Kodi is one of the most popular media center managers around. It’s fast, it’s free, and it’s available on a wide variety of devices, including Mac, iOS, and even Fire Stick and Fire TV. The standard install doesn’t include any streaming resources, but if you find the right Kodi build, you can use a pre-configured version of the software and watch movies right away.
Over its years of development Kodi has only gotten easier to use. Installation is a snap for most devices, and on some platforms you can even install Kodi through an app store. Are you an Apple fan who’s ready to give it a try? Read on for our full guide on how to install Kodi on a Mac. It’s easier than you might think!
- 1 Before Using Kodi, Get a Good VPN
- 2 Installing Kodi on Mac – Step by Step Guide
- 3 How to Update Kodi on Mac
- 4 How to Uninstall Kodi on a Mac
- 5 Advanced Kodi Configurations – Autostart and Gatekeeper
- 6 Conclusion
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Before Using Kodi, Get a Good VPN
Kodi is open source and completely legal to use. Some of the third party add-ons you can use are known to access potentially illegal content, however. You can never tell what certain Kodi add-ons contain, and this has led a number of ISPs to start blocking or throttling Kodi traffic. Even if you use Kodi on your Mac for completely legitimate reasons, you may find your internet speeds artificially slowed down, or worse.
VPNs can keep you safe from threats to your privacy no matter where they come from. VPNs encrypt all of your online traffic so it’s impossible to read. Hackers, government agencies, and even your internet service provider will be unable to determine which streams and add-ons you’re accessing or what files you’re downloading on your computer. VPNs keep Kodi private and secure, and they come with a wide variety of other benefits as well.
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Installing Kodi on Mac – Step by Step Guide
Once you’ve got a good VPN in place, it’s time to download and install Kodi. Note that the app isn’t available on the Mac app store, and you’ll need an Intel Mac running OS X 10.8 or higher to run the software. Follow the steps below, however, and you’ll be streaming movies in no time!
Step 1 – Choose a Version
Before you even download Kodi, you’ll need to know which version to get. The Kodi development team maintains a few versions of the software that are available to the public. Depending on your needs, you might choose a different type of download when it’s time to install Kodi.
The first version is development builds, sometimes called “nightlies”. These versions are updated on a frequent basis with all the latest features and fixes. They’re considered unstable, however, and often crash or cause problems with your system. Unless you know what you’re doing, it’s best to avoid dev builds for your Mac.
The second type of Kodi download are pre-release builds. These are more stable than development builds, but they’re considered in-progress alpha software. You’ll get more features with a pre-release than with the standard download, but again, you could experience add-on incompatibilities and frequent crashes as a result.
Finally, there’s the recommended build. This is the best, most stable version of the Kodi software that has been tested to be as secure and operational as possible. Unless you have specific version requirement needs from an add-on, it’s best to go with the recommended version of the software. You can always upgrade later when a new recommended version is released. Kodi is completely free, after all!
At the time of writing the recommended version of Kodi is v17.6 “Krypton”. Kodi v18 “Leia” is in alpha and will be the recommended version later in 2018 as the software matures.
Step 2 – Download the File
Unless you’re installing a custom build, you should always download a clean version of Kodi from the official site. This ensures you get a copy of the software you can trust to be working and completely virus-free.
Open a web browser on your Mac and visit kodi.tv/download. Scroll down and click the Apple icon that says MacOS. A small window should pop open with a few tabs and a few download options.
Make sure you’re on the “Recommended” tab to get the best version of Kodi for your Mac. Click the blue button that says “Installer (64bit)” and you’ll automatically download a .dmg file with Kodi.
Step 3 – Unpackage Kodi
Kodi is stored as a disk image file, which is almost like a virtual CD. The data is contained is a single file that’s easy manipulate and install. Some apps, including Safari, will automatically mount the Kodi disk image. If they don’t, all you need to do is double click the file and your Mac will mount it manually. The Kodi disk image should then appear as a new device in the Finder.
Step 4 – Installing Kodi
With the .dmg file downloaded and mounted, you’re ready to install Kodi on your Mac. All you have to do now is drag and drop the program to the applications folder, or wherever you want to install Kodi.
At this point you may encounter a message from the MacOS Gatekeeper warning that you can’t open the file because it’s from an unidentified developer. This is the system’s walled garden in practice, which tries to prevent users from installing apps outside of the Mac app store ecosystem.
If you downloaded Kodi from the official site as shown above, you have nothing to worry about. You can simply right click or command-click the Kodi icon and select “open” to bypass Gatekeeper altogether.
