Kodi SMB Not Working? Try this Easy Fix!

Hello reader! I came back with another troubleshooting procedure for Kodi. And this time, I will cover the Kodi SMB error that is not working.

Regular SME users in Kodi don't need explanations about SMEs. However, for the benefit of new SMB users, I will take a look through SMB for Kodi.

Message Block Server (SMB) or Windows File Sharing is a client-server protocol that Windows uses to share resources on a local network. All Windows computers are equipped with SMB and a home user can easily configure it. What makes SMB the best network protocol is its versatility. It can be accessed by any operating system to stream content to any network storage space (NAS) or other remote external hardware.

In the following sections, you will learn:

How to access local files on Kodi via SMB?

There are two basic ways to add a remote media folder to Kodi via SMB. You must grant read / write permission to the folder containing media files to add the source folder to Kodi.

Note: SMB v1 is no longer supported on Kodi. Be sure to use SMB v2 or later.

Add a new share with Windows Network (SMB)

SMB v1 had security issues on Windows and thus was removed by Windows. The only option available to access shares was to enter the IP address or device name with the path.

To allow SMB shares to be browsed again, Kodi v19.1 implemented the WS-Discovery protocol (a multicast delivery protocol for accessing files on a local network). Follow these steps to add a share to Kodi with the Windows Network (SMB).

Step 1:

Go to Settings and select File manager

Step 2:

Select Source Search

Step 3:

Select Browse for new shares

Step 4:

From the list of options, choose Windows Network (SMB)

Step 5:

Now navigate to the source folder path and select it

Step 6:

Click OK to add the folder to Kodi

Add a new share with Add network location

If the Windows Network (SMB) method doesn't work for you, try adding the source folder with the IP address or device name. Here's how to do it!

To add a source folder using the IP address or device name, follow these steps.

Step 1:

Reserve a static hardware IP address.

To create a static IP address, add the device's MAC address to the router's reservation list after connecting.

Step 2:

Under Search for the list of new shares in Kodi, select Add a network location

Step 3:

In the Add Network Location window, set the protocol to Windows Network (SMB)

Step 4:

Select the server name and enter the reserved static IP address of the hardware or device name (use either method)

Step 5:

In the Shared Folder field, type the name of the folder you want to add, as it is saved on your device with the drive's location letter (for the IP address method), or simply enter the folder name without the drive's location letter (for the name method device)

Step 6:

Type your username and password if prompted in the same window

Step 7:

Click OK to finish adding the source media folder

Your share will appear in the Browse for new shares list. Depending on the method used, you will see either the IP address or the name of the sharing device.

Fix Kodi SMB that is not working

Before you begin troubleshooting, be sure to use SMBv2 or later. These steps can help you fix the SMB error that is not working on Kodi 19.

Step 1:

Open Kodi on your computer and go to Settings

Step 2:

Go to Services

Step 3:

In the left pane, select the SMB client. If you don't see the SMB client option in the left pane, make sure you've enabled the Expert settings.

Step 4:

In the SMB client, set the minimum version of the protocol to SMB v1 if it is set to None or Other

Step 5:

Check the maximum protocol version and change it to SMB v3. Some Kodi users suggest using SMBv1 for maximum requirement, but consider it not as secure as SMBv3.

Step 6:

Return to the library to update the sharing path

Step 7:

Select a media type and access files

Step 8:

If you have an existing path in the selected media type, click and hold and select Edit source. Otherwise, select the Add (media type) option

Step 9:

In the Add window (media source), click Browse

Step 10:

If you have added actions to Kodi, select one. Otherwise, go to Add network location.

Step 11:

Follow the steps above to add a share using your IP address or device name. Make sure you use the same username and password as your computer.

This will resolve the "Operation not allowed" error, and SMB will work and run on Kodi as soon as possible. You can now easily access old SMB network locations with your set username and password.

SMB Code bonus tips

If the above troubleshooting method does not resolve the Kodi SMB issue that is not working, try these fixes.

  1. Enable the Use inherited security option under the SMB client and restart the system and check the folder you are looking for.
  2. Change the WINS server under the SMB client to the same IP address as your router and try again
  3. If all of the above methods fail, downgrade to Kodi v18. Go to Settings> File Manager> Add Source> Windows Network (SMB)> WORK GROUP. Under WORKGROUP, you'll see all SMB compatible devices connected to your network. Select a device and add sharing. However, you may need to compromise on the new features.

If you are an avid Kodi streamer, we recommend you check it out Kodi's best tips.

Alternatives for SMEs

SMB has been the standard client-server protocol on Windows and DOS since 1992. However, there are quite a few SMB alternatives that you might want to consider to allow local file sharing to Kodi. Check them out!

Univention Corporate Server

UCS is an integrated identity and infrastructure management system used to manage users and applications. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Uses extended directory functions to allow integration into Windows.


NQE is one of the best embedded implementations of the SMB protocol. It is also known as the Common Internet File System (CIFS), which is a network file system protocol for providing shared access to files and printers between devices on the same network. With CIFS, you can edit, add and remove files from the Kodi library.

Frequent questions

How do I add a share on Kodi?

To add a share to Kodi, go to Settings> File manager> Browse source> Browse new shares> Windows Network (SMB). Finally, navigate to the folder path and press OK.

Which is Better: SMB or NFS?

SMB and NFS are network protocols used to access files over a network. With NFS, each user of an authenticated system can access a specific share because it uses the host-based authentication system. This is not possible with SMB, because it uses user-based authentication, which allows you to separate multiple users from a single authenticated machine and allow you to share files and the printer to all users at once. SMB is the ideal solution for Windows servers, while unencrypted NFS is the protocol of choice for the Linux operating system.

Does Windows 10 use SMB?

Currently, SMBv1, SMBv2 and SMBv3 work with Windows. However, configuration requirements may vary from server to server.

Fix "Kodi SMB not working" error

SMB not working was an urgent issue for Kodi recently, especially after the launch of Kodi 19. Kodi 18 had no issues with SMB, but many Kodi 19 users had issues using Kodi for folder sharing.

The above troubleshooting method should help you to fix this burning problem. If not, contact Kodi Support. Tell us in the comments section below if this method worked for you.

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