Unsecure a PDF to View, Copy and Print the Contents

Unsecure a PDF can be done using three ways but first we must understand there are two types of secure PDFs :-

  • user-locked : you need a password to view the contents
  • owner-locked : you need a password to copy, print, or otherwise modify the PDF’s contents.

While unlocking a user-locked PDF without the password is impossible, you can unlock an owner-locked PDF for which you’ve forgotten the password from within Google Chrome. If you want to remove a known user password from a PDF, Google Chrome will also work, or you can use either Soda PDF or Adobe Acrobat Pro.

You can secure a PDF to restrict it from getting it printed and copied. It can restrict who opens it, and even to whom the PDF can be emailed to. While the reasons for securing a PDF file can be as unique as the reasons for creating it, there are mainly two main reasons to unsecure a PDF :-

  • to control who can access the document
  • to control who can alter the document.

Copyright Protection

One reason why you may choose to secure a PDF file is protecting the information in a document from copyright infringement. Adding password protection is involved in securing the file for this reason is done usually to prevent unauthorized users from copying or printing the document.

Content Integrity

Securing a PDF can protect the integrity of a document. In case any comments on a document, or approved a specific version of a document before exporting it as a PDF are made on it, locking the PDF from getting edited can prevent trespassers from making untoward changes afterwards.

Digital Signatures

Adding a digital signature to a PDF file secure the PDF from allowing it to get edited. It also specifically mentions the name of the person who restricted it personally or secured the document. This is one of the useful aspect for a business contract or other key documents that must not be modified without after the the current version, unless and until being approved from the authority.

Limiting Access

Securing a PDF file using a password can be used to prevent unauthorized people to open, read and edit the document. If the document has confidential information, a password-protected PDF can help.

How to Unsecure a PDF : Methods

  • Using Google Chrome
  • Using Soda PDF for a User Password
  • Using Adobe Acrobat for a User Password

Method 1 : Unsecure a PDF using Google Chrome

Open Google Chrome.

Google Chrome is the only browser in which you can use the “Print” feature to remove the owner password from the PDF.

Open Google Drive.

Go to https://drive.google.com/drive/ in your web browser. This will open the Google Drive page if you’re logged into the Google account. If you aren’t already logged into your Google account, you’ll be required to click Go to Drive and then enter the email address and password.

Click and drag the PDF into Google Drive.

To add the file to Google Drive, click New in the top right corner of the Google Drive Window, press File Upload, select the PDF, and tap OK to upload the PDF.

Double-click the PDF in Google Drive.

Double-clicking PDF will open the PDF inside of Google Chrome. When PDF is user-locked, you’ll definitely require to enter a password and click Submit to view its contents.

Open the “Print” screen.

Once the PDF opens to see a “Print” window pop up, click

  • For Windows : Ctrl+P
  • For Mac : ? Command+P

Click Change….

For a menu to appear click Change option is beneath the “Destination” heading on the left side of Chrome.

Click Save as PDF.

For this click Save placed under the “Local Options” heading in the “Select a Destination” menu.

Click the blue Save button.

Placed at the top-left corner of the window to download the PDF to your computer as an unsecure file. This enables the user to print, edit, and copy text from the PDF. User may even select a save location before the file properly downloads.

Method 2 : Unsecure a PDF using Soda PDF for a User Password

Open Soda PDF unlock site.

Go to https://www.sodapdf.com/unlock-pdf/ in the computer’s web browser.


A green button on the right side of the page helps to choose a file. Clicking will prompt a File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) window to open.

Select PDF file.

Navigate to the location in which PDF is stored, then click the PDF once to select it.

Click Open.

Placed at the bottom-right corner of the window helps to upload the selected PDF to Soda PDF.

Enter the user password.

In the text box which appears, type in the password used to unlock the PDF.
If user password is unknown, you cannot unlock the PDF.


Green button placed below the password text box will remove the encryption from the PDF to unlock.


Placed on the right side of the page, prompts the unlocked PDF to download onto the computer. You can open it without entering a password. You may have to select a save location or confirm the download before the PDF will download, depending on the browser’s settings.

Method 3 : Unsecure a PDF using Adobe Acrobat for a User Password

Open Adobe Acrobat Pro.

This is a paid version of Adobe Acrobat. It is different from Adobe Acrobat Reader but you won’t be able to unlock PDF with this method.

Click File.

Option placed the top-left corner of the window or the screen on a Mac, prompts a drop-down menu. after clicking it. Alternatively, you can check the PDF is displayed or not through a PDF reader which has a “Recently Viewed” tab.

Click Open.

When you have selected “Recently Viewed” section, you may skip this step.

Double-click the PDF you wish to open.

Double-clicking will prompt the PDF to open in Adobe Acrobat. You may have to select a new directory like Desktop or Documents, to locate the PDF in question.

Enter the user password.

Type the password required to unlock the PDF, then press OK. If you don’t know the user password, you cannot unlock the PDF.

Click the padlock icon.

Placed on the left side of the screen beneath the “Home” tab, press the padlock icon.

Click Permission Details.

Permission detail is a link below the “Security Settings” heading.

Click the Security Method box.

It is a clicking box with “Password Security” written on it.

Select No Security.

You may get to see this option in the drop-down menu that appears.

Enter the password again.

Type in the PDF’s password, then Tap OK twice. Until the password typed is correct, the PDF will not have a password lock on it.

Follow any one of the above stated methods to unsecure a PDF…. Happy Unlocking.