You’re not the only person who lives in your house, and you’re not the only person who watches things on your Kodi box. Why should there be only one media library, with one list of what has and hasn’t been watched, and one favorites list? Kodi has offered a profile system for years, and you shouldn’t overlook it.

Maybe you and your roommate are watching the same show at different times, and want to keep track of your watched list separately. Maybe you want to log in to your own YouTube account, so you can see your subscriptions instead of your daughter’s. Or maybe you just like playing around with new themes, and don’t want to confuse your poor spouse in the process.

Whatever the reason, it’s easy to set up multiple Kodi profiles, with separate watch lists and add-ons. You can even see a login screen when you start up the program, making it easy to pick which user profile you want to use. Here’s how to get started.

How to Create Kodi Profiles

Select the System gear at the top-left of the home screen, below the word “Kodi.”

Next, head to the “Profiles” section.

In the “Profiles” subsection, you’ll see one profile by default: Master user. Select “Add profile” to create a new user.

You’ll be asked for a name, which you can type using either the on-screen keys or your full keyboard.

Select “OK” when you’re done. Next, you’ll be asked where you want your profile’s folder to be.

If you’re not sure, just use the default. Select “Okay” when you’re ready.

Next you’ll be taken to your new profile’s settings screen, where you can change the name, add a profile picture, and change the directory. You can also choose whether to share media info and media sources with the main profile, or to keep things completely separate.

“Media sources” refers to the folders where you movies and TV shows reside. It’s probably simplest to leave this synced with your main profile, but it’s nice to have the option of using entirely separate folders if that’s what you want. Media info refers to the information about your shows and movies; I recommend leaving this separate.

Feel free to leave the defaults if you’re not sure what to do. If you do keep things separate, you can do a one-time copy of your sources and media information in the next step.

Your sources and media info will stay separate; this option merely lets you copy the current settings as a starting point.

When you’re done, you’ll see your new profile is ready.

Switching Between Profiles in Kodi

Now that your profiles are set up, you’re probably wondering how to switch between them. There are two main ways. The simplest is to enable the login screen for Kodi; you’ll find the option in the General section of the Profiles panel in settings.

Enable the “Show login screen on startup” option and Kodi will, when loaded, give you a list of profiles to choose between.

If you’d rather not see this screen every time you start Kodi, you can instead log off the main account in the Power menu. From the home screen, click the power button at top-left. You’ll see a list of options.

Select “Log off” and you’ll be brought to the login screen, allowing you to change profiles. The next time you load Kodi, however, the default profile will load again. This setup is perfect if you’re mostly using your second profile to experiment with skins or add-ons.

RELATED: How to Customize Estuary, Kodi's New Default Skin

Kodi looks more or less the same in each profile, which makes it easy to confuse one profile with another. For this reason, I recommend you customize Kodi’s default skin a little, so each profile is a different color. You could even use different skins entirely for different profiles. Whatever makes it easy to tell the profiles apart.

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Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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