Looking for a clean start with Kodi? After all, installing multiple builds and tons of add-ons is a great way to bog down your interface with conflicting settings and dead links. Today, we show you how to restore Kodi to its “factory settings” in a matter of mere minutes.
Kodi builds are great! They allow a Kodi user to install a bunch of very useful add-ons, set parameters and generally tweak their Kodi installation in one simple step. But once you’ve been using your build for a while, you’ll soon realize that some of the installed add-ons are barely ever used. Or that some of the parameters might not be to your liking. When that happens, you might want to clean things up a bit but what can be done about it?
In this article, we’ll first explain what Kodi builds are, what are their advantages and disadvantages. We’ll also discuss the life cycle of a Kodi build and tell why, at one point, you’ll most likely want to remove a build. And if you want to remove a Kodi build you’ve installed, we’ll show you step-by-step how it can easily be done, restoring your Kodi installation to its original state.
A VPN is your Best Protection While Using Kodi
Your Internet service provider might be monitoring your activity to ensure you don’t violate their terms and conditions. And if they suspect you do, they can react by sending you copyright infringement notices, throttling down your speed, or worse, interrupting your service. To avoid such annoyances, we strongly suggest you use a VPN whenever you’re using Kodi. A VPN encrypts your data in a way it can’t be read by anyone, thereby protecting your privacy. As a bonus, a VPN will let you access geo-blocked content by masquerading your location.
Considering the number of VPN providers available, selecting one can be a challenge. There are several important factors to consider. Among them, a fast connection speed will prevent buffering, a no-logging policy will further protect your privacy, no usage restrictions will let you access any content at full speed and software that is available for multiple platforms will let you use the VPN from any device you may own.
Best VPN for Kodi – NordVPN
Kodi is a robust streaming platform, but it’s not without its problems. For example, ISPs categorically disapprove of Kodi, and will throttle its traffic on sight. What’s more, if you live in a small country, you may find your range of streamable content is rather limited. In both cases, NordVPN delivers satisfaction with just a single click.
Once you launch NordVPN, you’ll connect to their massive network via a secure tunnel between your device and one of over 5,800+ servers in 59 countries. This process hides your traffic from the scrutiny of third-party snoops by wrapping it in a layer of unbreakable cryptographic code. Encryption stops ISPs throttling cold, because they can’t restrict what they can’t identify. The result is buffer-free streams–even in HD.
NordVPN also opens up an entire world of previously geoblocked streams, essentially by replacing your true IP address with a false one located in whatever country is hosting the server you chose. This spoofing process is highly effective, and super-charges your Kodi collection by enabling various add-ons to deliver foreign content unimpeded. And we do mean unimpeded; NordVPN never limits your bandwidth, never caps your speeds, and never keeps logs of your activity–letting you stream to your heart’s content in total anonymity.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer without breaking a sweat
- 5,400+ servers globally
- Tor over VPN, double VPN
- “Double” data protection
- 30-day money back guarantee.
- Some servers can be unreliable
- Sometimes slow in procesing refunds (but always do).
What Is a Kodi Build?
Essentially, a Kodi build is a preconfigured set of add-ons, repositories, shortcuts, skins, parameters and/or other goodies created by someone to make your life easy. Most of the time, builds are installed through a repository, just like most add-ons. What you get as a result of installing a Kodi build is the perfect Kodi installation… from its developer’s point of view.
Some builds are “specialized”. For instance, you have builds that put their primary focus on movies, others on TV shows or sports. Some builds are targeting specific types of hardware or methods of user input. There are, for example, builds that are created to make better use of touchscreen input. Similarly, there are builds created to run on more “limited” hardware such as the Amazon Fire Stick.
Another strong “selling” point of Kodi builds is that they often hide the complexities of using Kodi behind well-crafted shortcuts. For example, a Kodi build could include a Movies section that features shortcuts to different parts of the multiple add-ons it installed. As a user, you don’t have to know about any of these add-ons. They are hidden from you.
Most Popular Kodi Builds
Dozens of new Kodi build are released every year. And just like add-ons, they come and go at an impressive pace. While some of them will last, others will be short-lived. Among the best builds available today, four appear to stand out: Nemesis, Dad Life, Caz Lite and the Fire TV Build.
We’ve recently published a great article about Kodi builds— the article first introduces each of these great builds before giving you detailed step-by-step installation instructions.
Pros and Cons of Kodi Builds
The good side
There are several advantages to using Kodi builds. First, they offer you a lot of functionality in a single install. They are also a great way to get started with Kodi without having to learn all there is to know about it. Also, you’ll often end up with a much better look and feel than what the default Kodi install provides, although this can be debatable and is really a matter of personal taste. Another advantage of Kodi builds is that they might introduce you to some add-ons you would have never tried otherwise.
And the not-so-good
But just like anything else, Kodi builds have some disadvantages. The most important one is that they often install add-ons without installing their corresponding repositories. And without repositories to handle their upgrades, some add-ons could quickly become outdated.
Also, some add-ons are rarely updated and the shortcuts they contain might eventually stop working, leaving you with what we often call a swiss-cheese installation, an installation full of gaping holes.
Yet another disadvantage of Kodi builds is that some of them are quite bloated and they might cause issues on lower-end hardware. This is especially true of add-ons featuring lots of eye candy. All these animations and embellishments end-up using scarce hardware resources.
But I think the worst thing about many Kodi builds is how they prevent users from really learning how Kodi works by hiding the complexities of Kodi behind easy to use shortcuts. It might require more work but you’ll certainly learn more about Kodi by installing and using add-ons individually.
