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How To Split A Password-Protected PDF

The authors of PDF files sometimes lock their files using a password to protect the content of their files. And that's why you'll have to know its password if you want to open it. Moreover, files with sensitive information are typically secured using robust encryption so that only some can access these. However, it's impossible to split a password-protected PDF file without previously unlocking it, as various restrictions are applied to it.

Split password protected PDF

Sometimes, out of a whole PDF document only a few pages are needed, and for that it is necessary to split it. If you have received a PDF that is password protected, you should know that it is also possible to split protected PDFs quite easily. It is a matter of following a few steps and first unlocking the document and then extracting the protected PDF content.

This is the reason why you need to know how to split a secured or protected PDF file. Moreover, if you're reading this write-up, you might have gone through various situations where you needed to unlock a protected PDF for splitting it.

Maybe you need to know the pass to open a file, and the author isn't available, or you have forgotten the password. Whatever the reason, it's necessary to carry out this activity.

It's true that you can't directly split a protected PDF file without knowing its password. However, there are various ways to do that. In fact, we've many tools on the market that allow us to do the aforementioned. And here in this write-up, we'll discuss a few ways of splitting a locked file.

How To Split A Password-Protected PDF

Even though there is a number of ways to split a password-protected PDF file, using the online tool is definitely the best alternative. That's because you can use these tools from any device. Also, the online tools we're going to mention are quick and straightforward to use.

However, if you want to split a protected PDF, you'll have to unlock it first. The steps to access a protected PDF file with an online tool are as follows:

  1. Go to formatpdf.com/en/unlock-pdf/.
  2. Tap on the "Select PDF files" option and choose the file that you want to open. Alternatively, you can even drag the file into the space that says, "Or drag and drop the PDF here."
  3. Once your file gets uploaded, a brand-new screen will appear on your screen. Tap on the "Unlock" option. After a few seconds, your file will be unlocked.

Unlock PDF To Split

After that, you can easily split it into parts using another online tool known as "Split PDF". The steps are as follows:

  1. Go to formatpdf.com/en/split-pdf/.
  2. Click on "Select PDF file" and select the file. Or drag your file into the "Or drag and drop PDF here" space.
  3. A split menu will then appear on your screen, which will allow you to decide how the file should be divided.
  4. Do as asked and tap on the "Split" option from the menu.

Split Unlocked PDF

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

Here is a list of things that you need to keep in mind while splitting a password-protected PDF file into parts:

  • Both online tools are free to use, so you don't need to spend your money if you want to carry out one of those two actions. Additionally, these tools don't include watermarks, so that's another plus point.
  • Remember, some files are highly encrypted, so you can't unlock them easily. In these cases, you must enter the password and split it.
  • The time factor entirely depends on the encryption and difficulty level of the PDF file. For example, if your file includes a problematic password or has advanced encryption, the tool will take more time to open it.
  • Of course, you can split a password-protected PDF file of every style, no matter if it has an image, text, or both.
  • Make sure to check the newly unlocked PDF file before splitting it. That way, you'll be confident whether the file contains everything you need or not.
  • Lastly, you don't need to worry about your privacy while using these online tools for splitting your password-protected files. That's because both options are highly authentic and will never misuse your content.

Which Programs Allow You To Split A Password Protected PDF

It's true that using an online tool (like we've mentioned above) for splitting a protected file is a great choice. But that's definitely not the only one. In fact, there are many situations where you might also look for other alternatives. So, this section will speak of various programs that can help you carry out this activity.

Split A Password Protected PDF From Your PC

Online tools are undoubtedly best if you want to split a password-protected PDF file, as these are accessible on computer devices. However, you can also carry out this task without using online tools. In this particular section, we'll see how to split a locked file among Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Windows 10 And Prior Versions Of Windows

Using Adobe Acrobat is the best option if you use a Windows computer and want to split a protected file. Although you'll need to pay to use its services, it's definitely a worthy investment. That's because you'll be able to do all PDF-related activities with this tool on your Windows (10 or prior versions of Windows) devices.


Just like on Windows operating system, you can also use Adobe Acrobat to split a locked PDF file on Mac devices. Other than that, you can even use Google Drive (a place for storing, creating, and sharing PDF files) to unlock your files. And then, you can use "Preview" to split your opened file into parts.


If you are a Linux distribution (like Ubuntu) user, we highly suggest using online tools to carry out this activity. That's because this method is the easiest of all. Moreover, when you use online tools, you won't need any coding knowledge to split a password-protected PDF file. In fact, all you need is a web browser and an internet connection, and that's it.

Split A Password Protected PDF From The Smartphone Or Tablet

There are times when you need to split a password-protected PDF file on your tablet or smartphone. That's why it's essential to know how to get your task done. So, let's see how to split a locked file on mobile devices.


If you want to split your protected PDF file on your Android device, you'll need to unlock it first. There are two good ways to do so either you can use the Android version of Adobe Acrobat or Google Drive. Both of these allow you to unlock a PDF file. However, you can even install free apps from the Google Play Store if you want. Moreover, once done, you can split it using either Adobe Acrobat or any other application.

iPhone (iOS) Or iPad

Similar to Android phones or tablets, you can use Google Drive or Adobe Acrobat to unlock a locked PDF file on iPhone or iPad. However, you can even install other applications that allow you to carry out this task from the Apple App Store. Once unlocked, you can use the "Split & Merge" app to split it into parts.

FAQs About How To Split a Password-Protected PDF

Yes, you can split a password-protected PDF file, but you need to ensure that you have the correct password to access the file. Most PDF splitting tools and software will require you to input the password before proceeding with the split. Make sure you have the password handy before attempting to split the PDF.
If you don't know the password for the password-protected PDF file, you won't be able to split it using regular methods. PDF files are encrypted for security, and without the correct password, you can't access the content, let alone split it. If you have legitimate access to the PDF but have forgotten the password, you might try reaching out to the document owner or using password recovery tools if applicable.
When splitting a password-protected PDF, keep these points in mind:
  • Password Requirement: Ensure you know the password to access the PDF. Most splitting tools will prompt you to enter the password before you can proceed with the split.
  • Security Concerns: If you're dealing with sensitive information, make sure the software or online tool you're using to split the PDF is reputable and trustworthy. Avoid sharing sensitive passwords or documents with unverified platforms.
  • Permissions: Even if you split a password-protected PDF into separate files, each resulting file might still retain the password protection. This means that if you open these split files, you might need to input the password again to view their content.
Husain has been around the internet ever since the dial-up days and loves writing about everything across the technosphere. He loves taking tech apart and see what makes them tick, without necessarily putting it all back together.
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