do You Have Any Other Web Content Filter or Parental Controls?
Just like the previous tip with the Sky Shield setting, there are lots of other content filter and parental controls that would have the same effect.
If you are using something like this, either turn it off or make an exception for your Kodi box so it has full access to all the stream servers.
If you don’t have access to the router, then you’ll need to use a VPN to access the blocked content.
17) Are You Getting Filtered, Geo-Blocked or Throttled by Your ISP?
Maybe you’re not aware of your ISP’s content filter setting on your router, or maybe it’s locked on. There is a way around it, keep reading…
- Geo-blocking is when servers restrict access to some content to only certain countries, blocking other countries.
- ISP throttling is when your ISP (Internet Service Provider) monitors (spies on) your Internet usage and limits your bandwidth of certain types of content, like streaming video.
Not to mention, ISPs have been known to report suspicious traffic patterns to government agencies… not something I would want to risk!
Update: Have you heard about the US legislation that lets your ISPs track and sell your Internet browsing history? Read more about that here.
All of these issues can be resolved by using a VPN service.
With a Kodi VPN, all your traffic is encrypted so your ISP can’t tell what you’re streaming or where you’re streaming it from.
Plus, you can choose your own location so servers think you are accessing them from a different country, which is very useful to access content that’s blocked in your country.
I personally use IPVanish VPN. They have very fast networks and over 500 servers all over the globe so it won’t slow down your bandwidth very much.
I can vouch that I’ve had better luck with more streaming links working after I installed IPVanish on my Kodi box.
If you want to learn more, read my 4 Reasons Why Kodi Streamers Need a VPN.
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Let’s Hear From You
- Were any of these tips particularly helpful to you? I’d love to hear it.
- Do you have any other tips to add to this?
- And of course, if none of these issues have helped, feel free to share what issues you’re having. Please try to give me as many details as you can. I’ll see if I can help.