For those who greatly value information security in a PDF, redacting the PDF content before sharing the document can be a way out. Redaction is an action that cannot be undone, and this method can sure the information security as much as possible. What if users mistakenly blacked out the text and wanted to undo it? Therefore, in this post, we'll cover several methods to remove the redaction from a PDF.

First and foremost, these PDF tools are only applicable when you haven’t finished the editing process and yet saved the changes to redact a PDF. But if you have blackened out the text, all the text or information you have redacted goes for good and it is impossible to uncover the blacked out text. Please ensure you make a copy of the original file before everything else.

How to Remove Redaction from PDFs with Desktop Software

If you’re looking for a desktop PDF solution to get rid of the redaction marks, the following products may be of help.

SwifDoo PDF

Most of us prefer a lightweight and portable PDF desktop program. SwifDoo PDF has a 12 MB memory size and integrates 35 different features to simplify every PDF-related task.

The whiteout feature enables users to black out the unwanted content while at the same time users can decide to delete the covered content. Here are the steps to unredact a PDF document:

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

Step 2: Open a PDF document having redaction;

Step 3: Click on the Edit button and choose White-out, then apply redaction on the specified part;swifdoopdf-edit

Step 4: Right-click on the redacted part, and select Delete White-out to remove the redaction.


SwifDoo PDF is one of the desktop tools to uncover the blacked out text quickly and easily. But this PDF software can only fulfill the basic needs of redaction. If you have more expectations for removing redaction, try the following two PDF tools.

                                                                Free Download

Nitro PDF

The following recommendation on Windows to remove the redaction goes to Nitro PDF. It is another feature-rich PDF tool that provides multiple features relevant to an eraser. Within the Erase ribbon, users can apply redaction to the PDF and remove the redaction. Let’s go explore how to get rid of the redaction marks from the PDF document:


Step 1: Download and install Nitro PDF, and then open a PDF document using Nitro PDF;

Step 2: Choose Erase and then right-click on the redaction area to select Delete to erase the redaction marks from the PDF easily. 

Tip:Nitro PDF’s installation process might drive you crazy because the installer may occasionally break down.

In terms of redaction, Nitro PDF outperforms SwifDoo PDF as the former PDF software provides more relevant features to better black out the text or remove the redacted content.

How to Remove Redaction from PDFs on Mac

Although the inbuilt PDF viewer Preview can tackle different PDF tasks, it cannot remove redaction marks from PDFs. That’s why we need to include this part. Therefore, if you’re waiting for a guide to discuss how to remove the redaction from a PDF on Mac, you’re at the right place.

Adobe Acrobat

If you’re an active PDF user, you must have heard about or used Adobe Acrobat to deal with PDF-related paperwork. As the leading software in this industry, Adobe has incorporated a flawless document protection system within its operation panel, including redaction.

Step 1: Download Adobe Acrobat DC on App Store;

Step 2: Open the program and upload a PDF document;

Step 3: Navigate to the Tool menu and click on the Protection button;

Step 4: Put your cursor at the redacted content and right-click the redaction area to choose Delete.

How to Remove Redaction from PDFs Online

If you need a web-based online PDF program without downloading from an unknown source, AvePDF turns out to be helpful.


It’s an all-in-one online PDF program, and it’s totally FREE. With the ambition to demonstrate the newest technologies in the document management industry, AvePDF can help with e-signing, compressing, editing, combining, organizing, and converting PDFs. What’s more important, it can unredact the PDF to uncover the blacked out the text:


Step 1: To start, type the URL on the search bar;

Step 2: Import the PDF document to the workstation from Google Drive, Dropbox, or via a link;

Step 3: Click Protect and choose Redact PDF, then select Add redaction marks;

Step 4: Put the mouse on the redacted area and click on the Delete icon to finalize the redaction removing process.


Finally, we must reiterate that redaction is conducive to protecting sensitive information, but it is rarely undone. So be careful to save all changes when you black out the text within a PDF. If needed, back up the original PDF before applying redactions to a PDF.

Common FAQ about Guide to Remove Redaction from PDF Documents

Q:Is PDF redaction permanent?

Yes, when you need to remove or redact a specific part within a PDF, almost every software will pop up a message alert that redaction is irrevocable. Simply put, PDF redaction is permanent and cannot be recovered.

Q:Are there any possible ways to cancel the redaction?

If Adobe or Microsoft generates your PDFs, then the redaction is irrevocable. Otherwise, it is possible to retrieve part of the redacted data from the new file in some circumstances. To recover the original information, someone on Reddit suggests converting this PDF into a text file if the metadata has not been deleted.



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.