How to clear “Used variables” that don’t exist in the file anymore?

Hi folks!

I used some components from other files in my project, and even though I removed them, I still see some Variables available in the “Page → Modes”. They are not available anywhere else. It doesn’t affect the project; when I select one, change the page, and then return to it, that mode is selected.

I checked my file, and nothing leads to the other file anymore – no styles, variables, components, etc.

It seems like a bug, and I see some variables pulled from another file, but can I remove it somehow?



Hey, sorry to hear this is happening! Please reach out to the support team directly via this form for help:

Be sure to use your Figma account email, include the links to your file, and share it with so they can take a closer look.

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That’s the thing with variables. Once assigned they stay there forever unless you break the link manually. Right the only way it to find rogue layers and remove bound var by hand, very frustrating.

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The problem is that there is no link between the “ghost” variables in my layers and pages.
Also, I don’t like that when you apply a mode to a page or a layer, there is no option to remove it - but here, I guess it’s the same as setting it to the “default” mode.

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Weird, but it’s gone now. I didn’t change anything, and when I returned to my computer today, I saw it’s not there anymore. So maybe the file needed to refresh, and it just took longer than it should?

I have the same issue. These variables are not used anywhere anymore, but they’re still there just like ghosts. Has anyone solved?

Hey All,

You can use the quick command: Detach deleted variables to quickly get rid of any existing ghost variables.


Thank you! I forgot about quick commands and was not aware that this command even exist :slight_smile:

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This seems doesn’t work for me. I copy radix color scales to my UI kit and even run the command to delete old variables it still there.


Sorry to hear that, @zu.nguyen! Our designer advocate, Miggi, shared this walk through last week:

If anyone is continuing to have issues, please submit a bug report to the team here.

A post was split to a new topic: Quick option to “Detach all variables”

Thanks for your feedback, @Dustin_Miller1!

We’re moving your idea to its own topic as a feature request, and we’ll pass this onto our Variables team for future consideration!

Hello! I’m having serious issues with not being able to get rid of old/ghost variables (variable modes that have been deleted). Figma has been extremely silent about this but it seems to be a massive issue.

We have tried everything previously suggested on forums but these variables modes that are now deleted will not disappear.

Please can someone provide some clarity or help with this?! Driving me mad!


Hey @Issy_Raine! We‌ reported this as an issue with our engineering team a short while back.

We asked for an update, and they’re working to get a fix/update out that applies to this issue. I don’t have an exact date at the moment, but can confidently say this is being addressed internally (and actively).

Sorry I don’t have an alternative solution or workaround at the moment, but I wanted to make sure you were acknowledged with an update.

Any progress here @ksn ? I am also having troubles with this.
How would I be able to identify where the ghost variable is applied?
Leads to sleepless night already :sweat_smile:

I have the same problem!

I worked many hours on my file to get something clean and now, just by copying a few components from an old one, my world has collapsed lol. Thanks to the dev team for the future update, right now I’m in extreme frustration mode.

If there was just the possibility, with an “-” icon, to delete the ghost variables and have them recover their initial property, that would be awesome.

Thanks in advance :wink:

We had a call with a Figma engineer. There is no way to get rid of the ghost variables other than getting Figma support to manually remove them for you apparently?! They also admitted that there’s a lot of bugs. IDK about you guys but we’re really struggling with modes and variables…

Hey all! I know there’s an update that should address this, but I don’t know when exactly it’s going to roll out. If I get an update from engineering, I’ll add it here.

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Ok! Thx @ksn

Hi, any new on that? I still have “used variables” despite having deleted “ghosts” variables.