While we attach great importance to the of PDF document security, such as the bank statements and medical records, we may be confronted by their password protection as well. We all know that PDF documents can be easily secured with a password. However, the password protection can be a hindrance in PDF editing if you do not know the password.

In this article, when we refer to password, it actually means permission password (used to limit certain actions such as printing) instead of open password (used to open the PDF). We will introduce several PDF password breakers to remove PDF security settings and unlock a PDF document for easier editing and printing.

Remove Password from PDF with Desktop Programs

Remove Password from PDF on Windows

SwifDoo PDF

SwifDoo PDF is a lightweight and useful PDF program which has a file size of 10 MB but integrates 30 features on Windows. As to password protection, SwifDoo PDF can help you bypass the permission password and unlock a secured PDF if you don’t remember the password. Let’s dive in how to open pass word-protected PDF without 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;

Step 3: When you open the locked PDF, click Password Removal to get rid of the permission password;

Step 4: Tick Overlay Original File if you want the unlocked PDF to replace the original document, and click Yes to complete the process.

                                                                    Free Download

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

Tips:This software cannot be applied to bypass and unlock a PDF protected by open password. The only way to access an open password encrypted file is to enter the open password.

Sejda PDF

This next PDF password removing software is Sejda PDF, an all-in-one desktop PDF program with the ability to decrypt password-secured PDF documents. What is most important, is that this software is a comprehensive PDF program. It can help with multiple PDF-related tasks, such as editing, commenting, filling in forms, and password protecting.


Step 1: Download and install Sejda PDF Desktop;

Step 2: Open the PDF password remover and upload the encrypted PDF;

Step 3: Click Decrypt PDF to remove the password from the PDF.


Sejda PDF is a powerful security remover, but for its free service, users can upload documents up to 200 pages or 50 MB and perform 3 tasks per day. What needs mentioning, is that this password remover has an online version, so users can try the web-based service if needed. For the desktop version, files are processed locally therefore users won’t need to worry about file security.

The above two methods mainly revolve around how to unlock an encrypted PDF on Windows. If you want to figure out how to remove password from PDF on Mac, keep reading.

Remove Password from PDF on Mac

When it comes to unlocking an encrypted PDF on Mac, users may think of Preview as it is a built-in PDF viewing app on MacOS. It allows Mac users to view and print digital images and PDF files. However, Preview can only remove the password from a locked PDF when you know the password. Therefore, if you lose or forget the permission password, Preview is not helpful.

Cisdem PDF Password Remover

However, there are other solutions available, and Cisdem PDF Password Remover is a good option. This password cracker can maintain the original content and perform password removing task in batch.

Here’s the steps to removing passwords from PDF on Mac devices:

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 a cost applies. 

Remove Password from PDF with Online Tools

Online PDF password remover tools can be accessible irrespective of operating systems, with the only requirement of a smooth internet connection. The recommendations will take into account the reliability and popularity of online tools. Here’s what we select for users:


iLovePDF is an internet-based PDF application which enables users to edit, convert, annotate, password protect PDFs. When it comes to removing a password from PDF, iLovePDF lets you crack a secured PDF within several clicks:

Step 1: Type the website on the search bar;

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 start removing the security.


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

However, as a non-paid user, you can only perform 2 free tasks per day. That means you can remove two password protected PDFs every 24 hours.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a file storage and collaboration platform. Even as a cloud service provider, Google Drive can also assist in cracking a password protected PDF documents with a few steps:


Step 1: Upload the password secured PDF to Google Drive with your Google account;

Step 2: Select the Open with button by placing your cursor on the unlocked PDF and right clicking it;

Step 3: Choose Google Docs to open the encrypted PDF document in Google Docs;

Step 4: Click the Files and then choose “PDF document” in the tab Download to create a new PDF with password removed.


                                                                            Original PDF 


                                                              (Converted by Google Drive)

However, we need to be aware that Google Drive is only a cloud storage platform, its document management capacity largely relies on Google Docs. The password-protected PDF document opened by Google Docs may have mis-formatted layout and misused fonts due to different encoded formats.

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


What requires special attention is that, all the previously mentioned applications or tools can only unlock a secured PDF by PERMISSION PASSWORD (owner password) rather than 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 is illegal without authorization. All listed tools are able to remove the permission password to let users edit or make annotations on the file.

Common FAQ about Complete Guide to Remove Password from PDFs [2021]

Q:How do I edit a password protected PDF?

The precondition of editing a secured PDF is to remove the security settings. With SwifDoo PDF, you can edit, copy, print, and annotate a password-protected PDF even if you forget the permission 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 which can be used to lock a PDF, namely open password and permission password. Open password is to limit the opening and viewing of the document while permission password is to restrict printing, annotating, copying, and editing.

Q:How do I remove passwords from PDF documents with Adobe Acrobat?

Adobe Acrobat is a comprehensive PDF program. With regard to remove password security, follow the steps:

Step 1: Open an encrypted PDF in Adobe Acrobat;

Step 2: Choose Tools in the tab Protect, and select Remove Security after clicking on Encrypt;

Step 3: If the locked document has an open password, press the OK button to remove it; if the encrypted PDF is protected by a permission password, you need to type it the correct password in the Enter Password box and click OK to complete the action.


Roche has been an active PDF user for 6 years and tried different types of professional PDF tools (both online and desktop version) since at his bachelor degree. Now, Roche works as a columnist for SwifDoo PDF over the course of the last one year, and provides useful and practical solutions pertaining to various PDF topics for users from different features.