1. Home
  2. Kodi
We are reader supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

How to Update Kodi Library Both Automatically and Manually

Keeping Kodi updated is critical for ensuring smooth performance, but it’s not always obvious how to make it happen. Today, we show you how to enable automatic updates, as well as how to do it manually in case something goes wrong.

The Kodi software is a powerful open source media centre which you can use to display and organise your digital files like videos, music, and pictures. However, if you have a very large library of files, or if you update that library often, then it can be a bit of a pain to organise. What you need is a way to keep your library up to date and neat without having to constantly add new files manually to your library, or having to perform endless library updates.

Fortunately, there are a few different ways that you can achieve this. In this article, we’ll show you three different ways to manage your Kodi library updates with varying levels of detail and complexity. Pick the right method for your needs to keep your library up to date and organised. Read on to find out how to update your entire Kodi library at once.

Why Kodi Users Should Get A VPN

We’ll get right into the details of updating your library in a second, but before that there is a security issue you should know about. The Kodi software itself is fully legal to use, as are the methods we’re describing below. However, if you are going to install add-ons for Kodi then you should be careful, as some of these add-ons are created by third parties and are not approved of by Kodi developers. Some of these add-ons can be used to stream copyrighted content like movies or music illegally, and if you are caught using them then you could get into legal trouble.

To keep yourself safe, we recommend that Kodi users who plan to use add-ons should get a VPN. This will protect you by encrypting all of the data that your Kodi device sends over the internet, so that no one can see what you have been doing online. Even your ISP won’t be able to see what sites you have visited or whether you have been downloading or streaming, so it keeps you safe from legal issues.

NordVPN – Essential Security for Kodi

NordVPN - Editors choice

There is perhaps no single privacy solution better-suited for enhancing Kodi than NordVPN. It brings together the latest VPN features into single intuitive, affordable package, and installs easily on all the devices most popular with Kodi users, like Firestick, Android TV, and many more besides.

First and foremost, NordVPN offers military-grade encryption via NordLynx–their proprietary tunneling protocol which is geared for speed and security in equal measure. You can completely block out ISP tracking and throttling, all without suffering the normal slowdown associated with VPN encryption. Additionally, these secure tunnels lead to NordVPN’s amazing network of more than 5,800 servers in 59 countries. That means you can route your traffic to any corner of the globe, bypassing geoblocks to enjoy TV, movies, and music from abroad.

We love NordVPN as a company; they are aware that their protocols and policies set the standard for the entire industry, and seem determined to use their influence for the net benefit of all. They enforce a strict no-logging policy, and levy zero restrictions on bandwidth, speed, server switches or traffic type. In an age where net neutrality is no longer guaranteed by law and ISPs continually push the bounds of their overreach, it’s nice to know a tool as powerful as NordVPN can be had for less than the price of a sandwich per month.

Read our full NordVPN review.

  • Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer without breaking a sweat
  • GooglePlay users rating: 4.3/5.0
  • Up to 6 simultaneous connections
  • “Double” data protection
  • Money back guarantee policy (30-days).
  • Not much
  • Refund processing can take up to 30 days.
ULTIMATE SECURITY FOR KODI: NordVPN blocks out all third-party surveillance of your Kodi traffic, letting you beat geoblocks and throttling in a single click. Get a huge 68% discount on the 3-year plan ($3.71/mo), backed by a hassle-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Update Your Library Using the Library Auto Update add-on

If you want to set up your Kodi system so that your library is automatically updated at a particular time interval, then there’s an add-on that can do this for you. The Library Auto Update add-on is simple to install and configure but it a powerful way to keep your library neat and tidy.

How To Install The Library Auto Update Add-on For Kodi

The Library Auto Update add-on is very easy to install. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Start on your Kodi home screen
  2. Click on Add-ons
  3. Click on the icon that looks like an open box
  4. Click on Install from repository
  5. Go to Kodi Add-on repository
  6. Go to Program add-ons
  7. Scroll down to Library Auto Update

  8. Click on it and a box describing the add-on appears. Click install on the bottom menu
  9. Wait a minute and you’ll see a notification once the add-on in installed

How To Use The Library Auto Update Add-on For Kodi

Once the add-on is installed, you can make a few tweaks to the settings to get it running how you want. Here’s how to set up and use the add-on:

  1. Start on your Kodi home screen
  2. Go to Add-ons
  3. Go to Program add-ons
  4. Find Library Auto Update and right click on it, then go to Settings
  5. Now you’ll see a bunch of options in the settings menu. We’ll start with the General menu on the left hand side

  6. Here, consider disabling the Show Notifications slider. This add-on creates notifications when it runs which can interrupt your work or viewing, so disable this option and the updates will run in the background without notifying you
  7. Next, go to Video in the left hand menu. Now you’ll see an option that says Amount of time between updates (hours) where you can set how often you want the library to be updated, in hours. By default this is set to 4, which works for most situations

