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How To Unencrypt A PDF

PDFs are one of the most widely used formats for storing and sharing official and other important documents, due to their ability to maintain formatting and prevent unauthorized modifications. However, sometimes you may encounter a protected PDF that you need to access but have forgotten the password. This can be frustrating, especially if it contains sensitive information you need urgently. In such a case, the only option left is to unlock the PDF.

Since you are here reading this article, we are certain that you probably have a file that is locked, and you can't open it. Mostly that is because you have forgotten the password you need to unlock. However, don't worry; many programs allow you to unencrypt a file. So you can easily use a tool and quickly get out of this problem.

In this article, we will show you the best way to unencrypt a PDF file. Along with that, we will also discuss other methods that can help you to carry out the task. That's not all; we will also provide you with some considerations and tips to keep in mind.

How To Unencrypt A PDF Step-By-Step

Online tools are one of the best and easiest methods of opening a locked file. And in this particular section, we'll reveal the best online tool to help you open your PDFs within minutes. The tool is "Unlock PDF" by FormatPDF.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to unencrypt PDFs using an online tool:

  1. Go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/unlock-pdf/
  2. Once its page opens, click the "Select PDFs" button and choose the PDF you want to unencrypt. Alternatively, you can drag the required file onto the "OR DRAG AND DROP THE PDF HERE" space and drop it there.
  3. Wait for a few seconds until your file gets uploaded to the tool.
  4. Once you see your document on the tool, tap the "Unlock" button on the left side of your screen. The unlocking process might take you a few seconds, depending on your file's size and encryption level.
  5. Wait for it to be unlocked, and your file will be ready to download. Normally, it automatically gets downloaded to your device. If not, click on the "Download File" option at the top of the screen.

What You Need To Know About Unencrypting A PDF

You might need to consider various points while unencrypting your file. And that's why here are a few tips and considerations to help you carry out the task more effectively:

  • The first and foremost thing you always need to remember is that if a file is encrypted, it contains sensitive content that needs to be protected. So, it is important to ask for permission to perform this task before moving ahead with it. And the creator themselves should give you the password to access the document.
  • Moreover, accessing someone else's PDFs without permission is considered illegal. By opening it, you may end up committing a crime in the eyes of the law. As a result, you should get the relevant permission.
  • Of course, it's possible to encrypt your file once again. In fact, password-protecting your file is best when it contains sensitive content or information.
  • Sometimes, you might be unable to access an encrypted file, especially if that PDF is highly encrypted using stronger security.
  • Generally, encrypted PDFs include a signature in them. If not, you can always add one using any online tool.

Which Programs Allow You To Unencrypt A PDF

When opening or unencrypting a file, online tools are obviously the best option available. That's because you don't have to install or download any program on your device if you use online tools. Still, it's good to know various other ways to carry out the task. So, here are a few alternative ways to unencrypt PDFs.

Unencrypt A PDF From A PC

No matter if you use Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, various programs allow you to unencrypt PDFs, and to do so without a password. So, in this section, we will show you some of the best programs you can use in each case. However, remember some of them can charge you a bit.

Windows 10 And Prior Versions Of Windows

If you are a Windows (10 or prior versions) user and want to unencrypt PDFs, you might have noticed that it doesn't include any in-built app or software. However, that doesn't mean you can't carry out your task. In Windows, you can easily use Adobe Acrobat and unlock your file. Well, you will need a subscription first, though.


On the other hand, if you are a Mac user, there's an effective method that you can use to unencrypt a PDF. All you need is to sign up for a Gmail (Google email) account, and that's it. We loved this method because it's completely free to use. However, you can always use an alternative method to carry out the task.


Linux users can easily unencrypt a PDF file with the help of the QPDF command program. This program allows you to modify a PDF file's structure. That way, it will also help you to open your password-protected PDFs. If, however, you're new to Linux, you might find it difficult to use. In such a case, online tools are a safer choice.

Unencrypt A PDF On A Smartphone Or Tablet

However, sometimes you might not have access to a computer. And in such a case, you must use a smartphone or tablet to carry out different tasks. That's why you should know how to unencrypt a PDF on mobile devices.


To unencrypt a file on an Android phone or tablet, you must download and install an application (which can open a protected file) from the Google Play Store. You can do it by searching for "Unlock PDF" and choosing one from a list of apps. However, make sure to select the one with good ratings.

iPhone (iOS) Or iPad

Like on Android, you need to download an app that can unencrypt your file from the Apple App Store. Well, make sure to have permission from the file creator before unlocking it. That's because it might contain sensitive and confidential information. Apart from that, you can also use online tools such as the one we've mentioned above.

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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