Kodi SMB Not Working? Try this Easy Fix!

Hello reader! I’m back again with yet another troubleshooting procedure for Kodi. And this time, I’ll cover the Kodi SMB not working error. 

Habitual SMB users on Kodi need no explanation about SMB. However, for the benefit of the new SMB users, I’ll glance through SMB for Kodi. 

Server Message Block (SMB) or Windows File Sharing is a client-server protocol Windows uses to share resources over a local network. All the Windows PCs are equipped with SMB and a home user can easily set it up. What makes SMB the best network protocol is its versatility. It can be accessed by any operating system to stream content on any Network Attached Storage (NAS) or other external remote 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 need to give the folder containing media files Read/Write permission to add the Source Folder to Kodi. 

Note: SMB v1 is no longer supported on Kodi. Make sure you are using SMB v2 or higher. 

Add new share with Windows Network (SMB)

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

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

Step 1:

Go to Settings and select File manager

Step 2:

Select Browse source 

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:

Hit OK to add the folder to Kodi

Add new share with Add Network Location

If the Windows Network (SMB) method doesn’t work for you, try adding the source folder with the device’s IP address or 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 IP address for your hardware. 

To create a static IP address, add the MAC address of the device to the router’s Reservation list after logging in. 

Step 2:

Under Browse for new shares list in Kodi, select Add network location

Step 3:

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

Step 4:

Select Server name and input the reserved static IP address of the hardware or the device name (use any one of the two methods)

Step 5:

In the Shared folder field, type in the name of the folder you would like to add as it is saved in the device along with the drive location letter (for IP address method) or just type in the folder name without drive location letter (for device name method)

Step 6:

Type in the username and password if prompted in the same window 

Step 7:

Hit OK to complete adding the source media folder

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

Fix Kodi SMB not working

Before we get started with troubleshooting, make sure you are using SMBv2 or higher. These steps might help you fix the SMB not working error on Kodi 19. 

Step 1:

Open Kodi on your PC and go to Settings

Step 2:

Go to Services

Step 3:

On the left pane, select SMB client. If you don’t see the SMB client option on the left pane, make sure you have enabled the Expert settings. 

Step 4:

Under SMB client, set the Minimum protocol version to SMB v1 if it is set as 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 it is considered to be not as secure as the SMBv3. 

Step 6:

Go back to the Library to update the share path

Step 7:

Select a media type and go to 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 [media type source] window, click on Browse

Step 10:

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

Step 11:

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

This will resolve the ‘Operation not permitted’ error and SMB will be up and running on Kodi in no time. You can now easily access old SMB network locations with the set username and password. 

Bonus Kodi SMB Tips

If the above troubleshooting method doesn’t fix the Kodi SMB not working issue, try these fixes. 

  1. Turn on the Use legacy security option under SMB client and restart the system and check the folder you are looking for.
  2. Change the WINS server under SMB client to the same IP address as your router and retry
  3. If all the above methods fail, downgrade to Kodi v18. Go to Settings > File manager > Add source > Windows Network (SMB) > WORKGROUP. Under WORKGROUP, you’ll see all the SMB compliant devices connected to your network. Select a device and add the share. You might have to compromise on the new features though. 

If you are an avid Kodi streamer, you might want to check out the Best Kodi tips.

SMB alternatives

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

Univention Corporate Server 

UCS is an integrated identity and infrastructure management system used to administer users and applications. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It uses Extensive Directory functions to allow integration in Windows. 


NQE is one of the best embedded implementations of the SMB protocol. It is also known as 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 the help of CIFS, you can edit, add, and remove files from the Kodi library. 


How do I add a share on Kodi?

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

Which is better: SMB or NFS?

SMB and NFS are network protocols used to access files over a network. With NFS, every user on an authenticated system can access a specific share as it uses the host-based authentication system. This is not possible with SMB as it uses user-based authentication, by which it is possible to separate multiple users from a single authenticated machine and enable file and printer sharing to all users at once. SMB is the ideal solution for Windows servers, whereas unencrypted NFS is the first-choice protocol for the Linux OS.  

Does Windows 10 use SMB?

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

Fix ‘Kodi SMB not working’ error

SMB not working has been a pressing issue on Kodi recently, especially after the release of Kodi 19. Kodi 18 didn’t have any issues with SMB but a lot of Kodi 19 users had trouble with using Kodi for folder share. 

The above troubleshooting method should help you fix this burning issue. If not, contact Kodi support. Let us know in the comments section down below if this method worked for you.  

About Ryan William

Ryan is a content writer and SEO specialist. He has interest in all things technology and has published over 2000 posts on the internet. At Kodi Tips, his focus is on hardware, software, crypto games, and how-to tutorials.

1 thought on “Kodi SMB Not Working? Try this Easy Fix!”

  1. How do I add SMB on the firestick ?We click on Kodi and is keeps saying can’t find network connection.

    Is IPVanish interferring with this?


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