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Home / Blog / How to Unlock PDF After Signing | Top 3 Ways

How to Unlock PDF After Signing | Top 3 Ways

By Lena | Follow twitter | Updated on January 25, 2024
How to unlock PDF after signing is a frequently asked question. If a person signed a document in error, they might need to unlock the PDF to remove or replace their signature. In addition, the PDF can only be edited, modified, or printed after it is unlocked. No worries! Read this guide to learn 3 ways to unlock the PDF.

Why PDF Files Are Locked After Signing?

To clarify this issue, it is crucial to recognize that there are two types of signatures: electronic signature and digital signature.

  • Electronic signature is usually used to indicate consent and is easy to create and modify. It does not encrypt the document. If desired, a password can be used after the signature to protect the PDF.
  • Digital signature often comes with encryption, which enhances the security of the document. Usually. It will leave a random password on a document. Generally, only the signer can remove their signature.

In short, a PDF file will be locked after digital signature. For electronically signed documents, they can be locked with a password.

Can You Unlock PDF After Signing?

The answer is Yes! Since you can add a signature, there is a way to remove the signature and unlock the PDF. You can use PDF tools such as Adobe Acrobat or SwifDoo PDF to accomplish this task. If they don't work, then you can try online tools.

However, it's important to note that unlocking a signed PDF might invalidate the signature and can have legal implications. If changes are necessary, there should be clear communication with all parties involved, the necessary changes should be made, and then the document should be re-signed to make it effective again under the new terms.

If you are confident that unlocking the PDF file is appropriate and legal, read on to learn how to unlock PDF after signing.

Note: It is an excellent practice to keep a copy of the original signed document before making any changes in case you need to refer to the originally agreed terms.

How to Unlock PDF After Signing with Adobe Acrobat

For locked documents with digital signatures added, users can download a new document from the Manage page, which will be sealed with an updated password. Once you have the unlock password, you can unlock the document. Let me show you how to unlock PDF after signing with Adobe Acrobat.

1. Go to Manage tab > Find and select the PDF > Click Download PDF to download a copy.

Download PDF

2. Open the PDF > Click the Lock button in the top left corner > Choose Permission Details.

3. Select No Security next to Security Method.

No Security

4. Enter the unlock password > Click OK to confirm.

How to Unlock PDF After Signing with SwifDoo PDF

Don't have an Adobe Acrobat subscription? Well, Adobe Acrobat is not the only tool for PDF management. You can try one of the popular alternatives - SwifDoo PDF to unlock PDF.

It doesn't matter if you don't know the password. Here are the steps to unlock PDF after signing when using this tool.

1. Download, install and launch SwifDoo PDF.

2. On the home interface, choose PDF to Word.

PDF to Word

3. Click Add Files to add the PDF you want to unlock > Select the output path > Click Start.

Start Converting

4. Then open the converted Word file in Microsoft Word and remove the signature.

5. After that, you can export the file as PDF document. Or you can use SwifDoo PDF to convert Word to PDF without losing formatting.

Now, you can edit the PDF as per your needs. SwifDoo PDF preserves the original format as much as possible when converting, so you don't have to spend time making adjustments.

Although this method may seem a bit strange, it does help you unlock PDF files. SwifDoo offers a 7-day free trial for every user, during which you can enjoy all the features. If needed, you can use it to add/edit electronic signature or add password to protect PDF. Why don't you give it a try? 

How to Unlock PDF After Signing with Format PDF

For files that do not contain sensitive information, you can use online tools to unlock them. You can unlock the file in your browser without having to download any software. Read on to learn how to unlock PDF after signing with Format PDF, an expert in the field of online unlocking.

1. Open the browser and go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/unlock-pdf/.

2. Click SELECT PDF FILE to upload the PDF.

3. Click Unlock button and wait for a while.

Unlock PDF with Online Tool

4. Once the unlock is complete, it will automatically download the PDF. If not, just click the Download PDF button.

Final Words

That’s all about how to unlock PDF after signing. Hope you can successfully unlock the PDF. If you want to edit after unlocking or add your own password to protect the PDF, SwifDoo PDF can do you a favor. It has a rich toolkit that you can edit as needed to get satisfactory results.

Unlock PDF After Signing FAQs

Q:How do I make a PDF editable after signing?

To make a PDF editable after signing, you need first to remove the digital signature, which often involves right-clicking on the signature in a PDF editor like Adobe Acrobat and selecting an option to clear it.

Q:How do I remove a locked signature from a PDF?

To remove a locked signature from a PDF, open the document in a PDF editor like Adobe Acrobat or SwifDoo PDF, right-click on the signature field, and select the option to clear or delete the signature.

Lena has been in the editing industry for 8 years. She is familiar with a variety of products that can make things easier, such as PDF tools, video recording software, iOS location changer, etc. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with users to help them solve problems in their work and life. In her spare time, she likes to play with her cat.

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