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How To Convert A Password-Protected PDF To A Normal PDF

If you’re unable to access your PDF due to a lost or misplaced password - don’t panic! By unlocking your PDF from its password-protected state, you can convert it into a normal document. You can then use your document as you usually would – making edits, printing, compressing or converting it. All you need to do is upload it to an online unlock PDF tool and press a button!

It may be frustrating that you can’t access your file, but it’s a problem that’s easily solved. Whether you’re trying to send your document to a friend or family member, or you’d like to collaborate with a colleague, you can gain access to your document so long as it’s not too heavily encrypted.

In this post, we’ll detail how to convert your password-protected PDF into a normal one by unlocking it using FormatPDF’s online tool. We’ll also share our top tips for freeing your document, so you can make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Lastly, we’ll discuss some of the best alternative methods you can use to perform this action. Let’s begin!

How To Convert A Password-Protected PDF Step-By-Step

If you’ve forgotten or misplaced your password and you’d like to convert your file, we have an easy-to-use solution. To unlock your document, you can simply use FormatPDF’s free online tool. You’ll have access back in seconds. Follow the guide below to convert your file:

  1. Head to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/unlock-pdf/
  2. Click “Select PDF file” to upload your document or use the drag-and-drop.
  3. Once you’ve uploaded your file, you’ll have the option to “Unlock”. Select to unlock if you’re happy with everything.
  4. The tool will release your file and you’ll be able to download your converted document. Hey presto! You have a normal document.

What You Need To Know About Converting A Password-Protected PDF

Here’s some information to factor in before you unlock your file:

  • It’s not always possible to unlock a document, but the majority can be released from a password. It depends on the level of security attached. If it’s too heavily encrypted, no tool will work. You will need to find the password.
  • When it comes to unlocking, there are two main types of passwords you need to know: ‘open passwords’ and ‘permission passwords’. ‘Permission passwords’ grant access to certain activities, but not others. For example, it may prevent you from printing, but you can edit. ‘Open passwords’ prevent you from opening the document.
  • When you free your file, you can start making changes, convert, compress or print it straight away. You can use your document as you usually would.

Alternatives To Convert A Password-Protected PDF To A Normal One

You can use FormatPDF whether you’re using Windows, Mac or Linux, or Android or iPhone. However, there are other options depending on what operating system you’re using. Take a look at some alternatives below.

Options To Convert A Password-Protected PDF On Your PC

You can unlock your file whether you’re using a Windows, Linux or Mac operating system. Take a look at each of the options below.


You can use Adobe Acrobat if your file isn’t too heavily encrypted. Although there is a fee attached for using this program if you don’t already have a subscription. To follow this method, open your file in Adobe and follow the pathway “Tools” > "Protect" > "Encrypt" > " Remove Security”. You can use Adobe to complete various editing tasks too.


You can use Google Drive to unlock PDFs, though you’ll need a Gmail account to do this. Sign up for free to get started. Firstly, upload your document – you can drag and drop or open it in Google Drive. Go to the “Tools” menu, then “Protect”, then “Encrypt” and then click “Remove Security”. If it’s password protected, you will need to type a password before you can remove it.


Similar to Windows users, Linux users can use Adobe Acrobat to complete their task. Simply navigate to “Tools” > "Protect" > "Encrypt" > " Remove Security”. Upon releasing your file, you can make edits using the same program.

Options To Convert A Password-Protected PDF On Your Smartphone

You can also use a smartphone to complete this task – follow the steps below.


A third-party app will help you complete your request when using an iPhone. You can unlock your file by heading to the App Store and typing in “Unlock PDF” or similar. Choose your favorite from the results. Load the document, then hit the button that should say “Unlock PDF” or similar. Don’t forget to save or download your file.


The Google Play Store will offer Android users a PDF unlock app. Search for the app in the usual way, install it and open your file. Find the button that should say “Unlock PDF” or similar. Tap the button to perform your request. Don’t forget to save or download your converted file.

Becky is a freelance tech writer with over 8 years' experience writing for print and online. She is often found heavily caffeinated and accompanied by a laptop occupying local coffee shops, bars, co-working spaces and, frankly, anywhere she can get a strong cup of coffee. She enjoys collaborating on different projects ranging from tech to travel and everything in between!
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