Step 5 – Cleaning Up
Once you have Kodi installed to your Mac, you can safely unmount the disk image. Simply click the eject icon next to the app icon in the Finder sidebar, just as if Kodi were a CD image. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the mounted Kodi icon into the trash to remove the mount and clear your system of the unneeded file.
How to Update Kodi on Mac
Kodi is a dynamic piece of software that receives several updates each year. Major versions come along every 12 months or so, as well, meaning you’ll want to update your copy of the app on a regular basis. For security purposes Kodi doesn’t do this automatically. You’ll need to download and manually install the new version.
First, Check Your Kodi Version
Before you dig in and start the update process, make sure an update is actually required! Small version releases are usually optional (17.1 to 17.4, for example), but if it’s a large number increase (17 to 18), you’ll definitely want to update. Follow the steps below to check your current version number and compare it to the latest Kodi release for Mac.
- Run Kodi on your Mac.
- Go to Kodi’s home menu and click the gear icon.
- Scroll to System Information and click the Summary page.
- Look in the lower right corner of the screen. Kodi’s version number will be listed where it says Version Info.
- Note the build number. It should be something like “Kodi 17.6”
- On your web browser, visit the official Kodi website at Kodi.tv
- Click on the Download button at the top right.
- Scroll to the download icons and choose MacOS.
- A small window pops open. Make sure you’re on the “Recommended” tab, not “Development Builds”.
- Compare the current Kodi version in large print to your installed version number. If it’s higher, it’s time for an upgrade.
Next, Download Kodi
All you need to do to update Kodi is follow the installation steps above. Visit the website, click the MacOS icon, download the latest recommended build, then install it like you would content from a CD. That’s it!
An important note: if you’re upgrading Kodi, you do not need to uninstall the old version first. The new release will simply update all current files while leaving your settings and add-ons intact. If you remove Kodi before getting the new version, you’ll lose all of your customizations.
How to Uninstall Kodi on a Mac
Kodi for Mac is bundled as a full application, which is helpful in case you want to uninstall the program for any reason. To delete most of Kodi’s files, simply drag the icon into the Trash. Your Mac will automatically remove almost every trace of Kodi from your hard drive in an instant.
Kodi does create a userdata file that’s stored elsewhere on your computer. This helps preserve information between upgrades. If you want to remove this, too, simply go to your Library folder (Desktop > Go > hold “option” key > Library) and browse to one of the following directories:
- Macintosh HD/Users/YOURUSERNAME/Library/Application Support/XBMC
- Macintosh HD/Users/YOURUSERNAME/Library/Application Support/Kodi
The location could change depending on your version of Kodi, but one of those folders will exist. Now simply drag the entire folder (XBMC or Kodi) to the trash.
Advanced Kodi Configurations – Autostart and Gatekeeper
Kodi and MacOS generally do all the heavy lifting, freeing you to spend less time managing software and more time enjoying movie streams. There are a couple of manual improvements you can make to give your Kodi experience a little boost, however. These are entirely optional and should only be attempted by more advanced users.
Want Kodi to start as soon as you log into your Mac? There’s an easy way to do this, and it will give you faster access to your streams every time. Just follow the steps below.
- Go to System Preferences.
- Select “accounts“.
- Choose “Login Items“.
- Click the plus at the bottom.
- Select Kodi from the dropdown menu.
Alternatively, you can right click the Kodi app on your dock and choose “Open at Log-in” to set the same autostart options.
Disable Gatekeeper for Faster Upgrades
The MacOS Gatekeeper can be frustrating for anyone who installs custom, non-app store software like Kodi. You can bypass it by right clicking the app icon during install, or you can disable it entirely for smooth installations every time.
- In OS X go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General
- Unlock the padlock icon at the bottom of the window. You will need your admin password to do this.
- In the section that says “Allow applications downloaded from:” choose “Anywhere“
- You’ll receive a warning about disabling the Gatekeeper. Accept it to continue.
Some newer versions of MacOS hide the option to disable Gatekeeper. In these cases, you’ll need to use the Terminal app to suppress it.
- Launch the Terminal from Applications > Utilities
- Enter the following command exactly as it appears: sudo spctl –master-disable
- Hit return and enter the admin password.
Kodi is an incredible piece of software that can do almost anything. You can use it to stream music, watch blockbuster movies, gain access to foreign films, binge watch TV shows, catch anime with custom subtitles, and manage all of the media on your device, including photos and DVDs!
One of Kodi’s most impressive abilities is the fact that it runs on such a wide variety of devices. You can use it on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and more, all with the exact same interface and add-ons. If you’ve used Kodi on one platform you can use it on all of them, making it one of the most versatile media center apps ever created.