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How To Unprotect A PDF

PDFs are the guardians of our important documents, keeping them in pristine condition and safeguarding them from unauthorized alterations. They are the silent sentinels of our most crucial information, standing watch over every word and pixel to ensure nothing is lost or distorted in translation. But what happens when the guardian becomes the gatekeeper, locking away the secrets it was entrusted to protect? It's like being locked out, and in these moments you must unprotect the PDF.

For those moments when you find yourself on the wrong side of the PDF gate, desperate for a way in, there is still hope. You can unprotect your PDFs and claim your rightful access with the right tools and ingenuity. Although it may need some effort and a bit of your determination, the rewards are still worth it. In fact, once you know the procedure, it won't be that difficult for you.

We will show you the best way to unprotect a PDF document and alternative methods to crack the code. We will also share tips and considerations to make the process a breeze. Don't let a pesky password keep you from your important information any longer. Let's go!

How To Unprotect A PDF Step-By-Step

Although there are many ways to unprotect a PDF, using an online tool is the best. In this section, we will see how to unprotect a document using an online tool called "Unlock PDF" by FormatPDF. Below are the steps you need to follow to unprotect a document using an online tool:

  1. Go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/unlock-pdf/
  2. Once you open the page, you will find a "Select PDF File" button on the screen. Tap on it and choose the protected document you want to open. Another way to do the same is to drag and drop the required document onto the space, which reads "Or Drag And Drop The PDF Here" to upload directly.
  3. Allow the tool to load your file. Remember, it might take a few seconds, so be patient.
  4. Once you are on the new screen, you will find the "Unlock" button on the right side of your screen. Click on it, and the tool will unlock and unprotect your document.
  5. That's it! Your unprotected file will be downloaded on your device automatically. If not, you can manually do so by clicking the "Download File" option.

What You Need To Know About Unprotecting A PDF

There are some considerations you should take into account before unprotecting a protected or locked file. The following tips will help you unlock your password-protected file with ease and quickly:

  • Generally, password-protected files include membership or authorship by the author or their business organization. So, whenever you want to unprotect a locked file, you should remember that this file may contain sensitive content that shouldn't be accessed without permission. Therefore, make sure to ask for permission from the author before unprotecting and using it.
  • Not all documents are equally encrypted. So it would be best to keep in mind that not all locked files can be decrypted by any tool. If you have a highly-encrypted file, it's better to use the password.
  • Of course, the time taken by the tool to open a locked file depends on the size of the file. The bigger the PDF size, the more time it will take. If you want to unlock a large protected file faster, compress it first.
  • Remember to use another online tool; you can always re-protect a document whenever you want. In fact, you should consider locking it again if the document contains sensitive or confidential data.

Which Programs Allow You To Unprotect A PDF

Online tools only need an internet connection to work; therefore, they are faster, and we recommend using them for unprotecting a file. However, there are various other alternative methods available which you can use. It includes downloadable programs that you can install on your computer or mobile and use to carry out the task.

Unprotect A PDF From A PC

If you want to unprotect a PDF on the computer, be it Windows, Mac, or Linux, you need to use a program that can help you to open a protected file without a password. In this section, we will show a few that you can use depending on your operating system.

Windows 10 And Prior Versions Of Windows

When unprotecting a PDF on a Windows computer (whether it's Windows 10 or other prior versions), the best way is to use an online tool like the one we have mentioned. However, you can also use paid alternatives to carry out this task; for instance, Adobe Acrobat helps unlock a password-protected file.


The same thing goes for Mac as well. You can unprotect a file using an online tool or Adobe Acrobat (paid version). However, there is another method available. You only need a Google email account to complete the task on Mac. This method is way better than paid Adobe Acrobat since it's free.


If you are a Linux user and want to unprotect a file, the best way (after any online tool) is to use the QPDF command program. However, this procedure is a bit complicated since it includes commands. Therefore, if you aren't used to inserting commands, it's better to use online tools, as this method is way simpler.

Unprotect A PDF From A Smartphone Or Tablet

Now it's time to change our device; from a computer to a smartphone or tablet, which allows you to unprotect a file. So, let's see how to open a protected file on Android and iOS.


If you are an Android user, the best place to find free downloadable programs for carrying out different tasks is the Google Play Store. And the same goes for the app for unprotecting a file. All you need is to search for the keywords "Unlock PDF" in the search section of the Google Store. You will find a good collection of apps; select one.

iPhone (iOS) Or iPad

Likewise, you can use free downloadable apps to carry out the task of unprotecting a file on an iPhone or iPad. Head to the official Apple App Store and search for "Unlock PDF." There is a good collection of programs, including "unlock pdf - lock pdf," that you can use to carry out the task. Just make sure to install a good one.

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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