How to Fix: Kodi Password Protect Folder / Content

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Infopackets Reader Jill A. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I have installed Kodi media center on my media PC, which is connected to my HDTV in the living room. We use Kodi to play videos that we download off the Internet. I have two children under the age of 10 that I don't want accessing R rated movies and was wondering if there is a way to lock or password protect folders in Kodi? I have searched for 'Kodi password protect folder' using Google but the instructions were confusing. Can you help? "

My response:

In a nutshell, it is possible to password protect folders in Kodi after first setting a "master password". Once the master password is set, simply right click any content (whether it's a folder, network share, or other) and set a password for that folder. Passwords can entered in multiple ways - for example, using a numeric PIN (numbers) on the keyboard, a full text password, or even using a gamepad.

How to Fix: Kodi Password Protect Folder / Content

Let's look at an example.

I'm using the latest release of Kodi at the time of this writing, which is Kodi Krypton version 17.6, compiled November 2017. If I wanted to add a new folder called "R Rated Movies" and password protect it, I would do the following:

  1. First, set a master password. Launch Kodi, then click the cog wheel icon at the top left of the screen.
  2. The "System" menu will be displayed - click "Interface Settings".
  3. On the "Settings / Interface" screen, click "Master lock" on left menu.
  4. The "Lock preferences" screen will be displayed. The "Master lock" setting should read "disabled". Click "Master lock" to enable, and choose your password method: PIN, full text password, or gamepad.

    Note: If you have a gamepad such as the xbox 360 wireless controller and you intend to use it to navigate Kodi (like I do), turn it on now so that the "gamepad" option is enabled. To set a gamepad password lock, Kodi will prompt you to enter in a password. At this point, use the D pad (the directional pad) to set the password and then press the "A" (green) button to select "OK" when finished. An example password would be: directional pad UP, LEFT, DOWN, RIGHT, then A to set.
  5. Go back to the main menu - keep hitting ESC on the keyboard (or the "B" button on the game pad) until you are at the main menu. Next, click the "Videos" menu, then click "Files", then click "Add videos..." At this point, Kodi prompt you for "Enter master lock code"; enter it in and if successful, you will be prompted to "Add video source". Click the "Browse" button to select the folder you want, then click "OK." Name the folder accordingly ("R Rated Movies"), then click "OK". The next window will ask you to set the content - just click "OK" for now.
  6. Now it's time to set a password. You should see the "R Rated Movies" folder under the "Videos" menu. Right click the "R Rated" folder and click the "Set lock" option from the menu. Next, enter in your master lock password. If successful, the "Lock preferences" window will appear with "Lock code: disabled" selected. Click "Lock code" to enable it and choose your password method, similar to setting a master lock. The password can be the same as the master lock or it can be different. You will need to enter it in twice; when finished, click OK to exit.
  7. Now it's time to test the locked folder. Access the "R Rated" folder via the Videos menu - Kodi should prompt you with a "Locked! Enter code..." prompt. Enter in your password and you should have access to the "R Rated" folder. You will only need to enter in the password once per session, so you won't have to keep entering it on repeatedly.

I hope that helps.

How to: Reset Kodi Master Lock if You Forget Password

If you set in your master lock password and forgot it, there is no way to retrieve it. One option is to reset your entire user profile setting (profiles.xml) file. Doing so will also reset any customizations you made, including any content / folders / network shares you set previously.

To do so:

  1. Close Kodi, then click Start and type in "cmd" (no quotes); wait for "CMD.EXE" or "Command Prompt" to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator".
  2. Highlight the text below:

    cd %appdata%\kodi\userdata
    rename profiles.xml profiles-old.xml
    echo this is a dummy line
  3. Right click over the text above and select "Copy", then right click in the middle of the command prompt window and select "Paste". The text you copied in Step #2 will be output to the command line and your Kodi user profile will be reset, including the master password.
  4. Launch Kodi again and it should have your master lock password removed.

Another post on this subject suggests that it may be possible to modify the "profiles.xml" file and remove the <lockcode> ... </lockcode> portions of the file to remove the master lock. I have not tried this but it may be possible. If not, the above method definitely works.

Other Caveats when Password Protecting Content

Please keep in mind that even if you password protect a folder in Kodi, the content will still be accessible outside of Kodi via the operating system or any network shares.

In other words, Kodi is merely an interface for your media - it does not password protect folders outside of its interface. If you need to "hide" your content you can stuff it in an obscure location (example: R rated movies may be stored under your Documents instead of the Videos folder, and mark the folder as "hidden"). If you need help with this, you can contact me for 1-on-1 support, described next.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of this is over your head, or if you need help setting up Kodi with password protected folders, I can help using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me, briefly describing the issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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