  8. If you have experience with Cron jobs and would rather use this method instead of an hourly timer, then toggle the Used Advanced Timer option and a field will appear for Cron expression where you can enter your desired update schedule
  9. You can also set up the same update process on your music library. This is disabled by default as people don’t tend to add music to their library as frequently as they add new videos. But if you listen to a lot of new music, then you might want to enable this. Go to Music in the left hand menu, then toggle Update Music Library to on. From here, you can set up the Amount of time between updates (hours) and Advanced Timer options just like we did for the videos library
  10. Finally, there is an option in the left hand menu for Cleaning. This is useful if you often delete videos from your library, and you want the videos you deleted to be removed from your library as soon as possible. Sometimes deleted videos will continue to appear in your library for some time, which is annoying. This option will fix that. Enable the Clean Libraries slider and then set the Library to clean option to Music, Video, or Both to select which library will be worked on. Change the Frequency setting to either After Update, Once per day, week, or month, or use a Cron expression to be more exact. Now your library will be cleaned and deleted files removed on the schedule you have set
  11. If you ever want to run an update outside of your scheduled times, you can go to Add-ons, to Program add-ons, then click on Library Auto Update as if you were launching the add-on. This brings up a dialogue that says when your last update was and asks if you want to manually run an update now. Click Yes to update your library

How To Update Your Library Manually

Maybe you don’t need a whole system for updating your content regularly. If you only add new content to your library every few weeks, then it might not be worth installing an add-on and setting it up to automatically update your library often. In this case, you can simply manually update your library when required.

In theory, when you make changes to your folders of either music or videos, your library should update itself. However, this doesn’t always work. So sometimes you need to perform a manual update.

This process is very simple, as it is a function built in to Kodi. Here’s how to update your library manually:

  1. Start on your Kodi home page
  2. Go to Settings by clicking the icon that looks like a cog
  3. Go to Media settings

  4. Select Library from the menu on the left
  5. On the right hand side, you’ll see headings for Video Library and Music Library

  6. Under each heading is an option for Update library on startup. You should toggle this option to yes for either your music or video library, or both, depending on which you want to manually update
  7. You might also want to toggle the Hide progress of library updates to on, which will hide the notifications about library updates as you don’t need to see these
  8. Once you have enabled these settings, every time you restart your Kodi system the library will be automatically updated for you

Alternative – Watchdog

If you’re an advanced user with a massive library that is frequently updated, you might want to try Watchdog. This add-on scans either your entire library or a specific set of folders, and when it finds a new file in those folders then it automatically adds it to your library. This is handy if you have downloads set up to a particular folder, for example, if you have an automatic download setup, where new episodes of a TV show are automatically downloaded and added to a specific folder. You can set Watchdog to watch the folder, then as soon as a complete file is added there, it will show up in your library.

The only issue with this is that it can use up considerable system resources, so this add-on may be unstable if you have a low spec device like a FireStick.

How To Install The Watchdog Add-on For Kodi

Here’s how to install Watchdog:

  1. Start on your Kodi home screen
  2. Click on Add-ons
  3. Click on the icon that looks like an open box
  4. Click on Install from repository
  5. Go to Kodi Add-on repository
  6. Go to Services
  7. Scroll down to the bottom and find Watchdog

  8. Click to open the information panel. Now click on Install from the menu at the bottom
  9. Wait for a second until the installation is complete

How To Use The Watchdog Add-on For Kodi

As soon as you install the Watchdog add-on it will be activated, and it will start adding new files to your library whenever you add them to your source folder. However, you might want to adjust some settings to optimise everything for your needs. This is how to do that:

  1. Start on your Kodi home screen
  2. Go to Add-ons
  3. Go to My add-ons
  4. Go to All
  5. Find Watchdog and right click it, then choose Settings

  6. Some useful options in the General tab are Remove from library when files are removed, which is great to automatically delete files that you no longer need, and Clean on startup and Scan on startup which will automatically update your library when you first start Kodi. Also, you may want to enable Pause during playback, especially if you have a lower spec device, so that your watching won’t be interrupted by library updates
  7. The way Watchdog works is to scan your entire library and all sources to update as soon as changes are made. But as we said above, this can take up a lot of system resource. You might want to set it to only scan specific folders where you regularly add files (such as your downloads folder) instead of scanning the whole library. To do this, go to Video source in the left hand menu of the settings. If you disable Auto detect video sources, you’ll be able to enter the paths to specific folders to be watched instead of the whole library. You can do the same with your music library by disabling Auto detect music sources in the Music sources settings menu
  8. Finally, you can tweak some options in the Advanced menu. Here you’ll find an option for Polling Interval for network shares, where you can set how often the add-on should check for new content in seconds. There’s also an option for Startup delay where you can choose to wait a few seconds before starting the service when you first start up Kodi. This is useful if you have lots of other add-ons which update on startup, so Watchdog won’t conflict with them. Finally, you might want to enable the Update entire library on changes option to automatically update your entire library if you make any change, which is helpful for smaller libraries


We’ve shown you three different ways to update your Kodi library, depending on your level of use and your particular needs. For casual Kodi users with small libraries of content, just changing the default options in Kodi to update your library on startup should be sufficient to keep your library up to date. If you want a more complete solution that will automatically update your library without requiring you to restart Kodi, then you can use the Library Auto Update add-on. Finally, if you want more fine grained control and the ability to have files instantaneously added to your library then you should use Watchdog.

Which method do you use to update your Kodi library? Let us know in the comments below.

Don't miss this great deal

1 Comment

  1. How does one clear and then rescan the whole library? I found out that Kody does not play Apple m4a files. I converted them to flac, but now none of then (with same album and track names–not the extension) play from the UPNP library served bu Kodi. They say that have 0 PCM frequency or no content. The files themselves are real flac files since they open in Audacity and Amorak.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.