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When I search for how I can keep a material when removing an object, I only get answers to the opposite question: How to remove the material. I want to remove the object but want to keep the material. Is that possible?

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The material isn't deleted with the object; the former will only have 0 users and hence will be deleted on reopening the file. To avoid that use Fake User option:

Gives the material a ‘fake user’, to keep the material data-block saved in the blend-file, even if it has no real users.

image example of fake user

More info on datablocks and fake user - What does "users" means in term of datablocks ?

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