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To "remove" placed components from the component explorer, you will need to add the "State" flag to the filters. You can then filter out placed components.
1. Right Mouse Button click on the header rows (Ref Des, Cell, Part Number, etc.). This will open the Display Columns filter list
2. Select the "State" option
3. You can then filter the State column to include/exclude parts by Unplaced, Placed or Distributed status.
Hope that's what you're looking for.