Quick Start

Modified on Wed, 21 Apr 2021 at 05:36 PM

Emby has two distinct parts:

  • Server — Store your media library in a central place
  • Client — Clients or Apps that play back media from the Emby Server

A fully-functioning Emby system requires both a Server and at least one client player. The Server includes the Emby web app which is used to manage the Server and your media library. It also features a media player, thus the minimal installation of just the server is enough to get started, but most people will want to install Emby apps on other devices for expanded client functionality.

Has someone invited you to their server?

If you have received an invitation to share an existing Emby server, then you can skip the server installation process and jump straight to app installation. The server is only required by people wanting to host their own media collection. Choose one of the many apps we have available:


Or try the online web app, using the login credentials supplied by your Emby server administrator, at


Prepare your media

Emby identifies your media according to folder structure, file name, and type of library to which it is assigned. Once identified, Emby downloads a rich assortment of information about your media including ratings, cast, descriptions & poster art. It can often provide other content media such as movie trailers. The combination of this information creates a very rich client experience.

The requirements for organizing and naming files are quite flexible, but will require some basic structure.

The general recommendations are:

  • Separate media into appropriate folders (e.g., Movies in a "Movies" folder, TV shows in a "TV Shows" folder, music in a "Music" folder, photos in a "Photos" folder, etc.) This is covered in detail in later sections.

  • Movies should be named as "Name (Year).ext", for example "Brave (2012).mp4"

  • TV shows should include season and episode numbers in the name, and be stored in separate folders per show. For example: "\TV\Homeland\Season 01\Homeland s01e01.mp4"

  • Music should be stored within artist and album folders, such as "\Music\Artist\Album\tracks"

Install the Server

Once your media is named and organized, it's time to install the Server. The server is available on a number of platforms ranging from Windows to Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, NAS devices as well as media devices such as the Nvidia Shield TV.

For more information, see installation.

Install apps on your devices

Once your installation is up and running and you've completed the startup wizard, it's time to install apps on your devices.

Choose one of the many apps we have available:


Or try the online web app at


Add Users

You may wish to add users and invite your family and friends. Users will have their own account & password and can have their own personalized media libraries, user data, favorites, recommendations and more. You will be able to completely control access to your system at the library or feature level such as granting access to Live TV if this is setup on your system.

For more information, see users.

Install Plugins

Installing plugins can further enhance your Emby experience. Cover Art allows you to personalize the artwork that is displayed within your Emby apps, Trailers provides a library of streaming internet trailers to your media collection presented as a library. Trakt allows you to sync watched status with the Trakt web server. Emby Statics allows you to see detailed statistics about your system. There are numerous plugin you can install to customize your server and user experience via the online catalog.

For more information, see plugins.

Get Emby Premiere

Emby Premiere brings a number of additional benefits and bonus features. With Emby Premiere you can enjoy:

  • Emby DVR with Live TV
  • Cover Art with dynamic manipulation of artwork for a truly customized look
  • Offline Media syncing to several device types such as iOS and Android Mobile
  • Cloud Sync to services such as Google Drive or DropBox
  • Free Apps, get use of all Emby client apps fully unlocked for your server's use
  • Cinema Mode allows you to personalize the playback experience with custom intros and trailers just like cinema
  • Automatic Conversion of Media
  • Integrated Backup and Restore Services
  • Podcasts can be used to add your favorite podcasts to your system for all your users to access
  • Smart Home features with use of Google Home as well as Amazon Alexa & Echo.
  • And So Much More!

Learn more about Emby Premiere.

Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article