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5+ Ways to Remove A Password And Unlock PDF Documents

May 23, 2022
Author
Inkit Team

Password protection is one of the most common defenses for sensitive information and content inside PDF files.

You can either lock the pdf completely or limit some functions like editing or viewing. This helps restrict unauthorized people from accessing or altering the content of the PDF.

But what happens when you are the recipient of a secured PDF? Or if you simply forgot the password for the PDF document?

Well, that’s what we’re going to cover here! 

We’ll show you all the different ways to remove a password from a PDF document and unlock it for viewing.

Some files can be opened but not edited due to specific restrictions placed by the creator of the document. In such cases, you also need to obtain a password to get access to restricted content. 

Once you have the password to a pdf file, you can open, read, edit, print, and perform other functions on it. 

This article will guide you on how to open the two types of PDF passwords using different tools.

We’ll cover how to unlock a PDF document with Adobe Acrobat, online for free, and more.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • 2 Types Of Password Protection For PDF files You Need to Know About
  • How To Remove Password From A PDF File Using Adobe Acrobat DC
  • How To Remove A Password From A PDF File Using PDF Expert On IOS
  • How To Remove A Password From A PDF File Online Using Google Chrome
  • How To Remove A Password From A PDF File Using PDFElement
  • How To Remove A Password From A PDF File Using Foxit
  • How To Remove A Password From A PDF File Online With PDF Doctor
  • What To Do If You Forgot Your PDF Password?

2 Types Of Password Protection For PDF files You Need to Know About

Before we begin, there are 2 main types of PDF password protection you should know about: 

A user password and a permission password (or a master password).

Below, we’ll cover how to remove both types of passwords.

But if you’re wondering what’s the difference between them, here’s what you need to know:

  • User password: Also known as an open password, this PDF protection type prevents unauthorized people from viewing or reading a PDF document. That means, without the correct details, you will be unable to read the pdf file content. 
  • Master or permissions password: Unlike the Open password, master passwords restrict certain features in a PDF file. You can limit actions like printing, editing, commenting, copying, image extraction, form filling, page addition, and signing. Anyone who wants full access to a pdf file restricted with the owner password needs the correct password. Even if specific restriction types were initiated, you would still need the code to enjoy complete access to such a pdf file.

Knowing what kind of password is there on a PDF document is important when removing it. Because the method might differ slightly.

Below, we’ll cover 6 ways to remove passwords from PDF documents. 

Which will work no matter your device - whether you want to remove a password from your browser, offline, on Android, iPhone, and more.

Let’s take a look.

How To Remove Password From A PDF File Using Adobe Acrobat DC

Adobe Acrobat DC is one of the leading pdf readers and editors globally. 

Chances are, if you’ve ever had to work with PDF documents, you’re more than familiar with it.

But removing a password might be trickier.

For one, unlike the free version, Adobe Acrobat DC is a paid version. To enjoy all of its features, you need to subscribe to one of Adobe's plans. 

Now, here’s how to remove a password from a PDF document with Adobe Acrobat DC:

  • Open the PDF file using Acrobat DC.
  • Click on the Unlock Tool button.
  • Select protect.
  • Click Encrypt.
  • Then select Remove Security.
  • If the document is protected with an Open password, click OK to confirm the removal.
  • If the file had a master password, supply the code in the "Enter Password box and confirm your action.

Need more info on managing PDF files and documents with Adobe Acrobat?

You’ll also want to read:

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
Start for free

How To Remove A Password From A PDF File Using PDF Expert On IOS

PDF expert is software that performs the function of both reader and editor. Like many other pdf software, you need to subscribe to Pdf Expert to access additional features. 

It also has a free version which has limited tools.

But you need to be subscribed to PDF Experts to access the password removal tool. After paying, follow the steps below to remove passwords from any of your pdf files;

  • Open your PDF file in PDF expert.
  • Type in the password to unlock the pdf document.
enter the password on a locked document
  • Tap the three dots located in the top right corner of your screen.
  • Click on change password.
  • Select remove password.
removing the password on a locked document
  • The password used to secure the pdf file should be disabled by now. You do not need to enter any code the next time you open such a PDF file.

