Figma Support Forum

How do I unlibrary a library?

I’ve had a pro plan for a bit just to try it out; and, while I’ve had it, I put quite a bit of work into a library that is being used for a client’s design (not something I can just do away with). Now I want to go back to the free plan again and see if that can work ok for me (I think it can) - but I can’t afford to lose any of the work in that library when I cease to have the upgraded plan. Is there a way to ensure I continue to have access to the things that are currently in that library before I drop the upgrade? Maybe copy the stuff out? Or copy the file and (somehow) make it not a “library” anymore? How would I accomplish this?

PS: My real concern here is effectiveness. I can’t afford a failure and to lose any of that work - it would be too great a loss. I need a plan that’s guaranteed to succeed.


Usually the easiest way is to simply move all external instances to the library file. Since in Figma you can’t move main components to another file (without using my plugin Master). Then you can simply unpublish the library:

Also you will not lose the work, you just won’t be able to publish new library updates to components.

I got a little trigger happy and tried something that maybe I shouldn’t have. All said and done I think I’m (mostly) ok without any significant loss but I’m not entirely sure. Ultimately I’m still not sure I’m going to drop my upgraded plan though. I’m not really clear on what working in a free account really looks like…

So I have a project for my client with a file in it where his project is being done and a project where the library I was working on resided (in a file in it) that was intended to be built into a organization wide library (two separate projects each containing a file but for different purposes).

The library for this specific client (his library) was in one page in the file in the project for libraries (the libraries project). I duplicated that library page, took the contents in the duplicate page and cut / pasted them into a newly created page in the other file (the one named after my client), then deleted the file that had the original library in it. At this point I discovered that I was unable to access the contents of the newly created page with all the library content in it from other pages in the same file (something I expected would be possible).

If I’m not using a published “library” then do variants I create have to reside in the same page of the file as where they are being used (not only the same file but the same page as well)?

If that is true (has to be in the same page even) then this is a reason I may not be comfortable not using a library in my project and hence having the upgraded plan. It was kind of a big deal to me to be able to access assets from another location in Figma. I didn’t need that to be across projects or even across files but I did need it to at least be across pages (ie: for the assets to reside in a page of their own not be in the same page as the prototype or other design pages). With that I would have to duplicated the assets into every page they need to be used - right? And they would be there making a big fat mess next to the actual design or prototype or whatever.

I feel kind of bad because after getting some information recently I thought I knew what I should do (in terms of keeping / dropping the pro plan) but now having experienced this new experience I’m not so sure again.

The library only gives you the ability to share components across different files. Components that you create inside of a file will be available on all pages of the file. It’s not entirely clear what you did but “cut & paste” of components is a big no-no unless you really know what you are doing. As I said, you can’t move components easily without my plugin (and even with the plugin it requires some deep understanding and manual work). The only way you can truly safely move components is by right clicking and selecting “move to page” to move them to another page in the same file. So the only way to keep everything attached is to move instances of the library components to the library file (this can be done via copy/paste no problem). I don’t fully understand what you did so I can’t give any specific advice on what you can do/undo to keep everything attached.

I don’t know what my current state is. I thought that I have a healthy, published library in the new location but I don’t have the option to " Unpublish ". Both libraries show up in settings (even though one has been completely deleted); I DO have access to the stuff via " Assets " but I don’t know where / what source it is coming from; I don’t have an option to " Unpublish " either of them. Trying to explain the details would probably just lead to confusion so I made a short video (unlisted on youtube) to show what is going on.

My Current Library Sitch

  • Do I have a published library in / coming from my " Transitions " file or am I mistaken about that?
  • Why don’t I get an option to " Unpublish " (for either of them)?
  • Why can’t I eliminate the old one (its deleted but seems to still show up)?
  • Are the " Assets " I’m getting coming from somewhere else (not where I think they’re coming from)? Are they coming from the old, deleted library and not the new one?

" Fines Designs Team Library " was not the " File Name " but the Project Name. It was that project that contained the original library that was deleted ( I deleted the whole project containing the library ).

To be precise:

Original location of original library before it was deleted… ( I think )…

Project: Fines Designs Team Library
File: Components and Styles
Page: Michael Fields


Strangely, after all that is seen / happened in the video, I suddenly got the option to " Unpublish ". I did it and seem to still have access to the components / Variants file wide in that Transitions file.

What a horrible confusion! What an absolute mess of confusion in my head over this…

Something about the way it read when I went through the experience of unpublishing that leads me to believe I’m not seeing this whole thing right…

I’ve been under the impression that you create multiple libraries (plural) but something about the wording of a message I saw when I unpublished that makes me think that what you get is one (singular) library - that that (single) library is the feature you pay for (not plural " libraries "). There’s a difference. I’m probably wrong about that too though anyway.

What a horrible confusion! What an absolute mess of confusion in my head over this! It’s like a complete debacle of this concept in my mind. How would I ever get any use from this with such mess of misunderstanding?

Ultimately (if things keep working the way they are supposed to) it seems I can access components, variants, and styles, kept in a page of their own, across the entire file that page is located in. If that is how it works - as it was ( attempted ) to be explained to me before - then that’s all I need and I’ll just do that from free account ( no more pro ). Its just that it seems things have been ’ glitching out ’ ( or maybe it’s just latency? ).

Uggghhh! Sorry for all the confusion.

First, a little graphic:

You can only unpublish the currently open file library. So in your video you were trying to unpublish libraries from the outside, where they are in read-only mode. You have library Fines Designs Team Library, you tried to unpublish it from the file Transition, you can’t do that.

The file that is called “Fines Design Team Library” is still somewhere in your team, it’s not deleted. You can find it via file search, open and unpublish it if you don’t want to see it in your assets anymore.

I’ve been under the impression that you create multiple libraries

That is correct, you can create any amount of libraries in the Professional plan.

Have you watched the short tutorial video showing how libraries work? I think it may clear some of your confusion:

then that’s all I need and I’ll just do that from free account

Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s all you need.

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Wow… that was a lot of information. Thank you so much it clears up a lot. Yes I’m sure I’ve seen that video but will definitely be watching it again (seems like some things went over my head the first time I watched it).

Really appreciated that and I’m so grateful to finally understand and be able to do what I need to.


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