Change Kodi Aspect Ratio & Minimize Black Bars on Movies


Depending on the type and age of the movie that you are trying to play in Kodi you may not get full screen playback. This can also be affected by the size and characteristics of your TV set. You have probably landed on this page because you want to minimize black bars in Kodi so that your movies fill your screen. Also old movies that predate widescreen will play in their native format and not make full use of your TVs display area. Kodi offers a range of settings that can be adjusted to combat this that will allow your movies to fill your screen from side to side. In this post we will look at how to remove or minimize the dreaded black bars. We will also show you how to change Kodi aspect ratio for old movies. A video tutorial is available at the end of the post.

Kodi Accessories to Enhance your Media Player

The following accessories have been selected by our editors to enhance your Kodi experience.

VONTAR T6 Plus 2.4GHz Remote
VONTAR T6 Remote
Somatosensory Mouse, Infrared Remote, 2.4GHz Wireless QWERTY Keyboard & Touchpad, Colorful Backlit, Lithium Battery. For Kodi, PC & Android. Micro USB charging.
Esynic 2.4G Wireless Mini Keyboard
Esynic Wireless Keyboard
2.4G wireless keyboard and mouse. Control Kodi from the comfort of your sofa. Supports PC, Android, Smart TV and other devices.
TBS DVB-S2 Dual Satellite Tuner
TBS TV Tuner
Watch satellite TV & listen to radio on PC from within apps like Kodi (PVR). Twin tuner allowing you to record multiple channels.
Toshiba X300 4TB Hard Drive
Toshiba X300
4TB storage capacity, 7200RPM speed, 128MB cache, 3.5" SATA. Reliable internal storage for your media center.
WD 2TB Elements Portable HDD
WD Elements 2TB
USB 3.0 portable hard drive in black for multiple devices. Carry your Kodi media libraries in your pocket.

Change Kodi Aspect Ratio for Full Screen Movie Playback

Go to the end of this post for a full video tutorial. All of the information and screenshots provided in this post were created using Kodi 17 Krypton. The settings are more or less the same for any version of the application. If you are however using an older version we recommend that you upgrade Kodi before you start. Although the settings we are changing are only minor we always recommend that you backup your HTPC system before you begin. [Read: How to Play Games on Kodi]

Minimize Black Bars in Kodi for Movies

If Kodi movies are not full screen then shrinking your black bars is the best place to start. To minimize black bars in Kodi movies click on the settings cog found at the top of the left menu. On the screen that follows select Player settings. This is the first icon you will see. [Read: How to Play Blu-ray Movie Discs with Kodi]

Kodi Full Screen Settings
Select Kodi Player settings

Next select Video settings from the left menu. This will display a range of configuration items on the right. Scroll down on this screen to the settings for Playback and then select Minimize black bars. This is shown in the image below. [Read: 30 Best Kodi Skins – The Complete List]

minimize black bars in Kodi
Kodi Black Bars Settings

The Minimize black bars Kodi setting is set to off by default. Click it to switch it on. When you turn it on you will see a percentage figure ranging from 1% to 20%. In essence 20% is no black bars at all. As you drop this figure down to 1% the size of the black bars will increase. If you start a movie prior to entering this settings menu you can see the black bar size change as you alter this percentage. I suggest that you set this to 20% to fully minimize black bars in Kodi but this is up to you. [Read: How to Change Kodi Splash Screen – Custom Startup Image]

Change Kodi Aspect Ratio for Old Movies

Next, if Kodi movies are not full screen then how old is your movie? With many old movies either in digital file format or on DVDs they come with an aspect ration of 4:3. This means that when they are played on a widescreen TV which most TV sets are these days they will only fill a small portion of the screen. Although they will never be perfect for widescreen use Kodi offers different settings to vastly improve the look of them and will allow them to fill the display area in full. Go to the same Video Player settings screen discussed in the previous chapter. This time navigate down to the Playback section and select Display 4:3 videos as.  [Read: How to Setup TV Shows in Kodi]

Chnage Kodi Aspect Ratio for Old Movies
Kodi Display 4:3 videos as

When you click on this setting you are presented with the different ways in which older 4:3 aspect ratio movies can be displayed within Kodi. The next screenshot shows all of the options available to you. Try each setting and see how it changes the screen size of an old movie. It is really trial and error here to find a setting that you like and that works with your TV. I personally find that Zoom gives the best playback for old movies and completely fills most wide screen TVs with the video content. Simply select the setting that you would like to use to change Kodi aspect ratio for all old movies. [Read: UK TV Kodi Addons – Live TV and Catch Up]

Kodi Movies are Not Full Screen
Available Old Video Settings

Minimise Kodi Black Bars Video Tutorial

If you would like more assistance getting your movies in full screen see the below video tutorial. You can find many more Kodi guides at the Home Media Portal YouTube Channel. Subscribe now!

HMP Verdict – Kodi Movies are Not Full Screen

If Kodi movies are not full screen then there are settings that you can use to fix this. Use the first part of this post to minimize black bars in Kodi movies that are relatively new. Change Kodi aspect ratio for old movies (4:3) that were not designed for the widescreen TV.  You may need to adjust both settings to get all of your movies right. A lot of this is trial and error. Once you’ve found the settings that work you can enjoy your movies in full screen unspoiled by dread black bars. [Read: How to Launch Android Apps from Kodi]