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How to Password Protect PDF Files on Mac

December 28, 2021

If you know what you are doing, password-protecting your PDFs on MAC will take about 10 seconds. In these 10 seconds, you can save yourself thousands of dollars and secure your most private documents by preventing security theft. 

Whenever you share a PDF containing sensitive matters such as your bank information, social security info, or personal home address, it would be wise for you to encrypt the file and ensure there are no mishaps down the road. 

Why Should I Password Protect my PFD's?

Why is it crucial that your password protect your PDFs, text, or printing copies? This is a question you may be asking yourself. Is all this trouble really necessary?

Password protecting your PDF will ensure that unauthorized information cannot be shared. This is especially important if you consider the type of confidential information you are communicating with others.

Password protecting your PDFs is essential if you want the information to stay between you and one other party.

What are the Advantages of Password Protecting my PDFs?

  • Your Information remains confidential: A file that is not password protected is sharable and copyable by others. Using a PDF creates a sense of security for you and whomever you share your files with!
    This also means that if you are selling a product or service via PDF, your work cannot be shared or accessed by those who are not authorised to use it. 
  • Prevents Leaked Information: If you are working in a highly confidential situation, sharing files can cause significant concern when password protecting your PDFs can act as a form of security for you and your business. 

Your clients may also have specific guidelines on password protection on their documents to ensure that their information could not be accessed if there was a fraud or hacking case. 

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5 Steps to Password Protecting PDFs using MAC software:

  1. Open the PDF you wish to protect.

  2. Next, you need to click "File" at the top right of the taskbar.

  3. In the dropdown menu, select "Export."

  4. A bottom window will pop up - Check the box next to "Encrypt."

  5. Lastly, create your password, and re-enter it for verification - then click save.

Setting Permissions for a PDF:

Another option you have is to set permissions for your PDF to manage printing, the copying of your text, etc. 

  1. Visit the preview app on Mac and open an image or a PDF.
  2. Choose file, then click on "Permissions.
  3. You can then set a password for opening PDFs - do this by selecting the "Require Password" box and typing, plus retyping your password.

Alternatively, under the "Permissions" section, tick the boxes to which you wish to set permissions and password-protect - then type your password, and retype it to confirm.

How To Batch Encrypt PDFs on Mac:

PDFelement is a great tool you can use to batch password protect PDF files on your Mac, and save time when you would like to send multiple files to clients. 

You can password protect and restrict your content from being edited, printed, or released. 

How does this work?

  1. Firstly, you will need to install PDFelement.
  2. Then on your home screen, click on "Batch Process," which will open up in a pop-up window.
  3. From the top menu, you can choose "Encrypt" and add the files you wish to protect
  4. Next, you will need to set a password for the permissions
  5. Lastly, click on "Add" to enable document protection

PDFelement is a secure password protection service that can be used on cross-platforms, so you need not worry that the user you are sending your PDF to does not have Mac access! This tool also provides excellent functionality and makes it easy for you to use for personal password protection and batch protection. 

Furthermore, PDFelement also allows you to protect your PDFs or related content, not only by using a password but by making the product unshareable - talk about protection.

Using Secure Univeral PDF Protecting Tools:

Using an online PDF-protecting software is a safe bet since there could be some limitations when sending your PDFs on cross platforms. 

With an Online PDF protector, you will ensure your PDF is securely protected and can be viewed across various devices. 

What are Other PDF Protection Tools I can Use?

PDF Suite: 

If you are looking for an easy-to-understand and user-friendly PDF viewer, editor, annotator, and editor, PDF Suite is a great option. 

It has a free trial version for you to use and try the product to ensure you like its functionality before purchasing. Furthermore, achieving digital documents is easy, and you do not need to be a computer master to use this tool. 

Adobe Acrobat:

Adobe can be accessed on your phone or computer. It is a user-friendly tool that will act as a PDF viewer, editor, and protector. Drawing and signing functions are also available! 

Adobe has a free and paid version. You can get the most basic protection and user functions using the free version, whereas the paid version unlocks a world of security, viewing, and editing services.

PDF24:

PDF24 is an online encryption tool! This tool is straightforward to use and can perform simple functions. 

Although it is a free online tool to use, the downside is that it is online. Therefore, your information will be accessed and sorted by your search provider.

PDF24 does delete your files from their server after a short period, so if you are not working with information that is too confidential, this could be a quick and easy fix. 


It also provides you with the PDF Options of:

  • Merging
  • Splitting
  • Password Protecting
  • Viewing
  • Editing
  • Signing
  • Removing or extracting pages
  • Creating a PDF with a camera
  • Adding a watermark
  • Extracting images
  • Adding page numbers
  • Unlocking PDF's

This free and easily accessible tool can be perfect for college students' daily use.

What Should I Look Out for When Password Protecting my PDFs?

  • You should always ensure which type of device the user you are sending the document to has. This will ensure that the document can be viewed across platforms. To eliminate this problem, you can use different downloadable tools, as mentioned before, to password protect and encrypt your files but have them accessible for cross platforming.

  • Ensure you do not use the same or similar passwords for your PDFs. If you use the same password for all of your PDFs, the content can still be shared when someone gets hold of the password. Therefore, it would be wise to create something unique for each document and ensure that only you and the ones you wish to view the document have its password.

  • Use a tool or software that you trust! If you or your company is working with highly confidential information such as medical or government records, using a software encryption tool would be wise. Ensure that the software you are using does not store your passwords or confidential information. This will be relatively easy to discover as most software will state whether or not they save your information on their website or in their terms and conditions.
  • You should ensure that the tool you are using does not store your information. Look for the type of encryption that is being done on files. To ensure your PDF has the highest form of security, ask the provider which encryption tools they use.

  • Do not share your password - there have been instances where PDFs have been hacked and signatures forged, but this can only happen once your password has been identified. To ensure this does not occur, create a password that contains lower and uppercase letters, numbers, periods, scores, and nothing that can be personally related to you. 

Conclusion: 

Password protecting PDFs on your Mac device can be relatively easy - but you should consider the type of protection that has been done. You should also consider if you would like to include specific permission into your encryptions.

Although Mac offers the simpler version of this, you should opt to use a tool with higher security features if you are working with highly confidential information.

Furthermore, the protection of your files can be achieved by a few simple.

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