PDF files are sometimes password-protected to secure data and maintain the privacy of the user. These PDF files are normally from banks or other sites that include our personal or financial data. Ironically, the user himself/herself may forget the password needed to open such PDFs. In such instances, the only way to access what’s inside the PDF file is to remove the password. Once removed, it is easy to lock the PDF file with a new password and store it somewhere safe. Here’s how you can remove the password of the PDF. We will also show how to remove passwords from PDF files if you know the password.
Note: We don’t recommend breaking into other people’s PDF files. This guide is for personal use only. The services mentioned below can remove easy passwords from PDF files but not complex and strong passwords. Still, you may try to see if it works.
Remove Password from PDF
1. Using Chrome Browser
One of the easiest ways to remove the PDF password is using the Chrome browser and it works on all desktop platforms.
1. Just open the chrome browser and drag the PDF file into the Chrome browser. Chrome will prompt you to enter the password to open the PDF. Enter the password and click Submit to open.
2. Now you can view the PDF in Chrome’s PDF viewer. Also, you will find the download icon at the top right corner, click on it.
3. Here give a name to the PDF that you want to download or leave it as it is and click on the Save button to save the PDF.
This will save the PDF as a new file without a password. Now, you can save this file locally. This method also works on few other browsers like Edge.
2. Small PDF Web App
Small PDF offers an option to crack open the PDF without knowing the password. Though it can only retrieve easy passwords. In my experience, it has a high failure rate but if you don’t know the password, it is worth a shot considering it is free.
1. First, open the Small PDF website and click on EXPLORE ALL PDF TOOLS button.
2. Now scroll down and select the Unlock PDF option.
3. Now click on the CHOOSE FILE button and select or just drag and drop the PDF file in the pink highlighted area.
4. This will upload the PDF and asks for your permission to crack open the PDF. Enable the checkmark beside you to have the right to open and click on UNLOCK PDF.
5. Small PDF will now try and open the PDF file without a password but if it fails, it will ask you to enter the password instead.
6. Once the PDF is open, you can download the PDF file locally without a password.
There is also an option to save the PDF file up in the cloud-like Google Drive and Dropbox.
3. Remove Password from PDF files on Google Drive
Along with the web app, Small PDF also has a Google Drive add-on that can be used to remove the password on PDFs saved in Google Drive without needing to download them.
1. First, install Small PDF from the Google Workspace marketplace. Then click on Continue to give necessary permission.
2. This will open a pop-up window for you to log in to your Google account.
3. Now open Drive, right-click on the PDF file you want to remove the password from, select the Open with option, and select Small PDF.
4. This will open the Small PDF in a new tab. If this is the first time accessing your PDFs with Small PDF, it will ask for multiple permissions to view, edit, and create Google Drive files.
5. It will now ask for the PDF password. Unlike the web app, the Workspace add-on cannot bypass the password. Click on Submit after entering the password.
6. Now click on the down arrow beside the download option and select Save to Google Drive to save the file back to the Drive.
This way, you can remove the password from the PDF saved in Google Drive without needing to download it. This method also works on mobile.
4. Removing Password from PDF Files on Android and iOS
Though the same Small PDF app is also available on Android and iOS platforms, they can’t unlock PDF in their mobile version. But there is another better alternative called I Love PDF.
2. Here you can select the PDF from either local storage, Google Drive or Dropbox. Select the PDF that you want to remove the password from and click on UNLOCK PDF.
3. Once imported, select the PDF and click on Unlock PDF button which will prompt the user to enter the password. Once done, it automatically saves the PDF without the password under the iLovePDF > Output folder in your device storage.
5. Using Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Acrobat users can remove passwords from PDFs without needing to rely on other services. The best part is that this method works on all platforms like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. (There is no Linux version).
First, open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat. Now choose Tools > Protect > Encrypt > Remove Security from the top left corner. Enter the password to open the PDF file. Then just press Ctrl+S or command+S to save the PDF without a password.
Wrap up: Removing Password from PDF
All the tools mentioned here except for Google Chrome are capable of adding a password too. So if you want some level of security back again, then you can add a password to the PDF file. As shown, simple passwords are easy to crack, so go with a strong password that is hard to crack but note it down somewhere so you don’t forget it.