fl=4f779 h=cloudflare.com ip= ts=1695730090.274 visit_scheme=https uag= colo=SJC sliver=none http=http/1.0 loc=US tls=TLSv1.3 sni=plaintext warp=off gateway=off rbi=off kex=X25519

How To Decrypt A PDF File

If your PDF is encrypted, you will be prevented from opening it. That doesn’t help if you need to review it, edit it or share access with others. PDFs are often password protected, and we all know how easy it is to misplace a password! If you cannot access your file, you won’t be able to edit, compress or print the document. To resolve this, it all starts with decrypting the PDF.

If you’re working in a professional setting, you may want to share your document with colleagues or clients, or maybe you’d like to share it with friends or family. Whatever the reason, you want to access your file as quickly and easily as possible.

Fortunately, FormatPDF provides a simple way to unlock your PDFs, so you can maximize your efficiency and quickly free your file from its password-protected state. In this post, we’ll talk through how to use FormatPDF to unlock your document. We’ll also share our top tips to read through before you embark on unlocking. In addition, we’ll share some alternative methods to consider. If you’re ready to begin, let’s jump in!

How To Decrypt A PDF File Step-By-Step

FormatPDF is the perfect solution to misplaced passwords and issues with accessing documents. Free your document and you will be able to perform a number of editing tasks, print or compress your file.

You don’t need additional software or to pay a fee – we won’t even add a watermark. If you like what you’ve read so far, you can use our step-by-step instructions to unlock your document using FormatPDF:

  1. Go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/unlock-pdf/
  2. Click on “Select PDF file” to upload the document that you’d like to decrypt. Did you know you can upload multiple documents? If need be, select more than one PDF to upload to the online tool. Alternatively, you can drag and drop your files into the area that states: “Or drag and drop the PDF here”.
  3. Once uploaded, click to “Unlock” the document.
  4. Your file will unlock in a few seconds. Don’t forget, to finish the process you need to click “Download” to receive your file.
  5. After you receive your opened document, you can go ahead and use our online tools to edit or compress it!

What You Need To Know About Decrypting A PDF

The following important points will help you get the most out of your task. Read on for what you need to know about decrypting:

  • You can unlock any file – whether it contains text, images or both. However, if the encryption levels are too high, you might require the document password to unlock it.
  • Once you unlock a document, you can access it as you usually would and continue editing, printing, sharing, or doing what you wish. You can use an online tool to complete a number of editing tasks such as adding text, annotating or drawing. And you can also convert your document to another format such as JPG or Microsoft Word.

Alternatives To Decrypt A PDF File

Aside from FormatPDF’s online tool, there are plenty of other methods to decrypt a file. You can use the alternative programs below to help free your file, whether you’re using Mac, Windows, Android or iPhone. Here we’ll explore some of the best alternative unlocking tools.

Options To Decrypt A PDF On Your PC

You can free your document whether you’re using Windows, Linux or Mac operating systems. Let’s delve into the available options.


Windows users can use the WPS Office app, though you will need the password to decrypt your file. Here’s how:

  1. Open the document with the app.
  2. Enter your password.
  3. Navigate to “Encrypt”.
  4. When a new window opens, remove the tick mark from the “Set the Open Password” option.
  5. Select “Confirm”.


The in-built Preview app will help Mac users to decrypt their files. However, you will need the document’s password to do so. Read on for step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open your encrypted document using Mac Preview.
  2. Type in your password when prompted.
  3. Navigate to the “File” menu and select “Save As”.
  4. Uncheck the encryption option and save your file.
  5. You can now go ahead and open the document without having to enter a password.


Linux users can use Adobe Acrobat to release their documents, as this software includes a tool to remove passwords. Access your document by following the instructions:

  1. Open your password-protected document in Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Next, unlock your file by following the path: “Tools” > "Protection" > "Encode" > " Remove”.
  3. If the file has an access password, you will have the option to remove it by clicking “OK” when prompted.

Options To Decrypt A PDF On Your Smartphone

You can unlock your document using a smartphone; however, you will need to download a third-party app. Here’s how you can find a third-party app for iPhone and Android devices.


For iPhone, simply head to the App Store and search for a PDF unlock app or similar. After you have downloaded your app, open the document you wish to decrypt and find the “Unlock PDF” button or similar. Click to unlock and download your file.


The Google Play Store can provide Android users with an app to unlock their PDFs. Install your chosen app, open it and then launch your encrypted file. Within the app, you should find an option to tap a button that says “Unlock PDF” or similar. Tap the button to perform the action. Once unlocked, download your file.

FAQs About How To Decrypt A PDF File

FormatPDF's Unlock PDF tool is an online service designed to remove various restrictions from PDF files, such as password protection. The tool focuses on removing various restrictions that can prevent actions like printing, copying, or editing. If a PDF is encrypted with a password, the tool can help you remove certain restrictions.
To use FormatPDF's Unlock PDF tool to remove password protection or restrictions from a PDF:
  1. Go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/unlock-pdf/
  2. Upload the password-protected or restricted PDF file you want to process.
  3. The tool may ask you for a password to unlock the file. If you have the correct password, provide it.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to remove the specified restrictions.
  5. After processing, you might receive a link to download the modified PDF.
  6. Open the downloaded PDF to see if the restrictions, including password protection, have been removed.
Using FormatPDF's Unlock PDF tool can be ethical and legal if you have the right to modify the PDF and the document isn't protected by copyright or sensitive information. It's crucial to ensure that you have the necessary permissions to remove restrictions from the PDF.
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!
Rate this post
5/5 - 1 votes