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How To Set Up And Manage Kodi Profiles

Given Kodi’s intended use-case as a media center, it’s likely you’re not the only one using it to stream. But you can customize the experience to the unique tastes of each member of your household thanks to Kodi Profiles. Today we show you how to create, manage, and use Kodi Profiles to streamline the experience for everyone.

Here’s a little-known feature of Kodi that might be useful to you: you can set up Kodi profiles so that multiple people can use the same Kodi system. Profiles allow you to have a different skin for each user, gives you the ability to restrict access to particular folders or network shares, and to have a different media library and set of add-ons for each user. You can also have individual settings for keymaps, RSS feeds, and network settings. Once you have profiles set up, it’s very easy to switch between them so that each user can have their own Kodi experience.

These profiles are handy if you have kids and want to set up a kid-friendly version of Kodi with a simpler interface and limited access to videos or add-ons, or if you want to share access to your Kodi system with your friends but you want to ensure that they won’t change any of your most important settings. Profiles are also very useful if you are an advanced user who installs a lot of different repositories and add-ons, as you can have one testing profile where you try out new add-ons and another regular use profile where you keep your favourite add-ons in one place.

You can choose whether each profiles shares access to the same media library and list of media sources, which is good for when you want everyone to be able to access the same content, or you can limit the library and media source access for each profile so that you can customise what is available for each user, which is great for setting up a kid-friendly version of your Kodi system.

In this article we’ll walk you through how to set up and manage Kodi profiles so that you can start using this underrated and helpful feature of Kodi.

Safety And Security Issues When Using Kodi

The Kodi software itself is safe, free, and totally legal to use. However, many users also like to install add-ons for Kodi which are created by third parties. Some of these add-ons allow you to stream copyrighted content like movies or TV shows without paying, which is generally illegal. If you are going to use add-ons then you need to be careful, as if you are caught accessing copyrighted content illegally then you could be liable for a fine.

To keep yourself safe when using add-ons for Kodi, we recommend that you use a VPN. This is a piece of software which will encrypt all of your data before sending it over the internet, so that no one can observe your internet activity.

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How To Create A New Profile In Kodi

To get started with using profiles in Kodi, you first need to set up a new profile. The default profile that you have been using already is called Master user and this is the ‘admin’ account for Kodi. You can set up any number of other profiles to give each user and individual look and feel for Kodi as well as different access to content. For example, you can use profiles to grant access to specific folders or network shares, to use different skins for a different style, and to have access to a different set of add-ons or media sources. You might want one profile for regular use and one profile for testing, for example. Or you might want one profile for you and another for your house mate, so that you can watch different episodes of TV shows and each keep track of your viewing. Or you might want a profile for each member of your family so you can give access to only age-appropriate content for your younger Kodi users.

Here’s how to set up a new profile in Kodi:

  1. Start off on your Kodi home screen

  2. Go to Settings by clicking the icon that looks like a cog
  3. Click on Profile settings
  4. Select Profiles from the menu on the left
  5. Now you’ll see all of the profiles you have already created. If this is your first time setting up a new profile, there will be just one profile here called Master user. In order to create a new profile, click on Add profile… on the right
  6. A text input box will appear labelled Profile name. Give your profile a name. Here we’ll call it new
  7. Click on OK

  8. Now you’ll see an input box that says Browse for folder. You don’t need to enter anything here. Just leave it blank and click on OK

The above steps will take you to the Edit profile window where you can set the options for your new profile:

  • Profile name – here you can change the name of your profile
  • Profile picture – here you can add a picture to each profile to make it easy to find the profile you want
  • Profile directory – here you choose the folder in which the profile’s individual settings are stored
  • Lock preferences – this lets you lock preferences for your music, video, pictures, programs, file manager, and settings with a numeric password, a text password, or a button combo. This is good for when you’re setting up profiles for children (or for your friends!) and you want to prevent them from accidentally changing or erasing your settings
  • Media info – this option lets you have separate information for pieces of media for each profile. You have the following options:
    • Separate – Profiles have separate media info with full control
    • Shares with Default – Shares media info with the default user with full control
    • Shares with Default (Read Only) – Shares media info with the default user, and is locked by the master code
    • Separate (Locked) – Profile has separate media info, but you can only change it by enabling master mode.
  • Media sources – this option lets you have separate media source for each profile. You have the following options:
    • Separate – Profiles have separate media sources with full control
    • Shares with Default – Shares media sources with the default user with full control
    • Shares with Default (Read Only) – Shares media sources with the default user, and is locked by the master code
    • Separate (Locked) – Profiles have separate media sources, but you can only change them by enabling master mode.

If you don’t make any changes to the above settings or media sources, a dialogue box will pop up asking whether you’d like to Start with fresh settings or copy from default. To keep things simple, it’s probably best to just copy from default, and edit the settings as you see fit. We’ll show you more on that later.

How To Switch Profiles In Kodi

Once you have set up the number of profiles that you want – maybe you want two different versions of Kodi to use one for testing, or maybe you want profiles for each member of your family – then you can easily switch between the profiles for a different experience. Here’s how to switch profiles in Kodi:

  1. Start off on your Kodi home screen
  2. Go to Settings by clicking the icon that looks like a cog
  3. Click on Profile settings
  4. Select Profiles from the menu on the left
  5. Find the profile that you want to load and right click on it
  6. Choose Load profile from the popup
  7. Wait just a second and Kodi will reload. Now you’ll see that you are on your new profile
  8. Alternatively, you can also use hot keys to switch profiles if you have them enabled. You need to bind the load profile action to a key using the LoadProfile function in the keymaps.xml document.

How To Adjust Profile Settings In Kodi

Once you have your profiles set up and you can switch between them, there are a few more small settings that you might want to adjust. By default, profiles are set up in such a way as to make it easy for any user to switch from one profile to another. But maybe you would like to restrict access to your profiles so that everyone can only use their own profiles and not anyone else’s. In this case, you just need to adjust a few settings in the profiles section. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Start off on your Kodi home screen
  2. Go to Settings by clicking the icon that looks like a cog
  3. Click on Profile settings
  4. Select General from the menu on the left
  5. You’ll see two options here:
    • Show login screen on startup – this option determines whether you will be prompted to log in to a profile each time that you start Kodi. If you don’t mind other people being able to access your profile, you can leave this switch off. However, if you want to lock down your profile – for example if you have add-ons and content on your profile that isn’t suitable for children but you still want your kids to be able to use their own profiles – then you can turn this switch to on. Now whenever Kodi starts you will be prompted to choose a profile and enter your password.
    • Automatic Login on startup – this option controls which profile will be logged in to when Kodi starts. This is usually set to Last used profile, meaning that whichever profile was last used before Kodi was closed will be used again the next time you log in. However, if you want to change this, you can also set this option to default to any one of your profiles by clicking on the name of the profile in the Profile name popup. For example, you might have individual profiles for each member of your family and also a ‘family’ profile that loads by default and has content in it that you all watch together.


Profiles on Kodi are helpful in a variety of situations when you want to share access to your Kodi system with other users, or when you want to test out something new. You can customise each profile to your liking, and there are options for adding a password to profiles so as to increase security and prevent people from using the wrong profiles. You can also choose to share libraries and media sources across profiles, or not, depending on what access you want to grant to each user.

It only takes a few minutes to set up a profile, and once this is done it’s very easy to switch between profiles or to set a login screen so that users need to choose a profile when they first start up Kodi.

Do you use profiles on your Kodi system, for your family or for testing purposes? Let us know if you find this to be a helpful feature in the comments below.

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