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How To Unlock A Signed PDF

Removing the digital signature from a PDF document is possible, although not in all cases. There is a very easy way to remove the signature from the file to leave it completely clean, removing any trace of it from the .pdf document so that you can make modifications to it. This is also called unlocking a signed PDF.

Unlock a signed PDF

A PDF is stopped to prohibit any form of alteration the moment the file is signed with an ID or digital certificate. In this manner, only the signer(s) will be able to delete their signature to permit modification. However, an online tool can also unlock a signed PDF file. In addition, you can even use various apps and programs to carry out this activity of unlocking a PDF.

Consider for a moment that you signed a PDF document but have forgotten the password to access it. It is quite sensible to have a tool that enables you to unlock signed PDF files in such circumstances so that you can use it to edit the signed PDF. Moreover, ask the signer to be in charge of erasing the digital certificate if you haven't already done so if you haven't signed the document.

Following that, we'll outline all the steps you need to take to unlock a digitally signed PDF so you can print and edit the documents. You'll observe that the process is more straightforward than it first appears. Therefore, without wasting any more time, let's quickly jump into the topic.

How To Unlock A Signed PDF

If you are the person who signed the document, then you have a very easy way to remove the digital signature from it. Just go to the program you used to sign the PDF, right-click on the signature and click on "Clear Signature":

Clear signature from PDF

Another of the best online tools for enabling anyone to unlock signed PDF files is "Unlock PDF". The tool is compatible with all five major operating systems, so you don't need to worry if your device will support it or not. That's not all, but you can also unlock digitally signed PDF files without downloading or installing any software. Isn't that fantastic?

To simply unlock signed PDF documents with the "Unlock PDF" program, just adhere to the following easy steps:

  • Β Go to the formatpdf.com/en/unlock-pdf/.
  • At the top of the screen, press the red "Select PDF files" button.
  • Select the PDF file you want to unlock and upload it to the application. Simply click the "Open" button that appears on the screen after the upload is complete.
  • Tap the "Unlock" button as soon as you start viewing your signed PDF file on the platform. Wait a short while for the medium to unlock your signed PDF document.
  • You can download the PDF document after the tool unlocks it. In spite of the fact that it typically downloads the finished file automatically, if not, you may quickly download your file by clicking on the "Download PDF" button.

Unlock Signed PDF

What Do You Need To Know About Unlock A Signed PDF

Before unlocking the protection from a signed PDF file, there are several things to think about. These pointers will assist you in making a signed PDF edition easier, so it has also been blocked:

  • A corporate organization's authorship or membership is typically assumed in signed PDF documents. Because it is typically sensitive information, the digital certificate must be removed with consideration for the fact that it was likely safeguarded at the time. Make sure you have permission before editing or printing it, as not everyone does.
  • Naturally, it's a good idea to password-protect the PDF file once more after unlocking it to keep the sensitive content secure.
  • A digital signature is typically included in the password-protected PDF file to further increase security. If not, you can always add it by utilizing a PDF signature tool online.
  • Even though many excellent solutions are available, it isn't always possible to unlock digitally signed PDF files. In fact, you might not obtain the outcomes you were expecting if a file is a highly encrypted and signed document.
  • If your PDF file is significant, the tool might take more time to unlock it. So, remember to be patient while the device unlocks your signed PDF file.

Which Programs Allow You To Unlock A Signed PDF

Although digitally signed PDF files increase security, there may be occasions when you need to unlock and edit the file for various reasons. The most powerful tools for this task are, without a doubt, those available online, but occasionally you may also require a different program for another operating system.

Unlock A Signed PDF From The PC

Anyone could use a variety of tools and techniques to unlock digitally signed PDF files on a PC (Windows, Mac, and Linux). The fact is that everything hinges on the limitations imposed on the safeguarded papers. Here's the answer to your question, "how to unlock a signed PDF on several computer operating systems."

Windows 10 And Prior Versions Of Windows

You've undoubtedly needed to unlock signed PDF files for editing at some point. You may have already observed that there isn't a native tool for doing this if you use a Windows computer. However, this issue is readily fixable. Adobe Acrobat for Windows comes with a mechanism to unlock digitally signed PDF files.


There is a highly efficient approach for Mac users to unlock signed PDF files as well. The fact that internet apps are totally free is one of their key benefits. Simply create an account using your Google email address to sign up. However, you can always install various apps on your device to carry out this task easily.


Okular, developed by the KDE opensource community, enables Linux users to unlock signed PDF files. It is a free, cross-platform document viewer that is GPLv2+ licensed. A wide variety of document formats, including PDF, MD, PNG, and CBR, are supported by the application. You can edit your digitally signed PDF file in addition to simply unlocking it.

Unlock A Signed PDF From The Smartphone Or Tablet

You may quickly unlock digitally signed PDF files on your smartphone or tablet with the appropriate software (both iOS and Android). This will be explained after the other. So, let's quickly dive into it.


On Android, you must download an app from Google Play Store in order to unlock signed PDF files. To do this, look up "Unlock PDF" in your search engine. Pick the one you like most out of all the options displayed on your screen. However, we always advise looking at the ratings first and selecting the items with the most excellent ratings.

iPhone (iOS) Or iPad

Users of iPhones and iPads can also install a number of apps from the Apple Store or the App Store to unlock digitally signed PDF files. A PDF document is signed because it contains sensitive information, so you must confirm that the author has given you permission before opening it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Unlocking A Signed PDF

FormatPDF's Unlock PDF tool is designed to unlock most types of signed PDF files. However, the tool's success may vary depending on the encryption and security settings used in the PDF file. Stronger encryption methods or complex passwords may pose challenges to unlocking the PDF. It is advisable to try the tool with your specific PDF file to determine its compatibility.
No, FormatPDF's Unlock PDF tool is an online service, and there is no need to install any additional software. It can be accessed directly from a web browser. This convenience allows users to unlock PDF files quickly and easily without the hassle of installing and configuring software on their devices.
FormatPDF's Unlock PDF tool typically allows users to unlock one PDF file at a time. As such, you unlock each PDF file individually using the tool.
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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