If you are going to use Kodi for Windows as your primary media center, you probably want your HTPC to boot directly to Kodi with as little distraction as possible. The more your Kodi Media Center functions like an “appliance”, the more seamless your home theater experience will be. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to replace the default Windows “shell”, which is “explorer.exe”, with a program that will directly launch Kodi in full-screen

Using EventGhost Method

The program “EventGhost” is a very powerful way to manage remote controls, auto-starting of programs, and other macros.

It supports many common remotes out of the box, such as the Microsoft MCE remote, several X10 remotes, the Sony PS3 Bluetooth remote, the ATI Remote Wonder II, USB-UIRT, and the original Xbox DVD remote.

You can use EventGhost to load the plugin for your favorite remote, load the Kodi EventClient plugin, then load Kodi itself.

1.1 Setting up EventGhost


  1. Download and install the latest EventGhost Beta.
  2. Right-click and disable any plugins in the right-hand pane that you aren’t using (Winamp, etc.)
  3. Install the plugin for the remote receiver you wish to use
    • (click “add plugin” and select your Remote from the list of “Remote Receivers”)
  4. Install the Kodi EventClient plugin
    • (click “add plugin” and select “Kodi” from the “Program Control” section.


  1. Press a key on your remote that you would like to cause an action in Kodi.
  2. Drag the event that shows up in the left-hand pane of EventGhost to the Kodi action that you want in the right-hand pane.
  3. Repeat for each button that you want to use with Kodi


  1. Under “AutoStart” click “Add Action”
  2. Under “System”, click “Start Application”
    • Filepath to executable should be:
      • C:\Program Files\Kodi\Kodi.exe (unless you’ve changed it)
    • Command line options are:
      • -fs (for full-screen)
    • Working Directory is:
      • C:\Program Files\Kodi
  • Add any other programs you want to start automatically in the same way.

1.2 Preparing your Desktop Background (optional)

You may safely ignore this section if you don’t care what color your screen is when Windows boots up.


  1. right-click on your desktop, and click properties.
  2. click the “desktop” tab, and set background to “none”
  3. click the “appearance” tab, click “advanced”, select the item “desktop” and set the color to black.


  1. click “Start -> Run” and type “regedit”
  2. Navigate to the following key:
    • HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors
  3. In the right pane, double-click “Background”
  4. In the Edit String dialog box, type “0 0 0” without the quotes (“0 0 0” is RGB for “Black”)
  5. Click OK
  6. Close Regedit

1.3 Set Windows to AutoLogin

  1. Click Start -> Run, and type:
    • control userpasswords2
  2. Uncheck the “Users must enter a username and password to use this computer” check box.
  3. Click Apply.
  4. Enter the user name and password you want to be automatically logged-on, and then click OK.
  5. Click OK again and you’re all done.
  • Note: This works in Windows XP/Vista/7

1.4 Set your “Shell” to EventGhost

  1. click “Start -> Run” and type “regedit”
  2. Navigate to the following key:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
    1. right-click on “Shell” and rename to “FakeShell” or something similar (so you can restore it later if you wish to)
    2. right-click in the right-hand pane and select New -> String Value
    3. name it “Shell”
    4. double-click Shell and paste the following value (with quotation marks):
      • “C:\Program Files\EventGhost\EventGhost.exe”
    5. close regedit
  • A shortcut to this step is to use InstantSheller and set the “Application to shell” to “C:\Program Files\EventGhost\EventGhost.exe”
  • Instead of changing the system wide “Shell” value
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

    you can simply create a new string value “SHELL” in

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

    which will only change the shell for a specific user.

1.5 Notes on EventGhost Method

You can now restart your computer; it should appear to immediately run Kodi and nothing else.

If you need to run other programs, close or minimize Kodi and press <ctrl-shift-esc> to run the task manager. Go to File -> New Task (Run…) and type the name of what you want to run.

ie. cmd for the command prompt
regedit to undo the changes we made earlier
firefox to run firefox
explorer to explore your computer (this won’t bring up the start menu and taskbar)