How to Add Subtitles to Kodi & The Subtitle Settings


Kodi makes it extremly easy to add subtitles to your movie collections and there are minimal settings required to do this. It is merely a case of ensuring that your subtitle files are in the right location and and that they are switched on within the application. In this post we will show you how to add subtitles to Kodi. This includes an explanation of the Kodi Subtitle Settings, where to place your files and the Kodi subtitle shortcut keys.

How to Add Subtitles to Kodi & The Subtitle Settings

In this post we will teach you all of the basics on how to add subtitles to Kodi, the common Kodi subtitle settings and the available subtitle shortcut keys. In this guide we are using Kodi 17.4 Krypton but the configuration shown is similar on most versions of the application. Please ensure that you backup Kodi prior to making any configuration changes. [Read: How to Upgrade Kodi Media Centre without Losing your Data]

Kodi Subtitle Location and Naming Convention

By default Kodi likes you to place your subtitle files into the same folder location as your movie files. It will also recognise a sub folder within your movies location for subtitles. It is possible to configure a completely custom location for your subtitle files. We will cover this configuration in the next section. To allow Kodi to match a subtitle file with a movie file you must give it the exact same name as the movie before the file extension. So if your movie file was called Goldeneye.mp4 your subtitle file will be [Read: How to Customize Kodi Home Screen – Add Kodi Menu Items]

Kodi Subtitle Settings

To find the Kodi subtitle settings select the cog shape and enter the main settings menu. You must now select Player settings as highlighted in the image below. [Read: How to Change Language on Kodi]

add subtitles to Kodi
Select Kodi Player settings

When you get to the Player settings screen shown below select Accessibility from the left hand menu. You will see in the screen shot that my mouse curser is hovering over the setting; Prefer subtitles for the hearing impaired. Push enter once on this setting to switch it on. [Read: 30 Best Kodi Skins – The Complete List]

Kodi subtitle shortcut keys
Kodi Subtitle Settings

Additional Kodi Subtitle Configuration

Next go up a level on the left hand menu and select Language as shown below. You must ensure that you are showing at least Advanced settings here. This is shown at the bottom left of the image. If yours reads either Basic or Standard then hit enter on the cog until it changes to Advanced. There are two settings I want you to take a look at here. The first is Subtitle storage location. This controls where Kodi looks for subtitle files. The Kodi default settings for this are “Next to the video” meaning in the same location as your movie files.

kodi subtitles download
Kodi Subtitles Custom Location

If you want to change this so that your subtitle files are stored in a folder of their own elsewhere on you computer click on Subtitle storage location and it will popup with a sub menu. From here set this to Custom location. Next click on Custom subtitle folder shown above. It will now display a file browser. Navigate to the folder that will contain your subtitle files and click OK. Once complete Kodi will now look in your new custom folder for your subtitle files. [Read: How to Install Kodi Skins – Change the Look & Feel]

There are a number of other options on the language screen for changing how your subtitles will look. These are shown in the below image. The one that I recommend looking at is “Subtitle position on screen”. If your TV is wall mounted and you are looking up at it the default position may not be the best option for you. Select this option and Kodi will provide a list of on screen positions that you can use.

Kodi Subtitle Settings
Kodi Language Settings


Kodi Subtitles Shortcut Keys

Once your Kodi subtitle setup is complete it is useful to know the Kodi subtitles shortcut keys that are available to us. These make it easy to switch subtitles on and off whilst movies are playing and also to change their positioning. The Kodi Subtitles shortcut keys are as follows:

T – Toggles subtitles on & off

Ctrl + T – Switches the position of your subtitles

The Kodi subtitles shortcut keys are available whenever a media file is in operation.

Downloading Subtitles for Kodi

There are a number of ways you can download subtitle files onto your system for use with Kodi. There are many purpose built subtitle tools for both Windows & Mac and you can use these to manually download subtitle files. For this I recommend Sublight. Sublight is an application that allows you to drag and drop a movie file into it and it will recommend a number of subtitle download options.

If you want to browse and add subtitles to Kodi from within the application itself then there are a number of addons that allow you to do this. These can be found in the Official Kodi Repository. In my opinion the best of these is the addon provided by [Read: How to Setup Official Kodi Remote on IOS & Android]

Add Subtitles to Kodi – Final Thoughts

Kodi subtitle settings can be confusing to get your head around particularly if you have never used subtitles. Once you have got them working however they are very simple to use. Get your subtitle folders setup, your subtitle files in place and then use the Kodi subtitles Shortcut keys to switch them on and off. [Read: How to Setup TV Shows in Kodi]