Enjoying your favorite shows, movies and music streamed via your Kodi box? Perhaps you’re happily playing retro video games on it? Either way, you’re probably using a remote control app on your iPhone or Android to interact with the media center software.
As convenient as this is, however, there is another way to control Kodi: a keyboard.
You don’t even have to rely on a wired device, as plenty of Bluetooth and wireless keyboards are available online (although you may prefer to avoid buying a Bluetooth keyboard for various reasons). However, once you have a keyboard connected, you’ll need to know how to navigate Kodi, fast and efficiently. Which is where our list of 50 Kodi keyboard shortcuts will prove invaluable.
Browsing the Kodi Environment
The Kodi user interface can be quickly navigated using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
- Arrow keys — Move left, right, up, and down in menus in Kodi.
- Enter — Select the currently highlighted option.
More effective navigation of Kodi can be achieved by selecting an alternative from the many skins and themes that are available for the media center software.
Kodi Keyboard Shortcuts for Live TV
Next, live TV controls, useful for navigating the digital wave of television channels that you’re piping into your Kodi media center. Naturally, you’ll need a TV adapter card installed and configured in order to watch live broadcast TV in Kodi.
In alphabetical order, you should be aware of:
- B — Schedule recordings in live TV.
- E — Open the EPG (electronic program guide).
- H — Live TV channels window.
- J — Live radio channels window.
- K — Live TV recordings window.
Meanwhile the 0 (zero) key will toggle between the last two viewed live TV channels, and you can use I to view information about the selected TV show.
Finally, the arrow keys can be used to browse the channels. Up and Down moves up and down through the channel list, while Left and Right jumps between channel groups.
Control Your Media Playback
Playing videos? Streaming media from the web, or another device on your network? You’ll need to know the keyboard shortcuts for media playback — they’re better than a touchscreen remote control app!
- P — This will play the video.
- X — Stops video playback.
- Space bar — Pause/Play toggle. This is pretty much a universal control, and the same shortcut you’ll find in other media players, and even YouTube.
Do you need to review the material you’re watching, or skip back and forth through it? While there’s no skip-to-next chapter option in Kodi, you can still wind back and forth through your files, like an old-style video player.
- F — Fast forward. How you use this depends on how fast you want to proceed through the video. Press it once and the video will fast forward at 2x speed; press it twice for 4x, etc.
- Right arrow — Skips forward through the media file in 30-second increments.
- R — This rewinds the video, and can be tapped multiple times for faster rewinding.
- Left arrow — Skips back through the video in 30-second increments.
Audio Control Shortcuts
Want to turn things up a bit? Surround sound is more effective when you increase the volume, and you can do this using your keyboard.
- +/- (plus and minus symbols) — Volume can be increased or reduced during video streaming, live TV, or audio playback.
- F8 — Mute playback.
- A — Audio delay. If the audio and video of the file you’re watching isn’t in sync, use this key to adjust the delay. This should bring the video back into sync.
These controls are also useful when playing back music or even podcasts. For an idea of the things you can do with Kodi beyond its built-in functions, check out our guide to the best Kodi add-ons.
Manipulate Your Kodi Display
Want to adjust how Kodi displays your media? These keyboard controls will help.
- \ — The backslash key (usually found next to the left Shift key) will toggle between full-screen and windowed mode. In windowed mode, you can access other apps, software, or even your file manager.
- Z — This changes the aspect ratio of the current video, cycling through various ratios and resolutions. Press this until the picture looks right.
- Ctrl + S — Kodi also supports the capturing of screenshots, which will save to a preferred location selected after the first use.
Use These Shortcuts to View Pictures
Your default use for Kodi is probably for watching live TV or recorded/streamed video files, but the media center software is also adept at displaying photos and images. Naturally, several options are available for playing these back and browsing through your image library.
- +/- — In picture viewing mode, the volume controls become zoom controls, with + zooming in and – zooming out.
- 1–9 — Via keys 1 through 9, you can zoom in and out of images, with 9 providing the greatest degree of magnification.
- . and , (period and comma) — You can browse back and forth through the images using the period and comma keys.
Other Important Shortcuts
Along with the keyboard shortcuts for controlling your media, Kodi also provides a collection of other single-stroke commands for other functions.
- Esc — The Escape key will take you back to the previous menu, or to the home screen.
- S — Displays the shutdown menu. Here you can exit the software, as well as shutdown or hibernate the host system (such as Windows or Mac OS X).
- Windows key — Need to view the Windows desktop, or access the Start menu/Start screen? Use the Windows key.
Using OS X? Exclusive Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac
So far we’ve looked at commands that are pretty much cross-platform. But if you’re using Kodi on a Mac, some of the aforementioned shortcut keys may not work. If this is the case, these Mac-only Kodi shortcuts should be employed instead.
- Cmd + Q — Quit out of Kodi.
- Cmd + H / Cmd + M — Hide/minimize Kodi to the OS X dock.
- Cmd + F — Toggle fullscreen view.
- Cmd + S — Take a screenshot.
Modify Your Kodi Keymap Files
If you’re happy to use the keyboard, but aren’t happy with the way the keys are mapped, you can customize this with a Kodi add-on called Keymap Editor. To install this, go to Settings > Add-ons and select Install from repository (Get add-ons in older versions).
From here, find the Kodi add-on repository, then Program Add-ons and select Keymap Editor. Click Install to continue, and a few moments later the tool will be available to configure via Programs > Add-ons. Remember to save the file once you’re done — you’ll be able to reuse the configuration, which will be saved as an XML file, in the userdata folder. On Windows, this is found by pressing Windows + R and entering %APPDATA%\kodi\userdata — hit Enter to open the folder. For keymap locations on other platforms, check this Kodi wiki page.
With these 50 Kodi keyboard shortcuts, you’ll find that you have everything you need for fast and effective interaction with the media center software. While a Kodi remote smartphone app is useful, it isn’t quite as quick as using a keyboard — although you might prefer to use Chrome.
What do you think? Do you prefer using keyboard shortcuts to using a remote? Have you configured your own Kodi keyboard shortcuts? Please share your configurations, tips, and thoughts in general in the comments below!