How to get rid of pads which are not connected to any track on top layer?

Hi All,

Just finished first pcb in kicad, this is meant to be build at home so there are no vias and I used pads to connect top and bottom layer where ever needed.

When I printed top layer, it has all pads. Is there any way I can remove pad on top layer which are not connected to any track?

Please see image below for your reference.


I didn’t think you could place single pads in PCBNew . . . . but, if you did, you should be able to delete them like any other item: select it, then either the “DEL” key, or right-click and select “Delete”.

Same thing is true if you placed a footprint that included only a single pad: select it, then “DEL”.

It’s probably much easier to select a block of pads, then delete the entire block. Make sure you have block-selected ONLY the pads you want to remove!

If you placed the pad as part of a multi-pad footprint you must delete the entire footprint.

With any of these methods, the pad will be removed from all of the layers it affects.

Now, please tell us a few things about your project.

Your plot shows A LOT of pads with no connections. Are you CERTAIN that components won’t be mounted on those pads?

On a commercially fabricated circuit board, “pads” and “vias” are essentially the same physical construction. That’s why we can use pads to do “via stitching”. Why do you think pads are preferable to vias " to connect top and bottom layer where ever needed" on your board?


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Hi Dale,

I have not put any pad in PCBNew, what you are seeing is top layer of two sided pcb and all are part of some or other footprint. I did most of routing at bottom layer. I have just few tracks on top layer (which I could not route at bottom layer).

I need all pads and can’t remove it. My question is just related to top layer, can these “copper pads” be removed from top layer if they are not connected to track and at the same time I also want pads at bottom layer.

As I said I need to build this pcb at home and I cant create vias, so choose to use component pin to connect between top and bottom layer.


I can’t think of any way to do that, it would need a modified plot code. However, a workaround might be to edit the gerber file for the top layer, then print the gerber file.

Given the small number of top layer traces, I would consider just using the bottom layer and using wire links, obviously you will need to create some new pads for those adjacent to component leads.

Edit each of the pads you want to remove (press ‘E’ with the cursor over the pad) and under “Layers” change it from “All copper layers” to “B.Cu”.

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Select the pad and then delete with the pop-up menu. You need to do so one pad at a time.

Hi 1.21Gigawatts,

That seems to be right, but it is tiring to delete all such pads while changing its layer to “B.Cu”.
Is there some other automated way.
I understand that these pads are important if we are using copper fill/pour otherwise there should be some setting while printing to get it removed while printing.

I expect it could be done with a script.

Why not leave the pads there anyway? Before asking for a code change, you would need to present some reason for removing them. You have a very unusual if not unique use case.

Yeah that could be done with script and it should be much easier to process kicad_pcb file and parse all pads selectively based on layers.

Yes it is unusual use case, but I think for tinkering and hobbyist (who make pcb at home) it might be useful feature and I am just curious if anyone from community had created such tool or script.

Is there any repository or forum link where users can share their tool or scripts?

I’d still like to know why you think it is useful to remove these pads? They don’t cause any problem with etching or assembly, why not leave them?

If he is etching it might even be a good idea to use the available place for a ground plane. (Would make for better EMC and it would save etching fluid.)

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bobc, you are right it should not cause any issue with etching. I might be overthinking before etching it or optimizing something which is worthless. Let me etch and see if everything is ok.

If your pads are part of a footprint, and the footprint is used more than once on your board, it may be more efficient to apply this method to the component footprints, rather than pad-by-pad in PCBNew. Open the footprint in the Footprint Editor (you can do this directly from PCBNew), change the pads as described by @1.21Gigawatts, then save the modified footprint. (Probably best to save it in a different directory, with a different name.) Change all of the footprints of that same type on your board to the modified version.

(To do the job right, you will add the new footprint directory to your footprint table, change the relevant footprint references in EESchema, create a new netlist, and import it to PCBNew.)


I typically add copper-fill zones where I have areas of unused PCB real estate, for the two reasons mentioned above. Soldering to the top-side pads should also improve the mechanical mounting integrity for the components.

On the other hand, top/bottom registration is a challenge whenever you etch and drill boards at home. Some may consider it cowardly to address this problem by eliminating the whole top layer (i.e., make it a 1-sided board) but we cowards often survive to fight future battles.

And if @shivmsit ( the original poster) is trying to reproduce or repair some piece of classic equipment from the 1960’s or 70’s, then a 1-sided board may be dictated by a need for authenticity.