Can you break apart a component?

I’m a fairly new user and I’m confused about one aspect of using components. I’m laying out the electrical switches and outlets in a workshop I’m designing in order to plan the wiring paths. I’ve downloaded several different models from the 3D Warehouse. Specifically what I want to do is color code outlets and switches for different electrical circuits. Since all of the models seems to be set up as components every time I try to edit one copy of a component to give say an outlet cover plate a different color all the copied components change to the same color. I know that is a property of components, but is there a way to change one example of a component without it effecting all the others? I swear that I’ve done it before, but in my fumbling around (while lacking a complete understanding of what I’m doing) I can’t figure out how it was done. And on that same note, is there a way to break apart a component once it has been made? I checked a number of videos and tutorials and forum topics and can’t find an answer to this. Thanks.

Right click on the component and select Make unique.
If by break apart you mean remove the component wrapper then right click and explode.

If you double-click to edit one of the components, you are changing the properties of all of them. If you have a cover plate that can be all one color, you can paint the component itself without opening it for edit and it will only apply to that one instance. However, it will apply the material to all the faces in the component. If there are details that need to be a different color, then you will need to make each unique (as @Box pointed out),

Thanks for the rapid response Box!. I’m impressed. That solved my problem.
I thought that the Make Unique option might have something to do with it. I
just couldn’t figure out at what point to use it. You’ve been a big help.
I’ll be able to sleep better tonight. :wink:

Thank you Jim. That was also helpful.

One other point is that you can select a set of them and make them unique from the others but keep them related to each other. So if you have, for example, 8 receptacles on a single circuit, select those 8 and use Make Unique to break their relationship to the rest. Then you can edit one instance of the 8, paint it and see the other 7 painted as well.

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What @DaveR suggest is probably the best way, since it preserves all the receptacles that are colored the same way as instances of the same component. If you change your mind about the color, you can alter them all at once by editing any instance. Otherwise every receptacle will be unique and you could just as well have used groups in the first place.