The Life Cycle of a Kodi Build
The life cycle of most Kodi builds is quite predictable. They are created by some eager developer who puts lots of efforts into creating what they see as “the ultimate” Kodi build. Once the builds are released, bloggers, YouTubers, and the Kodi community in general talk about it and users install them. Sometimes, lots of users install them. Then the builds will get updated by their developer a few times until they either lose interest, don’t have time to take care of them anymore or move to other projects. That’s when the build slowly starts to die. Shortcuts no longer work, add-ons are no longer updated, more and more features stop working.
This is sad but true and it’s how way too many builds evolve. And when they do die, you’re left with three options. You can leave the build as is and accept that parts of it no longer work. You can also install a newer build and use it until that one dies too. And as a third option, you can wipe Kodi clean, getting rid of the build, and start anew.
Uninstalling a Kodi build
There are several ways to uninstall a Kodi build and go back to a pristine Kodi installation, just like it was after you first installed it. Oddly enough, uninstalling a Kodi build and restoring Kodi to its original state is usually done… with an add-on that you have to install.
A few such add-ons are available but the one we prefer is called Indigo from TVADDONS.CO. It not only has a very efficient cleanup tool that will remove everything from your Kodi installation but it also includes a backup utility so you can backup your installation before you wipe it. That could be useful if you ever change your mind and want to revert back.
Installing the Indigo add-on is just like installing almost any other add-on. It involves several steps but, if you follow our instructions, you’ll have it installed in no time.
First, we’re assuming that you’ve already enabled Unknown sources in Kodi. If you want to verify that, from the Kodi home screen, click the Settings icon. It’s the small gear at the top left of the screen. Then, click System settings and select Add-ons on the left pane. Make sure that the little switch next to Unknown sources is in the ON position. It should be white.
Adding the installation source path
From the Kodi home screen, click the Settings icon once more. Then, click File Manager. From the File manager screen, double-click Add source in the left pane.
On the next screen, click <None> and then enter the following path: https://fusion.tvaddons.co then click OK.
Back to the Add source screen, type in a name for the source under “Enter a name for this media source“. As you can see, I’ve named it FUSION. Click OK when you’re done naming the source.
Installing the add-on
From the Kodi home screen, click Add-ons on the left pane. Then, click the Add-on browser icon at the top left of the screen. It resembles an open box.
From the add-on browser screen, select Install from zip file then click the source you just added in the previous step. Mine is called FUSION.
Click begin-here and then click plugin.program.indigo-X.X.X.zip.
This will launch the add-on installation and after a short while, a message at the top right of the screen will confirm its successful installation.
That’s it, you’re now ready to use the Indigo add-on
Running Indigo’s Cleanup Utility
Step one: Backing up your current installation (optional)
Removing a Kodi build also removes everything from your installation. Any add-on you’ve installed, any configuration and customization you’ve done will disappear. There is no other way to completely remove a build because each is different and each modifies different things within Kodi.
So, if you think there is a possibility you might have second thoughts about this, perhaps you should first backup your current Kodi installation. Luckily, the Indigo add-on can do just that.
Start the Indigo add-on and, from its main menu, click Backup/Restore.
From the Indigo Backup/Restore menu, click Select Backup Location.
On the next screen, click Click Here.
You’ll be taken to the Backup Storage Location screen. What you’ll see there largely depends on your specific installation and the type of device you’re using.
In my case, I’m running Kodi on a Windows computer and I chose to put the backup at the root of the C: drive. I therefore simply clicked the first line and then clicked OK.
Back to the Backup/Restore settings, I see that my backup location is now set to C:\.
Click OK to go back to the Backup/Restore menu.
Now back to the menu, click Full Backup (All Files and Folders Included) to start the backup
You’ll be prompted to enter a name for your backup. Type it in and click OK to continue. The backup will start right away and will run for a little while. Its duration is, of course, dependent on the size of your installation.
If you ever want to restore the installation, from a newly installed Kodi, you’ll need to first install the Indigo add-on as shown above and then, choose Restore Backup from the Indigo add-on Backup/Restore menu.
Removing a Kodi Build and Restoring Kodi to its Original State
The Indigo add-on really makes this an easy step. From the Indigo main menu, just click Factory Restore. You’ll be presented with a confirmation screen.
Let Indigo do its magic, uninstall everything and bring Kodi back to the way it was right after its initial installation.
Other uses for the Indigo Add-on
We’ve seen that the Indigo add-on can do backups and restores as well as restoring Kodi to its initial state but it can do much more. Actually called the Indigo installer, this add-on has a built-in installer that will take all the complexity out of installing add-ons. You simply select any add-on from its very comprehensive list–it even has a search engine to quickly locate a specific add-on–and the Indigo installer takes care of the rest. It will install whatever repository is required and then install the actual add-on.
Other useful features of the Indigo installer include its Maintenance tools section that offers over a dozen tools for various maintenance tasks. It also has a Config Wizard which is nothing more than… another name for a build. When you run the wizard, Indigo will “automatically configure Kodi with all the best add-ons and tweaks“.
If you want more details about the Indigo add-on, we”ve recently published a great article about it and we highly recommend you read it: How to Install the Indigo (Fusion) Installer on Kodi.
There are good sides and bad sides to Kodi builds. They’re an easy way to quickly pimp your Kodi installation. Unfortunately, the life cycle of many builds is such that eventually, you’ll probably want them uninstalled. When you get to that point, the Indigo installer is probably the best tool for the job. It will not only remove builds and restore your Kodi installation to its initial glory as it also includes several useful tools.
Have you used Kodi builds? Have you ever reached a point where you wanted to get rid of them and restart from scratch? And did you ever use the Indigo installer to restore Kodi to its factory defaults? Please, share your experience and opinions with us using the comments below!