Disable open last project on startup

I’ve just updated to version 5 and now each time I launch the program it will open the last project I was working on and I absolutely hate this.
Is there a way to disable it so that it will show a blank page when starting the program like it did in 4? Didn’t find an option and the closest I’ve gotten to this working is by setting the kicad user config file in appdata to read only so that it just throws an error when closing and saves a tmp file.

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I’d also like to know this. Is it selectable to start blank?

Alternatively I guess a nice feature is if it showed all projects in the workspace in the side panel so that they could be selected to be opened. It is kind of frustrating how single project based that KiCad currently is…

My versions 4.0.7 and 5.0.0 behave in the same way at start up, showing the last project I worked on.
Then I use Open project / Open recent / New project as needed, the same way I’d work with a blank page.

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For me it is similar. But to be honest most of the time i open kicad i want to open the last opened project. (None of my projects is small enough to finish in one sitting. So this feature gets it right most of the time.)

I was using the 4.0.6 I think, and it opened a blank page.

I get that, for me if I have to work on a project I just go open the .pro file in the folder.
Just a question of personal preference, I don’t like seeing what I worked on last even though I anyway have to press the same buttons to start a new project.

This is true for most small time users but anyone doing several different projects at a time then it is annoying.

You want to be able to click on a kicad icon inside of a project folder to bring up that project but if you call
kicad from the main menu then you get a blank project.

John Eaton

“Small time users”! :rofl:

When I’m working on several projects at once I have no problem launching KiCad with the specific project I want to open if it’s not the last one I was working on. When I do want to open the last one I was working on that happens automatically. I don’t see the problem, but then I’m just a small time user. :rofl:

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I agree, it is a question of personal preference.

The way it works in my linux version:

  • double click on a project opens that project
  • opening kicad from the launcher opens last project
    I’m happy with this behaviour, my personal preference. Another small time user here :joy::joy::joy:

The problem seems to be psychological, not practical. Either you open with no project or with some project, and you have to select the wanted project anyways if it’s not open already. It bothers some people, not all. I don’t downplay anyone’s feelings, the “User Experience” is psychological and is important.

The project view is archaic and could be enhanced in many ways, so many that it would be difficult to say what it should be to be as convenient as possible for everyone.


Works in both windows 7 and fedora 28

What would be the benefit here. If you do not want the old project to be opened just klick on whatever project you want to open. If you make a new one then you do not really care which project is shown on startup.

A workplace view would however be nice.

While it’s certainly not a priority I do agree the project manager could use a bit of modernization, It wouldn’t likely be that difficult even for someone unfamiliar with the rest of the KiCad source. But it is currently capable of being used in the manner being requested above.

It works exactly like that now.

Why not create a “blank” project and then you can open it from the project folder just like the rest of them. Then it’s really not a big deal, and even handy at times, that KiCad opens the previous project when you launch it directly.

Or is it only us “small time users” that are able to work that out? :smirk:

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When handling multiple projects, directly opening pro file is obvious way instead of starting kicad & opening project… but not for all :stuck_out_tongue:

I use QT creator alongside & its project file is also a pro file…
so I’ve set pro file to always open with gedit/notepad++ (both files are text anyway) & adjusted my mind to open project after opening the respective program & browsing the required pro file…

This just eliminates possibility of QT creator opening Kicad pro file accidentally and vise-versa…

Mostly true. In educational setting where you have multiple students using the same PC, going through the same exercises this causes (will cause) some confusion. While I am not using KiCad in this setting, I have experience with other programs (mostly IDEs) where some of them would open previous project by default and this led to a student continuing on another students project.

When an interface is sub optimal to users needs, it can and should be called out. Clunky work arounds and saying “This is good enough if I do --adaptive behaviour A-- and then --adaptive behaviour B-- it sort of works and if you can’t do it that way there is something wrong with you” definitely come under psychological reframing of a practical problem.

The main project screen could certainly do with some love. It’s a catch all for some basic preferences, and instead of 5 drop down items it could have a preference window like eeshema or pcbnew. A single tickbox saying “Start with previous project” would resolve this question simply like many other pieces of software.

An easy solution for this is to create a shortcut with each new project. I agree that, at the very least, the feature of opening the last open project should be made optional. It was the use of the phrase “small time users” that I found rather offensive, even though it was directed at @Rene_Poschl. I personally have no issue working with KiCad as it is and I too use KiCad on computers that also have other programs that use the extension “.pro”. KiCad seems to be moving towards having unique extensions for some of it’s files so hopefully the project file will as well. Most of the time when I open KiCad I want to continue working on the board I was last working on. When I don’t it’s easy to launch KiCad and have it open the project I am interested in.

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If the head of the library team counts as a small time user, everyone is a small time user :wink: (Admittedly i mostly run it for checking the work done by others. So my usecases are for sure a bit different.)

I doubt that the project file is planned to be re written. (Never heard any talk about that on the mailing list) But the v6 development has not really started yet so who knows what the devs plan.

I agree fully with that. I don’t see why it should be more work to open some project from the “no project loaded” stage compared to “last open project”. (In both cases you would need the same number of clicks.)
Especially as KiCad (unlike other programs) does not load anything behind the scenes on opening. (the loading of resources only happens when you start any of the “sub-programs”) So there is not even a speed advantage to be gained here.

So i would suggest to bring this over to the bugtracker as a wishlist item. Maybe one of the devs is motivated enough to add some option for that. (I would guess this will be one of the bugreports with the lowest priority.)

I would hope every student has their own user profile stored on a central server. Or at least a different user locally. (How would you otherwise ensure that they do not simply submit the work of the previous student? How would you ensure that no personal data [example student ID] of one student can come into the hands of another student?)

And if you really want this behavior you could simply set the KicadFrameMostRecentlyUsedPath= line to point to an empty project using a startup script. (This line is found in the file “kicad” under the users config directory. So ~/.config/kicad for linux or C:\Users\ …\AppData\Roaming\kicad for windows.)


This is extremelly off-topic, but I’ll respond to it anyway:
I would also hope this, but since our IT department is non-existent (and this common situation in 2nd and 3rd world countries) it is up to educational staff to set up the lab. And educational staff usually does not have neither knowledge nor time to set up roaming profiles. While setting up individual local student profile is usually not done due to timing constraints.

As for personal data, students are warned beforehand, and regarding students copy pasting, I’ve found (this is my experience only) that students will always found a way to do it. If you have students doing the same project individually most of them will restrain themself from the temptation if you notify them that they can do it, and you don’t care but it is better for them not to do it if they want to learn something. Educator should be an educator not a policeman. Or you can give them totally different project to work on (but this requires a lot of extra time).

This is really great. Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

I wasn’t referring to the file format being changed but simply changing the file extension to something like kicad_pro to allow file association without conflicts with other applications. If there is currently no plans for this perhaps it should be raised as a wish list item.

Already done : https://bugs.launchpad.net/kicad/+bug/1780578