Altium Designer Documentation

Unused Pad Shapes

Created: April 26, 2022 | Updated: October 13, 2022
Applies to Altium Designer version: 22

The Unused Pad Shapes dialog
The Unused Pad Shapes dialog


The Unused Pad Shapes dialog is used to remove any unused pad shapes. An unused pad shape is the pad shape in a pad or via that is not used on a layer (i.e. it has no other objects touching it on that layer). These unused pad shapes can consume valuable board area particularly when there are polygon pours on those layers. If unused pad shapes are removed, polygon clearances are to the pad or via hole rather than the edge of the unused pad shape.


The dialog is accessed from the PCB Editor by clicking Tools » Remove Unused Pad Shapes from the main menus.


  • Scope
    • Vias - examine all vias in the design and remove unused pad shapes.
    • Pads - examine all pads in the design and remove unused pad shapes.
    • Both - examine all vias and pads in the design, then remove unused pad shapes.
  • Operation
    • Remove unused - use the tool to remove unused pad shapes.
    • Restore unused - use the tool to restore removed pad shapes to all vias.
    • Update unused - use the tool to update unused pad shapes both attached and not attached to all vias.
  • Selected only - enable to examine only selected vias or pads and remove unused pad shapes.
  • Preserve pads on start and end layers - a pad or via might not use the pad shape on the outer most layers on which its structure exists; these outer-layer pad shapes can be retained if required.
    Confirm that pad-less-outer-layer pads or vias are supported by your fabricator before disabling this option.


  • To ensure that existing polygons recover all available copper area that was lost to unused pad shapes in pads and vias, run the Tools » Polygon Pours » Repour All command after removing unused pad shapes.
  • If a pad or via has its unused shapes removed on some layers using the Remove Unused Pad Shapes tool, this pad/via will not be reported as a violation of an applicable Minimum Annular Ring design rule. If tracks are then connected to this pad/via on these layers, this situation will be detected as a violation of an applicable Minimum Annular Rind design rule.
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