How to Install Kodi on Your Chromebook

How to Install Kodi on your Chromebook

Unless you have a Chromebook Pixel, Asus Flip Chromebook, or an Acer R11 Chromebook, then you’re not able to access Android applications from the Google Play Store on your particular Chromebook yet. If you’ve got any three of the Chromebooks listed above, then head on over to the Google Play Store and download the Kodi application to use it right now.

Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for the Google Play Store to come to your Chromebook device so you can download, install, and run Kodi and other Android applications on your Chromebook.

. . . Or do you?

We know how you can get Android applications such as Kodi on your Chromebook now—without the wait. If that sounds good to you, then come along as we teach you how to get the Kodi app and install it on your Chromebook.

Chromebook Settings

Before we get into things, this process involves a few steps. If you’re feeling iffy about messing around with settings on your Chromebook, then maybe you should hold off. Otherwise, off we go!

Go into your Chromebook settings, then at the top of the page click on “About Chrome OS.” In the About window, click “For more info…” and under “Channel” click on the “Change channel” button in gray. The options are “Stable,” “Beta,” and “Developer.” You’ll be choosing the Beta channel. This allows us access to build 53 of Chrome OS, which is the version we want.

Once you’ve switched to the Beta channel, your Chromebook updates and needs to restart on the Beta channel. Then, we’re good to go.

Install Arc Welder

Go to the Chrome developer page and download Arc Welder directly from this link. If you try to download Arc Welder directly from the Chrome web store, it doesn’t show up—not sure why not, but use our direct link and you’ll be able to get it.

Next, use a trusted APK download site, so you don’t install viruses or malware on your Chromebook. We like to use APKMirror and it’s one most recommended by the folks over at XDAdevelopers. Another one that’s okay is; but their APKs don’t always work as well as APKMirror’s do.

So, you’ve gotten Arc Welder installed and you’ve made your way to APKMirror and have chosen which Kodi APK you’d like to install on your Chromebook. Here’s how you’ll do that:

  • On your Chromebook, open the Arc Welder application.
  • Then, click on the plus (+) sign in the orange circle to “Add your APK.” This will open your Chromebook’s file folder. We save all our APKs to the download folder; this is just the easiest way to handle things.         Add APK
  • The file folder will open and you’ll select the Kodi APK file, then click the blue “Open” button in the bottom right corner.  Kodi APK build
  • Now, in the Arc Welder app, you’ll see the Kodi app’s being built, and then ready for testing.       Kodi Arc Welder
  • Next, you’ll click on the “Test” button in the lower right and you’ll see the Kodi application loading and preparing for the first run. You may have to wait for a little bit before things get up and running, so have some patience with this part of the process.                                                                                                                                       Kodi on Chromebook

The Arc Welder application will only allow for one app at a time for testing. So, what you’ll want to do next is add the APK as an extension with your Google Chrome browser. You’ll also do this with any other additional APKs that you download and wish to keep installed on your Chromebook.

Open Google Chrome Browser

  • Once you’ve opened the Google Chrome browser, click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner and scroll down to “More tools.” Click on “Extensions.”                                                                                          Chrome Extensions
  • Make sure that “Developer mode” is checked off at the top of the page.                         Developer mode
  • Then, you’re going to click the “Load Unpacked Extensions” button in the top left, under where it says “Extensions.”  Load unpack ext
  • Next, the download file folder will open once again. Then, you’ll select the KODI.apk_export file that was created by the Arc Welder application to add it as an extension of Chrome OS.
  • Click on it, then select the “Open” button on the bottom of the file screen and it’ll get added to your Chrome OS extensions. You’re going to see a pink warning box about the extension; that’s okay. It should still work, but know that not ALL Android applications will.

It seems like a lot to get Android apps to work, but in the long run, it’ll become simpler with time and become a speedier process. So, if you’re not willing to wait until the Google Play Store is available for you to get Android applications, this is your quick fix.

Posted by Heather on September 5, 2016

11 thoughts on “How to Install Kodi on Your Chromebook”

  1. Renee says:

    Hi, after the part where Kodi begins to set up and it says it is doing a first run, I get a icon appearing on the screen that looks like a puzzle with a sad face inside. It seems as if the application could not fully open. I am on a acer chromebook 11. Any solutions to this?

  2. Heather says:

    Hi Renee,
    Select the developer channel in the Chromebook settings, then your Chromebook should download the most current build and reboot. Once you get back on your Chromebook go to the settings again and scroll down to where it says to allow Android apps and check it off. Hope this helps.

  3. jay says:

    I too am having the same problem as renee and im not finding an allow android apps option under settings

  4. Heather says:

    You’ll need to have the Acer R11, Asus Flip or Pixel Chromebook for the allow Android Apps option.

  5. Gary says:

    I thought that these instructions were for people that don’t have the Chromebook Pixel, Asus Flip Chromebook, or an Acer R11 Chromebook?

  6. Heather says:

    These are instructions for those who don’t have the Google Play accessible Chromebooks. The comment before yours said they had the Acer R11, if you’ve got that one you will see enable Android Apps. If you have a Chromebook that’s not yet supported then, you won’t see the enable Android apps. Does that make sense?

  7. Wally Hale says:

    Same issue as above, Kodi clears the cache, then gets to 100% in status bar while “preparing for first run” .. then you get the awwww snap image and it crashes. Acer c720 Intel

    So close, yet so far!

    1. Wallly Hale says:

      At least this article has guided me to installing other apps with this method! Good stuff, just a shame Kodi isn’t cooperating.

  8. jeff says:

    it wont let me even open the .apk file

  9. Kirve says:

    I get the Awww Snap! response as well… Acer 15 CB5-571. I’m in the Beta channel and have installed other apps with the ARC Welder…

  10. Heather says:

    Kodi can be finiky. Glad I’ve helped guide the way to installing other apps for all that have commented.

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