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Home / Blog / Complete Guide to Remove Password from PDF [2023 Version]

Complete Guide to Remove Password from PDF [2023 Version]

By Roche | Follow twitter | Updated on March 17, 2023 | Deutsch
We all know that it’s easy to password-protect PDF documents. While we attach great importance to PDF security, such as in bank statements and medical records, we may be confronted by their password protection as well. However, PDF security can be a hindrance to PDF editing when you forget the password. Therefore, how do we remove passwords from PDFs?

In this article, when we refer to password, we mean “permission password” (used to limit certain actions such as printing) instead of “open password” (used to open the PDF). Without an open password, no one can access the PDF document. We will introduce how to remove password protection from PDFs for easier editing and printing.

How to Remove Password from PDF on Windows

SwifDoo PDF

SwifDoo PDF is a lightweight and useful PDF password remover on Windows that has a file size of 20 MB but integrates 30 features. As to PDF encryption, SwifDoo PDF can take the permission password off if you don’t remember it. Let’s dive into how to remove the PDF password:

Step 1: Download and install SwifDoo PDF on your computer;

Step 2: Launch the PDF program and drag your password-protected files to the workstation by clicking Open;

How to remove the password from the PDF in SwifDoo PDF

Step 3: When you open the password-protected PDF, a notification panel pops up under the main menu. Click Password Removal to get rid of the password protection;

How to remove the password protection from the PDF in SwifDoo PDF

Step 4: Tick Replace Original File if you want to overwrite the original document, and click Yes to remove the security from this PDF.

Now your encrypted PDF is not protected by a permission password and you can now edit, copy, and print the current PDF.

Tips: A PDF encryption remover cannot take the open password off a PDF. The only way to access this type of locked PDF is to enter the open password.

Sejda PDF

This next PDF password remover is Sejda PDF, an all-in-one desktop PDF program able to remove PDF password protection. Apart from removing PDF encryption, it can help with multiple PDF-related tasks, such as editing, commenting, and filling in forms.

Step 1: Download and install Sejda PDF Desktop. Open the PDF password remover and upload the encrypted PDF;

How to remove the password from the PDF in Sejda PDF

Step 2: Click All Tools > Unlock to remove the PDF encryption;

How to remove the passowrd protection from the PDF in Sejda

Step 3: Choose Decrypt PDF to unprotect this PDF.

The above is how to remove an unknown PDF password in Sejda PDF. Its free service enables users to upload documents up to 200 pages (50 MB) and perform three tasks per day. What needs mentioning is that this password remover has an online version, so users can access the web-based service if needed. For the desktop version, files are processed locally, so users won’t need to worry about file security.

The above two methods mainly revolve around how to unlock a PDF on Windows. If you need a PDF password remover for macOS, keep reading.

How to Lock a PDF from Editing, Copying, Printing, and Annotating

How to Lock a PDF from Editing, Copying, Printing, and Annotating

Sometimes you need to lock PDF files from editing, copying, or printing. This post focuses on how to lock a PDF with PDF software, Word, and the Preview app.


PDF Password Remover for macOS

When it comes to removing password protection from PDFs on Mac, users may think of Preview, which is a built-in PDF viewing app on macOS. Preview allows Mac users to encrypt PDF files, however, it cannot remove the unknown password from a locked PDF. Therefore, if you lose or forget the PDF password, don't expect Preview to help. 

Cisdem PDF Password Remover

Chill out, there are other solutions available, and Cisdem PDF Password Remover is a good option. This PDF password remover can maintain the original content and remove protection from PDFs on Mac in batches. Here are the steps to unlock a PDF without passwords on Mac:

Here are the steps to remove password protection from PDF on Mac:

Step 1: Download and install the software on your computer;

Step 2: Launch the program and upload the password-secured PDF to the specified area;

Step 3: Choose the encrypted PDF and click Remove to unlock the PDF.

Apart from permission passwords, Cisdem can decrypt PDF documents protected by open passwords. For more information, users can go to the official website. Users need to be aware that this software is not free and that a cost applies. 

You may also like: https://www.swifdoo.com/blog/unlock-pdf-mac

Remove Password from PDF Online

Online PDF password remover tools are available regardless of the operating system, with the only requirement being a stable internet connection. The recommendations will take reliability and popularity into account. Here’s what we have for users:


iLovePDF is a popular PDF application that enables users to edit, convert, annotate, and password-protect PDFs. When it comes to removing security from PDF, iLovePDF lets you remove encryption from PDF within several clicks:

Step 1: Type the website in the search bar;

How to remove the password from the PDF in iLovePDF

Step 2: Click on Unlock PDF in the All PDF Tools;

Step 3: Upload the password-protected PDF to the workstation;

Step 4: Select Unlock PDF to remove the password protection.

If you need to batch-remove passwords from PDFs, just click the “Add” button to upload more PDF documents so that you can unlock PDFs in bulk. Aside from the ability to remove an unknown password from a PDF, iLovePDF can encrypt a PDF document by offering “Protect PDF”.

However, as a non-paid user, you can only perform two free tasks per day. That means you can remove encryption from PDFs twice a day.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a file storage and collaboration platform. Even as a cloud service provider, Google Drive can also assist in removing password protection from a PDF in a few steps:

How to remove the password from the PDF in Google Drive

Step 1: Open the password-protected PDF in Google Drive;

Step 2: Right-click on the PDF file on the workstation, and select Open with > Google Docs to open the encrypted PDF document in Google Docs;

How to remove the password protection from the PDF in Google Drive

Step 3: Click Files and then choose “PDF document” in the Download tab to create a new PDF without a password. Now the PDF document has no password protection.

However, Google Drive is only a cloud storage platform and not a professional PDF editor. Simply put, if your original PDF has complex multi-media content, the PDF opened in Google Docs will be a mess-up, with misformatted layout and misused fonts due to different encoded formats.

Note: Though Drive can be a feasible method to remove password protection from PDF documents online, it is obviously not the best option, and as seen, the aforementioned PDF encryption removers outperform it.  


What requires special attention is that all the previously mentioned PDF password removers can only handle PDFs protected by a PERMISSION PASSWORD (owner password) rather than an OPEN PASSWORD (user password). The former is to limit editing, copying, printing, and annotating, while the latter password is to restrict the opening of a PDF file.

There is no related program that can bypass the OPEN PASSWORD restriction, as removing an open password without authorization is illegal. All listed tools are able to remove the permission password to let users edit or make annotations on the file.


Q:How do I edit a password-protected PDF?

The precondition of editing a secured PDF is to remove the PDF security. With SwifDoo PDF, you can edit, copy, print, and annotate a password-protected PDF even if you forget the PDF password. Open the locked PDF in SwifDoo PDF, and click "Password Removal" to unlock an encrypted PDF document with a few steps. 

Q:How many types of passwords are used to protect PDFs?

There are usually two kinds of passwords that can be used to lock a PDF, namely an open password and a permission password. The open password is to limit the opening and viewing of the document while the permission password is to restrict printing, annotating, copying, and editing.



More than 3 years of experience writing reviews and roundup articles in the document management and software industries. Always have a passion for trying new things, especially software. Currently working as the editor-in-chief of the AWZWARE team.

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