How To Remove A Password From A PDF File Online Using Google Chrome

Google chrome is not only handy for browsing. You can also remove password protection from your PDF files using the browser. 

Once you have chrome installed on any of your devices, follow the steps below to remove the password from your PDF document.

opening a pdf file with google chrome
  • If you are opening the file for the first time, enter a password to unlock it.
  • Look for the print button at the top right corner of your screen.
  • Select Save as PDF.
downloading as a pdf file from chrome
  • Click Save
  • Your saved file will automatically import into your storage. 

How To Remove A Password From A PDF File Using PDFElement

Pdfelement by Wondershare is software that performs similar functions to a PDF editor. You can view and manipulate the contents of a pdf file using Pdfelement. 

One of the many tools available on Pdfelement is a password remover. 

It works on all kinds of interfaces like; iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. 

Here’s how to remove a password from a PDF file with PDFElement.

  • Open the PDF file in PDFElement.
opening a secure pdf with PDFelement
  • Enter your code to open the PDF file if protected with an open password.
  • If the PDF has a permissions password, click on enable editing. In the pop-up window, enter the correct pin and confirm.
enter the password to access the pdf file and remove the password
  • Click on Protect.
  • Select "Set password".
  • Remove the ticks from all the passwords used earlier.
  • Save and close.

How To Remove A Password From A PDF File Using Foxit

Foxit PDF editor allows you to eliminate restrictions from password-protected files when you have the correct pin. 

You can use the Foxit app to remove passwords from secured files offline only when upgraded to the premium version. 

Here’s how to use Foxit to get rid of PDF passwords:

  • Open your PDF file in Foxit.
  • Select tools.
  • Click on Protect.
  • Select Encrypt and choose to Remove security.
  • Confirm your action.

How To Remove A Password From A PDF File Online With PDF Doctor

PDF Doctor is a smart online tool to edit and manage documents.

Here’s how to unlock a PDF document online with PDF Doctor:

  • Open your file in pdf doctor
opening a secure document with PDF doctor
  • Select the unlock file option on the home page.
  • Upload the secured PDF file on the site.
  • Enter the file password twice as requested.
  • Download the unsecured pdf.
download the now unsecured PDF

What To Do If You Forgot Your PDF Password?

Forgetting your PDF password is probably one of the worst things that can happen to you. 

Imagine creating and securing a file only to be locked out because you can't remember the pin used. 

That is why it is advisable to pick a unique password that you can easily remember without thinking too far. Another thing you can do is copy the password after creating and storing it somewhere safe.

Nevertheless, if you fall in the category of people who forgot their passwords, there are ways to solve the problem. 

If both types of passwords are used to secure the pdf file, you can access the document if you remember one of them.

However, in cases where both passwords are forgotten, it may be extremely tough to access such a secured pdf file. Luckily, some password removers help users open files with forgotten codes.

Unlock PDF is one of the most widely used password removers. In a few seconds, you can open a locked file using the unlock pdf password remover. Follow the steps below to remove passwords from a pdf when you can't remember your password;

  • Open unlock PDF in your browser.
  • Upload the secured PDF on the unlock PDF site.
  • Confirm you own the right to access the secured PDF.
  • Click on unlock PDF.
  • Download your file.

Please note that Unlock PDF cannot remove passwords from all secured PDF. At most, it will work on PDF files locked with open passwords. Any PDF password remover source that claims they can take out any form of password from a locked pdf should not be trusted. You may stand the risk of divulging sensitive information to hackers. 

Though, there are other steps you can consider if you forgot your PDF password.

For that, see our full guide on how to unlock a PDF document if you forgot your password. In it, we cover 7 practical steps and methods you can use to unlock a PDF file.

Conclusion

Removing a password from a secured PDF file is easy when you know how to go about it. You can easily use any of the PDF editors above to take out the password from a pdf document in a few seconds. 

Note that you need to know the correct password to a secured pdf file before you can access or remove restrictions on it. Attempts to use hacking software may result in the loss of the content in your PDF file.

If you’re looking for more ways to edit or manage password-protected PDF documents, be sure to also read:

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
Start for free