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Do you still need to apply flux before desoldering?

You need it while desoldering, while cleaning nopb solder (yes, you have to clean, or joint will crack later), and while soldering in the replacement. Flux is cheap, better use it all the time.

"The bigger the glob, the better the job" is not the best practice when you're soldering components, but it's very true when you are reworking a SMD board...

You will need to apply it afterward to clean the pads.

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