For some reason, sometimes when I copy/paste a symbol or a group of symbols, it creates a new symbol in the symbol page which creates a huge mess and I end up having the same symbol many times. I disabled the renaming feature so they all have the same name. How can I avoid this?

Update — This was a bug and is now fixed in 43.2:

Fixes a bug where copying and pasting Symbol instances could duplicate their master

  • Did anyone find a solution to this? I've noticed it doesn't always happen but I can't figure out why. I've done a screen cast which reproduces the issue I'm having. youtu.be/MUfPRcDTfBA
    – Justin
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 12:42
  • I'm still experiencing this in Sketch 48.2. Anyone else still having this problem?
    – jthomas
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 18:28
  • This issue seems to be happening again in 48.2
    – Chris00
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 7:06
  • I'm still seeing this in Sketch 54.1. It definitely didn't happen in some of the versions prior to this and is hugely annoying as you end up not knowing which symbols to delete Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 11:29

4 Answers 4


Does the artboard of the symbol you're duplicating have a purple title rather than a gray one? You might be replicating the original symbol rather than an instance of it.

Try inserting a symbol through Insert > Symbols, then duplicating that, and let me know whether you still have this problem.


I just tired my sketch v43.1 and found:

When you copy paste symbol instance, the symbol master will be duplicated. If you use command + D to duplicate the instance, the master won't be duplicated.


I had Same problem with my Sketch ver.51.3

I supposed that I once made symbol instances on my working artboard page. (not sending them to symbol master page)

I think I have "symbol master duplicate" problem after this.

So I just created new sketch file, and started over. and this problem never happens.


I've had the same issue sketchapp42. I've copied a group of elements (that included a symbol) to separate art boards (same file).. and its made duplicates of the symbol each time. So I've tediously had to delete the dulicate symbols, and manually reinstate from the "insert symbol option" which works ok.

Unless I'm missing something, this seems a bug as it does not consistently make this error.

  • @Tin Man I'm very definitely only copying groups of items on the art boards - (grey titles). They contain a mixture of elements including symbols. I'm trying to ascertain the exact issue but haven't been able to so far. Will update this query if I find the specific workflow that causes it. The Insert > Symbol approach is unaffected by the issue and works fine when proceeding to copy.
    – O Truckle
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 17:22

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