Kodi is a robust media center both in terms of the content it can stream and in the depth of customization available in the user interface. Today, we’ll show you how to tweak Kodi’s menu options, eliminating options you never use for a more intuitive experience overall. We also pay a special mention to the all-important topic of privacy while using Kodi, so stay tuned.
Ever wonder if you could customize Kodi menu options? Kodi is a great media player software that can play almost any kind of content. That versatility shows in Kodi’s main menu which, by default, has eleven items. But the fact is that many of us won’t ever use some of them. For instance, the TV and Radio items only work if you have a tuner connected to your device. And really, who uses Kodi to get weather forecasts? (Let us know in the comments!)
In today’s article, we’ll show you how you can customize Kodi menu options to your liking. We’ll first look at how we can enable and disable the different main menu options. Then, we’ll see how we can change the background, the colour scheme and the fonts.
For Better Privacy While Using Kodi, Use a VPN
Your Internet provider could be monitoring your activity to ensure you don’t violate their terms and conditions. If they even just suspect you do, they might react by throttling down your speed, sending you copyright infringement notices or even interrupting your service. To avoid such annoyances, we recommend using a VPN whenever you’re using Kodi or streaming media. A VPN encrypts all data in and out of your computer using strong algorithms so it can’t be read by anyone–not even your ISP who won’t see where you’re going or what you’re doing online. As a bonus, a VPN will let you access geo-blocked content by spoofing your location.
NordVPN – Best VPN for Safe Kodi Usage
NordVPN makes it safe to use Kodi–in fact, we recommend you never use the service without it. Despite being a great app supported by passionate developers, ISPs and copyright trolls have demonized the service wholesale, and will throttle your traffic or even issue legal challenges to stop you from streaming what you like.
But using a VPN like NordVPN removes their ability to do this. By wrapping your traffic in a layer of unbreakable encryption via the cutting-edge NordLynx protocol, no one can see what it is you’re doing online. And what your ISP can’t see, they can’t throttle, opening the door to limitless hours of streaming enjoyment. Indeed, NordVPN encourages this with liberal policies allowing for zero caps on bandwidth, speed, server switches, or traffic type.
Another huge benefit to Kodi users is NordVPN’s massive network of more than 5,800 servers in 59 countries worldwide. Connecting to any one of them allows you to change your IP address to match a new location and fool websites into serving content as if you were physically there. The process of “spoofing” even works to unblock international content libraries from sites like Netflix–though NordVPN has a special SmartPlay feature gear towards defeating that site’s infamous proxy ban. Finally, we recommend NordVPN for Kodi base on the strength of its no-logging policy, which has passed inspection from independent auditors, time and again.
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What’s on Kodi’s Main Menu
There are several ways Kodi can play content. First, Kodi can play media files that are either stored locally or on some sort of network-attached storage. These media files can be indexed into the Kodi database for easier access. Another advantage of indexing local content it that Kodi will be able to pull metadata about each title from the Internet and display things such as summaries, ratings, TV Show episode titles, list of cast, etc.
Another way Kodi can play content is by using add-ons. Add-ons are extensions that add some functionality to Kodi. For most people, add-ons are the primary source of content on Kodi and they don’t even use it to play local files.
Back to the main menu, Movies will give you access to the Movies section of the Kodi database where you’ll find all the movie files you have. TV Shows, Music and Music videos are similar to movies only with a different category of content.
TV and Radio are related to Kodi’s ability to play, record and playback live TV and radio broadcasts, provided it has the appropriate hardware. Pictures is used to view pictures either stored locally or on some network storage devices. Similarly, Videos is used to play video files from local or remote locations without using the Kodi database. Favourites is where you’ll find any content that you’ve flagged as favourite throughout Kodi and finally, Weather can be used to get weather forecasts.
Removing Unwanted Items from the Main Menu
The first way you can start customizing Kodi to your liking is by removing any main menu items that you don’t use. On a fresh Kodi installation, this is very easy. All but Pictures and Videos have an option to remove the item from the menu.
Simply click the button and the menu option instantly disappears.
But what about the Pictures and Videos sections? What if you want to remove them as well? And what if you change your mind or made a mistake and want one section to appear again? Don’t worry, this is just about as easy.
From the home screen, click the Setting icon. It’s the little gear at the top left of the screen. Then, click Skin settings and, on the left pane, click Main menu items.
You’ll see all eleven items with a toggle switch to the right. You can simply toggle any item on or off to your liking. But there’s more you can do from there. For Movies, TV Shows and Music, you can also edit the categories. We suggest you stay away from that as they are advanced settings and mistakes could make your library much less pleasant to use.
Changing the Menu Background
Now that we have only what we want in the Kodi Main menu, let’s see what can be done to change the way it looks. First, we’ll tackle the backgrounds. While we’re still on the Skin settings page, click Artwork on the left pane. There are several options for the background which will display throughout Kodi. By repeatedly clicking Choose background pattern, you can cycle through the various available patterns.
Below the background pattern selection are three choices of fanart packs for different sections. You have the option of setting the skin fanart, the weather fanart, or the genre fanart.
When you first try to choose some fanart pack, you’ll be prompted to download the Image Resource Select Addon. Just click Yes to download and install it.
Next time you click it, you’ll see the fanart selection box. It will be empty. Click Get more…
This will take you to a long list of icons, backgrounds, fanart. Click any one to select it then click the Install button to install it.
