I Give Up with KiCAD, can't removed useless .lib files I created

I give up,I had all working just fine and I wanted to create a new part…great…but then things got really out of hand…and I do not get it. I created 2 or 3 libraries…but i could not seem to find the footprint ( .mod file) from vendor wherever it was suppose to go…so, after doing part 7 of the help manual over and over again with no luck… every time I wanted ti create that new part, the create part editor kept calling those failed libraries I don’t want anymore…So I delete all of Kicad thinking …OK, I will finally get track to ground zero…but no, KiCAD kept looking for the libraries I don’t want. I can’t delete them.I guess, make a fatal error of deleting the .lib files for those parts…so the creation of a new part gets to be a real nuisance as it always stops and say “Hey look we cant find any aliases…etc” Boy…unreal. Now I have no idea about these shared files but right now, they are still in there and useless. I have uninstalled/reinstalled 3 times and each time I do it, KiCAD screams at me as I try to create something that the aliases for those 3 libraries are missing. I can click past that but good lord, how the heck does one get rid of those lib files I created. I have searched across the drive after an uninstall with wild cards and deleted everything tied to KiCAD and the project name… and I get the message KiCAD completely uninstalled or is it???..well, I have no idea what to do with this error every time I try to create a new symbol…odd how I can’t delete something I created…extremely frustrating…and as a new comer, the folder structure would be a lot better with a power point showing default paths, showing what in the world is happening and where is it going …5 hours down the drain. Funny my Orcad suite before they sold out was the same way…file management needs to be shown not only in words but pictorially…KiCAD with 3D viewer and the Freecad plug in was fine…got it all working but something went nuts AND I AM sure it was me. The Help manual doesn’t line up with the latest version but its close. If there is a flow chart and program interactions shown in the chart for the default install, that would be great…it would certainly help. It only needs to be done regarding file management and the generation or placing of files.

Sorry for the venting but after 5 hours, I am just fatigued as it approaches 3:45 AM here in Texas.

So here is the takeaway…(1) why can’t I reinstall KICAD and have it behave as if I never had it,…this is the oddest thing since the uninstall says completely removed…obviously I don’t get…or (2) how does one delete the dopey lib files I created when using the symbol library editor. They just never go away,

Recommendation to the writers regarding file management…the manuals appear to be a great effort but when generating or placing files for the program to run, a flow diagram w/program interaction is really needed.

Ok, first take a breather. CAD packages are not the easiest things to learn and all of them have their quirks, once you take first few steep steps up the learning curve it gets easier.
I can’t quite build complete picture of your situation but my best guess is that you have global library table pointing to missing lib files. That is one of the files (along with some configs) that is not deleted with uninstall.

To fix that simply go to Preferences->Manage Symbol Libraries... in eeschema and delete the libs that don’t exist any more.
After that it’s just matter of fixing your projects if they still have parts from those libs. When opening that project you will get a symbol rescue dialog. Read this faq entry carefully, that describes what’s going on there (option 2 is most relevant)

In case you still want to go full uninstall route: after running uninstaller delete kicad folder in %APPDATA%/Roaming on windows or ~/.kicad on linux. That should get rid of everything I think.


Listing the OS would be nice and the exact KiCAD version you got there.

Also what do you understand under ‘create part editor’?
There is a SYMBOL editor, for the schematic symbols that are used in EEschema.
And there is a FOOTPRINT editor, for the footprints, that are needed in PCBnew, the layout editor.
One can assign footprints to symbols and thus create ‘parts’, but that is inside the schematic symbol editor, via a menu/option window for the symbol properties.

If your install of KiCAD is referencing libraries that you don’t want referenced anymore, you go here and remove them (KiCAD v5+, screenshot is from a recent nightly build, so might differ slightly):


Be sure to check the tab for the project specific libraries as well.

Btw. .mod file… do you really mean a .mod file or do you have a .kicad_mod file there?
I think the .mod file is a legacy footprint file/library, so needs ‘special’ settings, i.e. ‘legacy’ if you want to load it. KiCAD left those behind in v3.
Modern way is to have .kicad_mod footprint files in .pretty folders, which are then the libraries…


EEschema seems to be on track to get the same treatment in the next iteration, as the current state of the art symbol library files are already set to ‘legacy’ for their plugin type in that similar management window for the symbol libraries.

better handling of sym-lib-table and fp-lib-table from the installers would probably save a lot of trouble for many people?
AFAIK the installers (e.g. windows) and deb-packages (linux) now do nothing to existing fp-lib-table and sym-lib-table files?

Once you start and load an old project they will offer automatic conversion/mapping to the new system, after they have created the sym-lib-table files from your basic project settings.
I haven’t tried that yet though, so… :slight_smile:

Installers touching personal settings is a big no no. At least in linux you will not be shipped with any official package manager when you do that!

One of the reasons is that all linux systems are setup as multi user. Now if an installer is run by one user, what should it do with the others?

Another reason is what should kicad do with your personal libs? (It has no knowledge which libs are installed. Especially on the symbol side as there is no central library table in version 4)

In the end updating a CAD software always requires some personal setup. (This is even true for software like Catia which costs thousands of euros per license.) This is in part because of the flexibility offered by kicad. But also because this is a one time task to be done every few years. (Only on update for a major release. New installs are handled correctly as they already install library tables.) Meaning investing too much dev time into this is kind of a waste. (The most i would wish for is a “revert to factory settings” button in the lib managers.)

V5 eeschema is quite alright in this regard as it asks for sym-lib-table when run for the first time. While pcbnew will get this functionality in V6. In this case it would also be nice if the uninstaller asked if the user wants to remove personal preferences.

Pcb new would do the same if you did not have a fp lib table already from version 4.

I’d vote for this. Also loading and saving of custom library setups I could see as being useful.

I made a wishlist bug for this: https://bugs.launchpad.net/kicad/+bug/1809903


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