Anyone who uses regularly unofficial Kodi add-ons has seen the dreaded “Update Failed” error. It can be unsettling to know something has gone wrong, but there are ways of rooting out the problem that don’t require advanced technical knowledge to solve. We walk you through the process below.
One of the best features about Kodi is that it isn’t just a media centre for organizing and displaying your media files – you can also install add-ons to give you new functionalities like watching YouTube, watching Twitch, listening to music, and listening to podcasts though your media centre. The way that you install these add-ons is through repositories, which are websites at which the installation files are hosted. As Kodi is open source, anyone can create their own add-on and share it with the internet, so there are hundreds of free add-ons that Kodi users can install.
However, these are sometimes problems when working with add-ons and repositories. Lots of repositories have been shut down in the last year due to legal issues, so now there are many old repositories that no longer work. One issue that Kodi users frequently see is an “Update Failed” error message, which means that the update for an add-on that you have installed is not installing correctly from the repository. In this article, we’ll tell you about why this error happens and then demonstrate the methods that you can use so you can learn how to fix Kodi “Update Failed” error.
Why Kodi Users Should Use A VPN
Before we get into the information about fixing the update failed error on Kodi, there is an important issue of security to discuss. As you’ll see, this error arises when users try to update an add-on that they have installed from a repository. Many of these repositories host add-ons that allow users to watch TV shows or movies for free, or to stream music. But this is against copyright law, so the repositories often have to shut down due to legal threats.
This is an issue for Kodi users who use add-ons as well, as if you are caught using an add-on to access copyrighted content illegally then you could face a range of consequences from getting kicked of your ISP’s network to being pursued by law enforcement and facing a fine. If you are going to use add-ons for Kodi then you need to protect yourself from these issues.
The best way to keep yourself safe when using Kodi is to install a VPN. This is a piece of software which encrypts all of the data that your device sends over the internet, so that no one can see what sites you are visiting or what files you are downloading. This keeps you safe from your ISP or law enforcement spying on your internet activities including Kodi use.
NordVPN – Ultimate Internet Security for Kodi
NordVPN isn’t a silver bullet for everything that can go wrong with Kodi, but it does address some of the most pressing issues. For one, privacy. Your ISP is constantly tracking your activity, and has it out for Kodi in particular. They’ll throttle your traffic so that the only thing you’re watching is the buffer wheel. NordVPN takes this control away from them, and puts it back into your hands with encryption.
Specifically, NordLynx–a cutting-edge tunneling protocol which uses a 256-bit AES cipher to hide your traffic and identity without slowing down your connection. ISPs, local Wi-Fi network restrictions, and even government censors are powerless to stop your Kodi streams. And because NordVPN never limits bandwidth, speed, traffic type, or server switches, you can enjoy countless hours of video content, even in HD.
What’s more, NordVPN’s massive network now encompasses more than 5,800 servers in 59 countries. This makes it a cinch to digitally relocate and effectively change the region of your Kodi install–allowing you to view geoblocked content from abroad. It’s a great way to discover new music, movies, and TV series–or to access content from back home when you’re traveling. In any case, NordVPN covers your tracks with a solid no-logging policy in your corner.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Servers optimized for unblocking Netflix
- Fast and stable connections
- Allows multiple connections (6 devices)
- “Double” data protection
- Money back guarantee policy.
- Automatic server selection can be unreliable
- They can take 30 days to process refunds.
Why Does The Updated Failed Error Occur?
The “Update Failed” error happens when Kodi tries to update one of your add-ons. The way Kodi works, it periodically automatically updates add-ons in the background so you don’t normally even notice it happening. The URL of the repository you used to install an add-on is saved in your system, so when Kodi decides that it needs to check for updates to the add-on, it looks for an updated in the repository at the URL that you saved. Normally, Kodi will either not find an update for your add-on, in which case nothing happens and the update check concludes, or it will find a new version of the add-on which it will then download and install in place of the old add-on.
If you see the update failed error on your Kodi system, it means that this add-on updating process has failed. This happens when Kodi sees that there is a newer version of your add-on in the repository, but this new version is not compatible with the version of the add-on that you have currently installed. This can happen when a repository changes file structure or the add-on changes versioning number, which confuses Kodi over whether the add-on on your system is compatible with the update in the repository. Alternatively, the error can also occur when the Kodi database of your system becomes corrupted, meaning that Kodi cannot correctly link between your version of the add-on and the new one.
How To Fix Kodi Update Failed Error
As the update failed error can be caused by with a problem with the repository or by a problem with your Kodi database, this error can be a little fiddly to fix. You need to try fixing both the repository and your database to see where the problem lies. Try out the options below to fix the update failed error:
1. Find Out Which Repository Is Causing Issues
In order to fix the update failed error, you first need to find out which repository is causing the issue. The error message you see will state which particular add-on has failed to update, then you need to work out which repository is responsible for that add-on. It could be that you have one repository that you use to install many different add-ons, or it could be that you used a repository just once to install a specific add-on. In either case, you need to check the repository that failed the update in order to move on to fixing it.
