Last updated: February 26, 2023
Sometimes you have documents in your hands that are best not to be left lying around, so you had the idea of protecting this document with a password. A good idea in itself, except that if you forgot this password, it can quickly become complicated.
Indeed, you then find yourself stuck or unable to print this document or even not being able to open it depending on the means of protection you have put in place. but don't panic, there are solutions.
In this article we will focus on the different ways to lock a PDF and what they imply. Then we will see how to get around these means if you ever no longer have access to your document.
Protect a PDF file
As we just said, protecting a PDF file can sometimes be useful for a whole lot of reasons, but what people don't always know is that there are two different ways to do it. We explain how here.
The opening password
The first security is surely the one that comes to your mind immediately. Indeed, it consists in putting a password which ensures that whoever will not have it, will not be able to open this PDF file and therefore view its content.
Of the two methods that we are going to present to you, this is obviously the more restrictive and it is potentially the one that will bother you the most if you ever find yourself having forgotten the password.
The second level of locking is softer. Indeed, you will be able to open your document, except that you will not be able to copy, modify or print it unless you have this password.
It therefore remains restrictive and you will surely want to get rid of this limitation. But first, let's see how to apply these two means of protection on your files if you wish.
The method is as follows:
- First, launch the software Adobe Acrobat DC.
- Then click on File.
- Then on Protect with a password.
- Select the type of protection you want.
- Enter a password and confirm it.
- Apply the changes.
- A small information bubble validates the change.
Remove PDF protection
Now that we know how to protect a PDF file, it is time to take a look at the heart of this article. Indeed, here, we will present to you two techniques to succeed in achieving your ends without having this password.
As we have seen previously, there is two types of protection:
- Login password.
- Authorization password.
The first allows you to prevent opening and encrypt the interior of the document and the second allows you to set a whole bunch of permissions: print, copy paste, modify, etc.
The opening password will not only prohibit the opening of the PDF file, but will also encrypt its content with the RC4 128bits algorithm.
If the PDF is protected by a opening password, he is very difficult to unlock it see impossible if he has one complex password.
Unlock PDF with a web browser
The first option is to go through an internet browser. In fact, when it comes time to open your file, do it through your browser and not through your usual PDF reader software.
Once you are in your browser, you will have access at the top right to the button to print this document, even if it is not open. Click on it and do not go to the end of the print.
Indeed, when choosing the printer that you can use, there will be an option that will allow you to save this document as a PDF. However, this will have the effect of not keeping the protection. The procedure is therefore as follows:
- Open your PDF via web browser.
- Click on the print button.
- Choose save in PDF format.
Remove PDF Password With Free Online Service
There is a second technique for open password protected PDF, but before giving it to you, we wanted to do a little reminder. Indeed, if this PDF does not belong to you, do not try to open it.
It is of course illegal to force open a password protected document that doesn't belong to you and it could get you in trouble. Do this technique only if this document is yours.
This second technique, it is simple, it is to go through online tool whose purpose is to blow up any protection that could have been put on your PDF file. One of these online services is FreeMyPDF.
As the name suggests, once you access the website all you have to do is select the PDF you want to open that has a password and the online service will do it for you. .