Back to the Fanart selection box, choose the fanart you want to apply. Personally, I’m not a big fan of that but you might want to give it a try and see if it’s for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment, you can’t break anything.
Changing the Colour Scheme
There is something very blue about the Kodi user interface. And if blue is a colour you’re not particularly fond of, it’s nice to know that you have the possibility to change it to something you prefer. Here’s how it’s done.
From the home screen, click the System setting icon once more. Remember? It’s that little gear. Next, click Interface settings. From the Interface settings screen, make sure Skin is selected on the left pane.
Click Colour to display the colour selection box.
From there, you can pick any of the thirteen available colours. You be the judge of which colour best suits your preferences!
Another customization you can easily make to the Kodi main menu is changing the display font. There are only two choices of fonts–and they look quite similar–but you might find one more attractive. And it’s easy to do so why not try it?
Fonts are changed from the same Skin section of the Interface settings where we changed the colour. Instead of clicking Colour, this time we’ll click Fonts. It will open the font selection screen.
Try them both, see which one you prefer and keep it.
Other Ways To Customize Kodi
What we’ve seen so far are only customizations that the default Kodi skin allows. There are a few other ways you can go about customizing the Kodi main menu.
One of the best way to further customize the Kodi main menu is to use a skin that offers more customization options. But what if you like the general look and feel of the default skin, called Estuary? Well, the good news is that the Estuary Mod skin looks is based on Esturay and has many more customizable features. You might want to give it a try. Here’s how you can install it.
Installing the Estuary Mod Skin
First, download the Guilouz repository zip file to your computer. You can find it on Github at https://github.com/Guilouz/repository.gu…-1.0.3.zip
Next, copy the downloaded file to a directory on your Kodi device. You could also simply put the zip file on a USB stick that you’d insert in your Kodi device.
Now from the Kodi home screen, click Add-ons on the left pane and then click the Add-on browser icon. It’s the one that looks like an open box at the top left.
Next, from the add-on browser, click Install from zip file. Navigate to the location where the files you downloaded s located and click it. The file’s name is repository.guilouz-1.0.3.zip
Wait for a few moments until a message at the top right of your screen confirms the installation of the Guilouz repository.
You should still be on the add-on browser screen. Now, click Install from repository. Select the Guilouz repository from the list, then Look and feel, then Skin. Finally, click the Estuary MOD (KODI 17) skin to install it.
Once it’s installed, you’ll be asked if you want to switch to the new skin. Click Yes.
Once it switches, you’ll be asked if you want to keep the skin. Click Yes again.
If you head back to the Kodi home screen, you’ll be struck by how different the Estuary Mod skin looks, compared to the default one.
We’ll let you decide if you like it or not but for now, let’s see how we can modify the main menu with the Estuary Mod skin. After all, this is why we installed it in the first place.
Modifying the Main Menu with the Estuary Mod Skin
Click the Settings icon. It still looks like a little gear but now, it’s at the bottom left of the screen. Then, click Skin Settings. As you can see, there are considerably more options than with the default skin.
Make sure Home menu is selected at the right of the seen and click Customize Main menu to enter the customization screen.
The left-hand side shows a list of all the main menu items. To disable an item, select it then click the minus sign icon at the far left, Click the minus sign again to enable it. And if you want to completely delete an item, click the X icon at the far left.
Adding a Main Menu Item with Estuary Mod Skin
But what if you want to add other items to the main menu? Let’s suppose we want to add a direct link to the USTVNow add-on?
From the Main menu customization screen, click the plus sign icon at the far left. Now, make sure <None> is selected at the left of the screen and move to the right and click Choose item for menu.
This will open the Choose item for menu screen. As you can see there are several different categories of items you can add.
Since we want to add an add-on to the main menu, we’ll scroll down and click Add-On. Next, we’ll click Video Add-On as this is what we want to add. A list of all your video add-ons will be displayed. Simply click the one you want to add to the main menu.
Now, you have the option of adding an item that will just launch the add-on or one that will directly open one of its main menu items. We just want an item that will launch the add-on so we’ll click Create menu item to here.
Back to the previous screen, you can use the up and down arrow buttons at the far right to move your new item up or down within the main menu. If you want, you can also click Set label on the main pane to give your menu entry a new name.
Head back to the main menu and you’ll see that your new item is there.
How About Other Skins?
Most skins offer way more customization options than the default one. And each brings a somewhat different look and feel to Kodi. If you want to know more about skins, read our recent article 5 Best Kodi Skins – How to Change Kodi’s Look and Feel in Minutes.
Just like skins, Kodi builds can also be used to customize the look and feel of Kodi. But Builds go a lot further than skins. They can include all sorts of thinks like pre-installed repositories and add-ons, exclusive themes and tweaked settings. Some focus on specific usages such as watching live TV, movies or sports. Others target specific hardware. Many of them are highly customizable too.
Our article with the best Kodi builds that work like a charm will tell you more about builds in general and what the best builds currently are. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about builds.
There are several ways you can change customize Kodi menu options. Some of them only require a little work on your part. Others are more involved and will require installing additional skins. Most of them are highly customizable. And for even more customization, builds are another avenue you might want to explore. There’s even a way to do it by editing some .xml files but it’s not something we can over in a short article.
Kodi is very customizable and we’ve only scratched the surface of what can be done. If all you need is to modify the main menu, you have all the information you need. And if you want to do more, a quick search on the Internet will reveal, loads of information on the subject.
Have you tried customizing your Kodi menu? What method did you use? What were you trying to modify? Use the comments below to share your experience with us.