Update Footprints in PCBnew

Dear Community,
I am running KiCAD on Linux Mint. It’s generally running, but updating footprints does not quite work.
If I update or reassign footprints within CvPCB this works well so far. The build in preview displays the right footprint.
If I then change to PCBnew and reload the netlist it usually displays errors or the old footprint is displayed again.

The only workaround so far is to restart Kicad, updating Annotation and Netlist and somewhen the updates appear in PCBnew. What’s wrong? What can I change?


When you run the netlist in PCBnew it gives you the option to ‘change’ the footprints. Just check that and you should be good.

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Oh thank you!! Now I got it…

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Thank you, was searching for the update for the PCBnew and found this solution

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Hi All,

I have similar problem, but I added a 3D shape to the original footprint that was assigned previously (the footprint wasn’t changed, only the 3D assignment). Than I made the netlist again, chose the ‘change’ footprint in CvPCB, but the 3D shape did not appear in the 3D viewer menu. Than I changed the footprint as follows:

  • I pressed ‘m’ above the footprint. The coordinates appear immediately
  • I deleted the footprint
  • then I placed the footprint (the same) from the footprint library exactly to the same coordinates
    The 3D shape appears but DRCcontrol gives a lot of “track near pad” error. What can I do?

The correct way to manually update a footprint from the lib is not via the netlist and definetly not as you did. Use the update footprint(s) from library (version 5) or change footprint tools found in the right click context menu and in the toolbar under tools. (I work from memory so the wording in kicad can be a bit different.)

Thank you very much! I have to update kicad from 4.0.7 to 5.0.2.

Hi @Rene_Poschl Can you please give some more information on this? I am trying what has been suggested by @hermit on V4.0.2 but the component is not updating to the right footprint

I found out a way by some poking around :slight_smile:
Right click component > Properties > change foot prints > Select second option

I highly suggest updating to at least version 4.0.7. 4.0.2 has many known bugs that got fixed in later releases.

Another possibility (maybe even the better choice) would be to go for 5.1.0 (or within the next few days 5.1.1)

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Hello Rene,

I am having KiCAD 5.1.6 under Windows 10 and I am not able to find the option ‘update footprint from library’ but I found this ‘load footprint from current board’

. Is it the same thing you are talking about? Cause I found it really annoying that the footprints in pcbnew layout did not change after I modify them in the footprint library. Thank you!


In the layout editor Tools -> Update Footprints from Library, or the context menu of any footprint -> Update Footprint, or Properties of any footprint -> Update Footprint from Library.

They all open the same dialog where you can choose which footprint(s) you want to update from the libraries.

Imagine how annoying it would be if you wanted to change the footprint only in the library (for future use) but it would automatically change the footprints in a board which was already working.

But KiCad could really use some kind of push-pull architecture for updates.


It worked! Thank you so much!

same here, I have to restart kicad crossing fingers, but it’s random and really looks like a bug