Prefab instance overrides and builds

I have a complex character from the asset store that I would like to heavily modify, but I don’t want all the removed components to be included in builds. I also want to maintain the prefab link, for future updates. Will removing a component from a prefab instance in the hierarchy also remove it from builds?

It won’t.

Compiler will still include these scripts.
You can verify this by inspecting built assemblies (Assembly-CSharp.dll) using ILSpy .

On way (though a tedious one) is to track down unused scripts and remove them.
Here is a nice utility - Asset Usage Detector.