How To Add Subtitles to Kodi

With the amount of content Kodi can play, both over the internet and by streaming from your local network or storage, it’s obvious that Kodi is one of the best platforms you can choose for your media needs, like a replacement for the once-active Windows Media Center. With the popularity of Kodi, there’s a good chance that some users need or want subtitles.

How To Add Subtitles to Kodi

While subtitles are good for viewers with hearing disabilities, people can watch content on a lower-than-normal volume, better interpret languages that are different, hear what’s being said through thick accents, and interpret made-up languages (if the media does not display them automatically).

Subtitles are a necessary part of entertainment for plenty of viewers, and thankfully, Kodi fully supports downloading and using subtitles with your media and has supported it since Kodi v13 “Gotham.” Still, you’ll have to dive into your settings to enable subtitles, and you’ll need an add-on to grab them from the web. Here’s how to add subtitles to your Kodi client.

Enabling Subtitles

To download and view subtitles in the standard playback window, Kodi must have the subtitle option enabled on your device, and, if it isn’t, add it back into the software. Kodi requires that subtitles get enabled before adding them into your platform to ensure users aren’t confused when downloaded packs that don’t show up.

  1. Open Kodi and select the “Settings” icon in the upper-left portion of the display to open the “Configurations” menu.
  2. Select the very first option, “Player Settings,” to open the list of preferences for your Kodi player.
  3. On the left side of the menu, scroll down the list until you reach “Language Settings,” which is where the options for subtitle settings reside.
  4. In the menu, find the Subtitles subheading—it’s second down on the list—and make sure it’s set to “Original Stream’s Language.” Alternately, if you’re looking to watch content in a different language, you can set this option to support a single option.
  5. In the option to change the font, the default is Arial, but you can adjust it to Teletext if you have difficulty reading Arial.
  6. Scroll down to the “Download Services” options to edit how the subtitle packages download to your device.
  7. Make sure that your subtitle language preferences are set to the language(s) you want to view, be it English (default option) or any other choice. English is the default selection, but you can add more packages if you wish.
  8. Ensure that you’ve set the proper download location for your subtitle packages.
  9. There is no “Apply” or “OK” buttons, so back out of settings until you get to the main Kodi menu, and you’re all set to go!

Adding a Subtitles Client

Now that you have configured the subtitles settings for your platform, you’ll need to download an addon for Kodi to ensure you can properly use subtitles on your device. Kodi is built around being open and accessible to all sorts of apps and addons; it’s the main reason most users have chosen Kodi as their favorite media streaming service.

Kodi allows users to add both approved and third-party add-ons to their Kodi app by using repositories, but as far as subtitles go, you won’t need an outside repository. Kodi comes complete with a large list of approved and default apps you can add from the “Add-ons/Kodi Add-on repository.” Here’s how to set up a subtitles add-on for Kodi using pre-included sources.

  1. From the main menu, select “Add-ons” from the left side of the screen.
  2. Click or tap on the open-box icon (subtitle browser) in the upper-left portion of the display, which will give you several options for adding new apps to your client.
  3. Use the repositories already available in Kodi. Select the third option, “Install from Repository.”
  4. Select “Subtitles” from the list. It’s sorted in alphabetical order, so you’ll find the option for subtitle add-ons near the bottom of the menu.
  5. Download whichever subtitle service you want, but OpenSubtitles.org is the recommended choice.

How to Use OpenSubtitles.org in Kodi

OpenSubtitles.org makes it easy to add subtitles to any amount of videos, both local and streaming, and do it on any device or application, namely the Kodi app in this instance. The add-on tracks subtitles for both television and movies, so you can use the available options no matter which type of media you’re watching. Here are the steps to add Opensubtitles.org to Kodi.

  1. Ensure you’re at the main menu of Kodi and select “Add-ons.”
  2. Click or tap the “open-box icon.”
  3. Select “Install from Repository.”
  4. Click or tap on “Subtitles.”
  5. Click on the option to add OpenSubtitles to your Kodi platform, then click install on the menu option.
  6. Now that OpenSubtitles is installed on your device, you need to register for an account. Open your web browser and go to ‘opensubtitles.org’ on your computer. You can also visit ‘opensubtitles.com,’ which is the latest website, but it is still a work in progress.
  7. Click “Register” and follow the instructions given.

Once you have the account registered, return to Kodi and select the “Configure” icon on your display. If the icon for Configure is grayed out, just back out of the menu and re-enter the OpenSubtitles page. In the configure menu, you’ll see the entries for your username and password; input them and select OK. Once OpenSubtitles has been added to Kodi, you’ll be returned to the previous menu, where you can then return back to the home menu of Kodi.

Enabling OpenSubtitles

Once you’ve added OpenSubtitles to Kodi, the only thing left to do is to ensure that OpenSubtitles is enabled and running properly on your platform. Though you’ve installed the addon with Kodi, it may not work properly until you’ve ensured the app is enabled in the Settings. Here’s how.

  1. Start by clicking or tapping on the “Settings” gear icon again to open your preferences.
  2. Re-select “Player Settings”.
  3. Choose your Language from the left-side menu again.
  4. Scroll down to the “Download Services” setting one more time. You’ll see that Kodi’s settings have been refreshed with some new options.
  5. Previously, your instance of Kodi didn’t have an option to set default subtitles because you didn’t add the subtitle option to the platform. Now that OpenSubtitles.org is installed inside of Kodi, you can actually set and change your default subtitle download settings.

There are four main settings you need to change inside of Kodi. These options allow your device to properly show subtitles, depending on your preference for loading them into your video feeds.

Setting #1: “Pause when searching for subtitles”

This setting is enabled by default and allows your Kodi player to pause the playback of your video when searching the web for subtitles. This means you won’t miss any shows or movies you’re viewing without first having the subtitles on your screen. You may have to wait a brief moment after selecting content before viewing it. If you don’t want this setting enabled, disable it by toggling the switch to the “Off” position.

Setting #2: “Auto download first subtitle

This setting, disabled by default, allows you to automatically download the first listing on OpenSubtitles without having to first select it. The option works well for a large portion of mainstream content since it brilliantly predicts which option you want to use for content, but you’ll still have to opt-in by enabling the toggle to “Auto-download subtitles.”

Setting #3: “Default TV show service and Default movie service”

These last two settings are the most important on the list to modify, as they are the ones that allow your device to properly support subtitles when viewing content. These settings don’t appear until after you have an option to choose from, and it allows you to select your default subtitle provider when viewing back content. For both of these, you’ll want to click on them and enable using “OpenSubtitles.org,” or any other subtitle services you wish to use. When you first add a subtitle service, the setting is set to “None,” so make sure to change it before backing out of the menu.

Once you’ve adjusted the settings to your needs, back out to the Kodi main menu.

***

Now that you’ve setup your subtitles to work through OpenSubtitles, you’ll find that videos you play inside Kodi now have an option to automatically search for subtitles using the service.

In the video feed, a subtitle icon appears in the player user interface (UI), allowing you to select OpenSubtitles from the settings. From there, you can automatically load the suggested listings, or you can manually search for matching subtitles. Now, they’re automatically played through the UI, and you can finally use subtitles naturally within Kodi.

OpenSubtitles isn’t the only reliable subtitles service on the market today, but it is one of the most common. With free registration, it’s easy to add Opensubtitles to any computer, tablet, or television. Kodi is a great way to watch your favorite movies and TV shows both locally and through a streaming network. Now that you have subtitles added to your device, it makes your favorite entertainment that much better.

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