How to Remove a Password From a PDF Document

by Louise Balle

Some desktop publishers and authors choose to password protect or encrypt PDF documents. This restricts other parties from opening, printing, and editing the document. In some cases, the author may change his mind and decide not to restrict access after all going forward. As the file administrator or creator, you can remove the password you set on a PDF document using Adobe Acrobat---the original software for creating PDF files.

Step 1

Open the file in Adobe Acrobat. When prompted by the software, enter all PDF passwords that you set when you first created the file.

Step 2

Click "Advanced" then "Security" on the main menu. Choose "Remove Security" from the list of options. This brings up the "Document Properties" box.

Step 3

Select "No Security" under the "Security Method" menu on the open dialog box.

Step 4

Check "OK" next to each password option you set previously to remove that restriction. This includes the password to open the document, edit the contents (permissions), and print the PDF file. Click "OK" to save the new settings.

Click "File" then "Save" to save the new PDF file without the password protection. Check the file by opening it in Adobe Reader; you will no longer need to type in a password in order to access the various file options.


  • Keep in mind that using software to attempt to remove a password set by a PDF document owner without authorization may be considered theft or in some cases copyright infringement, particularly if you share or attempt to sell the protected information.


  • Some third-party PDF software programs may also allow you to remove your preset PDF password, but many require you to purchase and install additional utilities to perform this action. Be wary of any software that claims to "crack" PDF passwords, even if you're not the PDF file owner and author.


About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.

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