How To Remove A Password From A PDF

Keeping track of various passwords for password-protected PDF files can be a headache. Fortunately, you can unlock a PDF to ensure you don’t have to worry about remembering those pesky passwords again.

In this post, we discuss the different methods of removing a password from an encrypted PDF document. Whether you’re on a smartphone or desktop, using software like Google Chrome or Adobe Acrobat, or want an easy-to-download app solution, we outline some options for you here.

NOTE: This article is aimed at showing you different ways to remove the password from a PDF that has a password you know already. We aren’t hackers, we’re PDF people.

1. Use an online PDF Unlocking Tool

By far the easiest way to remove a password on a PDF is to use a PDF unlocking tool. Regardless of your device or operating system, if you got an internet connection, you can get rid of a PDF’s password.

There are many PDF unlocking tools online, but because Big PDF Converter’s PDF Unlocker is completely free, we’ll explain how to use it.

Step 1: Open your mobile or desktop browser and go to bigpdfconverter.com/unlock-pdf.

Step 2: Click Choose File option and locate your locked PDF.

Example of how to unklock a PDF with a free PDF password remover tool

Step 3: Once your PDF uploads, a new screen will pop up for you to insert your password. Insert your PDF file password and click Save.

Step 4: Download your newly unencrypted document directly to your browser (or save it to your Google Drive by clicking the icon next to the download button)

2. Unlock your PDF with Google Docs

Google is also your friend when it comes to removing PDF passwords. Regardless of your operating system, if you can use Google Docs on your computer, you can unlock a PDF. Here’s how:

Step 1: Click File -> Open.

Step 2: Either upload your PDF from your computer or find it within your Google Drive.

Step 3: Type in your password.

Step 4: Click the download icon.

NOTE: This method will only work on certain PDF files. Depending on the level of encryption, you may be unable to remove the password this way.

3. Remove a PDF Password on Mac

Your Mac can get rid of a PDF’s password protection offline, which is handy if you don’t have internet access for whatever reason. Just first make sure the PDF is on your computer.

Step 1: Locate your locked PDF (you can find it by clicking “File” and “Find” if you have a lot of files on your computer).

example of what an ecrypted PDF looks like on your Mac computer

Step 2: Enter the password.

Entering password example on password protected PDF in Mac's Preview application

Step 3: Once the document is unlocked, click File and select the Export as PDF option. Type the new, unlocked PDF’s name and download destination, then press Save.

How to export a file as PDF on Mac Preview (large arrow highlighting how)

Step 4: Your new PDF now has no password.

4. Get rid of a PDF’s password with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe, as the creators of the PDF file format, of course provide their users a PDF password removal solution. However, Adobe Acrobat requires a subscription, and if you’re only unlocking one or two PDFs, it might not be worth the upfront cost. However, if you don’t mind paying, here’s how to remove a PDF password quickly using Adobe Acrobat:

Step 1: Open your PDF document within Adobe Acrobat. Type in the password to unlock the PDF.

Step 2: On the left side of your screen there should be a Lock icon. Click on it, and select the Permission Details > Security Settings option.

Remove security option highlighted within Adobe Acrobat

Step 3: Tap the Security field and choose No Security. Then, click OK to remove the password.

Step 4: Press File > Save.

Your PDF’s password is now gone, compliments of Adobe’s powerful software.

5. Unlock a PDF with an Android third-party tool

Repeatedly typing the PDF password of an encrypted PDF document can be frustrating on a mobile device. Here’s how to permanently remove that PDF password on Android in a few easy steps:

Step 1: Go to the Google Play Store and download a third-party PDF password remover app. For convenience, we’ll explain how to use the PDF Utilities application, but you can really use any of them.

Step 2: After downloading the app, click Select to open your file directory. Tap on the locked PDF document to upload it to the app.

Step 3: Click the Start button.

Step 4: Type the password for the encrypted PDF, and press OK. You should now be able to open your previously locked PDF without entering a password.

PDF Utilities mobile application view, highlighting how to start using it and where to enter your password for decryption

6. Remove a PDF Password with an iOS third-party tool

With an iPhone, you can remove password protection from an encrypted PDF document with a range of third-party apps. We’ll walk you through how to use the PDF Expert app (which comes with a one-week free trial).

Step 1: Open the App Store and search PDF Expert (or PDF unlocker if you’re looking for other options).

Step 2: Download the app.

Step 3: Click the Files folder and look for your locked PDF.

Step 4: Open the file and enter the password. Then you’ll see a three-dot icon at the top-right corner of your screen – click it. A menu will pop up.

Step 5: Select the option Change Password, and tap on Remove Password.

PDF Expert iOS application, highlighting where the change password within the app

Step 6: And there you have it. Your PDF’s password protection is now disabled.

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