Here’s how you find out which repository is being used by an add-on that is failing. For example, say that the Neptune Rising add-on is failing to update, here is how you would find information about the responsible repository:
- Start on your Kodi home screen
- Go to Add-ons in the left hand menu
- Go to Video add-ons in the left hand menu (this is because Neptune Rising is a video add-on. If you were looking for information about a music add-on, you would choose Music add-ons instead)
- From the list of add-ons, find the one you want. In our case, it’s Neptune Rising. Now right click the name of the add-on and select Information
- Now you’ll see a page of information about the add-on. Look under the add-on icon on the left and you’ll see a box that says Repository:
- Whatever is written after Repository: is the name of the repository that this add-on was installed from. In this case, it’s the Blamo Repo
Determine Whether The Repository Is Still Active
Now that you know which repository is causing you problems, it’s time to do some research. Many repositories have had to shut down or move to new URLs in the last year due to the major crackdown on repositories which host add-ons that can be used for illegal streaming. This means that lots of repositories have stopped working and that you might need to change some things to fix them.
The first step is to google the name of the repository that you identified in the step above and see if you find any news about the repository closing or moving to a new URL. If the repository is closed, then you should remove it from your system. In this case, you will no longer be able to get updates for your add-ons. However, the add-ons should continue working as before and you shouldn’t see any more update failed errors.
If the repository has a new URL, then you should update your Kodi system accordingly:
- Start off on your home screen and then go to settings
- Go to File Manager
- Find the repository you want to update the URL for and right click on it, then select Edit source
- Enter the new URL into the text field and then click OK
Manually Update The Repository
If the repository has not been taken down and has not moved URL but you are still getting the update failed error, then you should try forcing the repository to update. Sometimes updates get stuck and don’t install properly, so it appears to the system as if the update has been installed but actually it doesn’t work when add-ons try to update themselves. Forcing a manual update of the repository will fix this issue.
Here’s how to manually force a repository update:
- Start off on your home screen
- Go to Add-ons
- Click on the icon that looks like an open box
- Go to Install from zip file
- Find the zip file for the repository. In our case, we go to blamo and then double click repository.blamo-0.1.3.zip
- This will update the repository. You’ll see a notification saying the repository is updated after a second
- Now we need to update the add-on that is causing the problem. Go to My add-ons
- Now go to Video add-ons (for a video add-on like Neptune Rising – else go to Music add-ons or any other category you need)
- Find the add-on that was not updating properly – we’ll use Neptune Rising once again for this example. Right click on it and choose Information
- From the add-on information page, choose Update from the menu at the bottom
- This brings up a box showing the repositories that you have available to update the add-on. Choose the repository that you just updated – in this case it’s Version 1.3.9, Blamo Repo
- Now the add-on will update and you’ll see an add-on updated notification. Now you shouldn’t see the update failed error any more
DON’T FORGET: Use a VPN when streaming through Kodi. NordVPN gives our readers an exclusive discount of 68% and you’ll only pay $3.71 a month to keep your browsing safe and private.
Replace The Repository
But what do you do if you find out that the repository you were using is closed completely? This has happened recently with repositories including Noobs and Nerds, Colossus, Looking Glass, Smash, and more. These repositories have been completely shut down and are no longer available to download add-on updates.
If the repository you have been using is now closed, it’s important that you remove the repository from your system. This is because leaving old repository URLs linked to your system can be a security risk, especially if the repository was shut down due to copyright infringement. You can keep the add-ons that you installed from the repository installed, but you must remove the repository from your File Manager page. When you remove a repository but leave the add-on installed, the add-on will continue to work as it did before. It just won’t be able to be updated. In the short term, this shouldn’t be a problem as it will keep working. But in the long term, the lack of updates mean that bugs will appear in the add-on and it won’t be reliable.
When a repository has been shut down, your best bet is to find an alternative repository that you can use for both installing new add-ons, and updating the add-ons that you currently have installed. See information on how to delete a repository here and suggestions for alternative repositories here.
Fix Corrupted Database Files
That covers the ways to fix the update failed error when the problem is with the repository that you are using. But you’ll recall that the error can also be caused by a problem with your Kodi database. When the database becomes corrupted, it is not possible to update the add-on as there is a mismatch with what your database says. In this case, you need to rebuild your database. Here’s how to do that:
- Start off on your Kodi home screen
- Go to Settings by clicking the icon that looks like a cog
- Go to File Manager
- Now double click on Profile directory from the list on the left
- Double click on Database
- Find your add-ons database file. This file will be called AddonsXX.db, with XX representing a number. In this example, the file we want is Addons27.db
- Now right click on the add-ons database file and choose Delete
- This deletes your database file. Now restart Kodi and the database file will be rebuilt. This should fix your update failed error
Update To Latest Version Of Kodi
Finally, if none of these actions helped, then one good way to fix a variety of issues with Kodi is to update to the latest version. Kodi does not automatically update itself, so if you’ve been using Kodi for a few years then you could be several versions behind. This can cause compatibility issues with add-ons that stop them from working correctly.
In order to update your Kodi to the latest version, follow the instructions here. Remember to make a backup before you update so that you don’t lose any of your important files, add-ons, or settings.
DON’T FORGET: Use a VPN when streaming through Kodi. IPVanish gives our readers an exclusive discount of 60% and you’ll only pay $4.87 a month to keep your browsing safe and private.
We hope that this helped you to fix the update failed error on Kodi. Have you come across this error, and how did you fix it? Did you have any luck with the actions that we suggested? Let us know about it and what worked for you in the comments below.