Kodi is a free, open source software package that provides you the tools you need to easily create a home theater system. While the initial Kodi setup is very quick, locating and installing multiple addons can become time consuming, especially if you’re installing Kodi on multiple devices.
To make things simpler, you can install pre-configured versions of Kodi named builds. These not only decrease the time it takes to get your media center up and running, but can also add additional features or change how Kodi looks. While Kodi can be installed on a vast array of devices including Roku and Apple TV, builds can only be installed on certain platforms, such as the Amazon Firestick or Fire TV, iPhone, Raspberry Pi, PC, or Nvidia Shield.
Sometimes you’ll find that a particular build isn’t to your liking. This isn’t a problem: in this post, we’ll be showing you how to uninstall a Kodi build on whichever system you’re using. We’ll also be discussing some of the risks that come with installing any Kodi build.
Warning: Kodi should only be used for content to which you have the legal right to access. Neither the Kodi Foundation nor Comparitech advocates the use of Kodi for piracy.
Always use a VPN with Kodi
Kodi addons, like any piece of software, can be compromised to infect your system with malware or allow an attacker to view your online activities. To protect against snoopers, we strongly recommend using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). These encrypt your data, preventing it from being read by anyone. This includes your service provider, who may well be throttling your speeds to discourage streaming.
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What is a Kodi build?
Essentially, Kodi builds are pre-packaged collections of addons, usually bundled with a theme that changes how your media center looks. They’re more convenient than manually installing a bunch of addons but unfortunately, builds come with several significant downsides that all users should be aware of.
Kodi addons are frequently updated, moved, broken, replaced, or taken down. The moment any of these things happens, there’s a chance that the version bundled with your build will no longer work as expected. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to tell which ones still function without trying all of your pre-installed addons individually.
Any addon you install presents a security risk, even if it’s from the official Kodi repo. After all, there’s no such thing as uncrackable software. This problem is only compounded when you install dozens of addons simultaneously. The risk is even higher if your build relies on little-known repositories, piracy-enabling addons, or prerequisite software that you’re unfamiliar with.
Most Kodi addons just pull content from online sources. For instance, the iPlayer WWW addon in the official repo scrapes content from the BBC iPlayer website. However, there are a huge number of addons that don’t use official sources. In other words, they’re designed to facilitate piracy and aren’t legal in most places. Kodi builds almost always ignore official addons and opt instead to install dozens of these copyright-infringing addons, which could land you in hot water.
Fixing Kodi issues can be tricky at the best of times. Often, users will struggle to determine whether a problem is with their device, Kodi itself, or one of the many addons they’re using. As you might expect, installing dozens of addons (many of which you’ve never heard of), complicates matters further, making it even harder to get to the root of any issues.
Uninstalling a Kodi build
Uninstalling a Kodi build with EZ Maintenance+
The majority of people will install Kodi on their PC, but the good news is that the easiest way to remove a build is the same across all platforms including Raspberry Pi, Amazon Fire TV, and iPhone.
Before you begin, you will have to manually install the EZ Maintenance+ addon. When you’re ready, just follow these steps:
- First, we’ll switch back to Kodi’s default skin. To do this, click the gear icon on Kodi’s main screen, then select Interface
- Click on Skin and choose Estuary
- Return to Kodi’s main page and open the EZ Maintenance+ addon. If you don’t see it, you’ll find it listed uner Program Add-ons
- Choose FRESH START. You’ll see a message telling you to swap back to Kodi’s default skin, but this is already taken care of (you could tell the addon to do this automatically, though it doesn’t always work)
- You’ll now be asked to confirm that you want a fresh start. Clicking Yes will remove all of your addons and themes, allowing you to return Kodi to factory settings
Uninstalling a Kodi build manually
If you’d rather not use a third-party addon to remove a Kodi build, there is another way. Resetting your Kodi installation through the internal settings menu often removes addons but leaves a build intact, so in order to remove it completely you have to delete a specific folder that contains all of the data relating to your Kodi addons, settings, and builds.
Before we begin, you may have to instruct your file explorer to show hidden files. For Windows, you have to click the View tab and make sure the Hidden Items box is checked. As you can’t view hidden files directly on iOS, you’ll have to connect your iPhone to a computer in order to access the folder you need to clear.
In Android, you’ll have to open the default File Manager app, press the menu button (this is located in the top-left for File Commander but its location may be different based on the file manager you use), and tap the Settings option.
Once you can view hidden files and folders, find your platform in the list below, navigate to the location and simply delete every file and folder present.
Windows 7, 8, 8.1: In the run box on the start menu, paste “%APPDATA%\kodi\userdata” without the quotation marks.
Windows 10 and 11: In the run box on the start menu, paste “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Packages\XBMCFoundation.Kodi_4n2hpmxwrvr6p\LocalCache\Roaming\Kodi\userdata” without the quotation marks.
Mac: /Users/<your_user_name>/Library/Application Support/Kodi/userdata/
Linux (including Raspberry Pi): Open a terminal and paste “~/.kodi/userdata/” without the quotation marks.
Android: For Android, you have to delete both the “userdata” and “addons” folders found in Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/
Kodi builds: Frequently Asked Questions
Are Kodi builds worth it?
Kodi builds can seem like an easy way to quickly get a media center set up. However, because they predominantly include outdated or copyright-infringing addons, you’ll have to spend time manually checking to see if each works and whether it uses official sources or not.
There’s one more major flaw with most builds: they’re absolutely hideous. The Kodi community has lots of talented programmers but it could certainly use a few more graphic designers. We’ve put together a list of the best Kodi builds for a media center you’ll actually want to look at, but you will still have to go through and remove any copyright-infringing addons.
Is it legal to use Kodi?
Kodi is just media center software, meaning there’s nothing illegal about it. This app has gotten a bad reputation as there is a high number of copyright-infringing addons, but its detractors frequently fail to mention that users have to go out of their way to find and install these. In fact, Kodi’s official repository only includes addons that use official sources, and the forum bans all discussion of piracy.
Disclaimer: Although we’ve spent hours researching this topic, we are not legal experts. As such, nothing we’ve said above should be taken as legal advice. We encourage you to consult local laws before using Kodi if you’re unsure it’s legal where you are.