Passwords and other forms of encryption are great methods to ensure the security of various files, software, and apps. It prevents them from being accessed by someone else without the user’s permission. This is also the case with documents, including PDF files. PDF documents are one of the few file formats that could be protected using a password.
Despite the protection that encryption provides, passwords in PDF files could be an inconvenience, especially if you need to access the document as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are a few ways to unlock a PDF file, and we will further discuss these two methods in this article.
Simplest and Quickest Method: Unlock PDF File Websites
One of the fastest yet often overlooked ways to unlock PDF file is to use a website that offers such a service. There are several websites on the internet that let users unlock PDF files that are protected with a password. Among these websites is PDFBear, which makes unlocking PDF files safe and simple at the same time. It only takes a few steps to use this website to unlock your password-protected PDF files.
All you have to do is to upload the PDF file you wish to be unlocked, enter the password of the file, click “Unlock PDF,” and let the website do the decrypting work for you. Once the process has finished, you may then download the unlocked version of the document and open the file.
What’s great about using websites like PDFBear to unlock PDF files is that these websites are platform and browser-agnostic. It means that you can open these websites using any web browser like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge on any platform such as Android, iOS, or Windows. You also do not need to create an account to use these websites. You simply need to open these websites, upload the password-protected PDF files, and wait for a few minutes for the website to unlock the file.
Finally, you can be sure that your PDF files will be unlocked safely and will be protected from any form of malware or viruses. But while these websites could convert most unlocked PDF files, there will be some instances when the owner-password could only unlock the PDF file completely.
Official Method: Adobe Acrobat Pro
Another way to unlock PDF files that are protected with passwords is to use Adobe Acrobat Pro. Keep in mind that this differs from Adobe Acrobat Reader, which could be used to access PDF files for free. Adobe Acrobat Pro is a paid application, and while it offers a free trial for one week, it charges around $14.99 per month for use.
To unlock an encrypted PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Pro, you may go ahead and follow these steps:
- Open the Adobe Acrobat Pro and open the PDF file that you wish to be unlocked.
- Enter the password of the file to access it.
- Locate the lock icon on the left-hand side of the Adobe Acrobat Pro window. Once you find it, you may click the icon and then click “Permission Details.”
- You may also click on File, then click Properties, and finally the Security tab.
- Then, you may click the “Security Method” box, choose “No Security,” and then select “OK” to remove the password of your PDF file.
- To save these changes, you may click File and then click Save. Another method of saving these changes is to close the entire window where another pop-up window shows up asking if you want to save the changes made on your file. You may click “Yes” to remove the password of your file and save the changes on your account.
One major advantage of using this method is that you can use Adobe Acrobat Pro to unlock password-protected PDF files even if they have printing restrictions that prevent them from being printed using a different application. You may also adjust the security of your file and put the password back on your PDF file if you have to do so again.
Reminder: User-Locked PDFs vs Owner-Locked PDFs
There are two types of encrypted PDF files, the first being user-locked PDFs and the second one being owner-locked PDFs. The main difference between the two is that user-locked PDF files need passwords to view the content of the document while owner-locked PDF files provide passwords before the documents could be copied, edited, or printed. Bear in mind that unlocking a user-locked PDF in most websites and even Adobe Acrobat Pro is impossible without the password. Most of these software could help with unlocking an owner-locked PDF file.
Having to enter a password before accessing a PDF file may seem inconvenient, especially if you need to edit, share, and print the file as quickly as possible. But there is a good reason for introducing these security measures to PDF files since they could hold sensitive information that should not be easily accessed by someone else. Encryption protects not just the document itself from unauthorized access from other people, but also the information inside that document.
Nonetheless, there are still software and websites that you can use to unlock your PDF files when you need to access them as soon as possible. We hope this article helps you out with unlocking your documents. These are surely the fastest and easiest ways to unlock PDF files around. So go on and give any of them a try!