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Remove protection from a PDF file

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If you want to remove the password from the PDF file, you can do it quite easily, provided that you know the methods of removal. See how to remove a password from a PDF file using various methods.

PDF protection is useful, especially when transmitting an important document that outsiders should not be able to access. But in practice, the use of such a file sometimes annoys the recipient, who each time has to enter a password to open it. If this annoys you, you can remove the protection in a simple way. There are two ways to do this - through the "print to PDF" function, that is, create a copy without a password, and also using the Adobe Acrobat Pro program.

For Windows 10 Users

Windows 10 has a built-in print function in PDF. Just open the protected file in any text editor (you can even use the Edge browser, since it also has built-in support), and then click on the printer icon. For example, in Edge, click Three Dots and select Print.

A window opens with the options. In the Printer field, select "Microsoft PDF Printer" and click on the Print button.

Of course, nothing will actually be printed. The Microsoft PDF Printer printer exports the document to PDF and instead of printing a window appears in which you need to specify where to save the file.

Select a folder and give it any name. Thus, a copy is created that is exactly the same, with the only difference being that it does not have a password.

For users of Windows 8.1 and previous versions

If Windows 8.1 or earlier is installed on the computer, then there is no built-in print option in PDF. But this does not mean at all that there is no way to remove the established protection. To do this, you can download the free utility BullZip PDF Printer.

After installing the program, a virtual printer is added, which allows you to convert the contents using the virtual print function. Open the protected document in any text editor and select the print option.

As the printer, select “BullZip PDF Printer” and click on “Print”. A window appears in which you can save a copy. She will be already without protection.

Method 2: How to remove a password through Adobe Acrobat Pro

The second way is to use the full version of Adobe Acrobat Pro. If you do not have a license for it, then Adobe provides a 7-day trial period during which you can use all the features for free.

To use it you need to create an Adobe account, and then download the program. After installation, you need to log in to your account to activate the 7-day license.

Then open a protected document in Acrobat Pro. Enter the password to confirm the opening of the file.

After right-clicking in the document, select "Properties" in the context menu.

In the window that opens, go to the Security tab. Here you can change the security level. It is enough to set the "No protection" checkbox in the "Protection Method" field.

A notification appears if you are sure you want to disable protection. Confirm the execution by clicking on “OK”, and close the document. When closing, you will be prompted to save the changes - click "Yes." Thus, you can remove the set password and now you can open any file without entering it.

Unlock PDF using software

Using special programs to remove protection from a PDF file is one of the most effective ways to solve a problem. There is a lot of such software. Despite the same purpose, they can vary slightly in terms of the set of functions and conditions of use. Let's consider some of them in more detail.

Method 1: PDF Password Remover Tool

This is a completely free and very easy to use program. Its interface is extremely minimal.

Using the PDF Password Remover Tool, most types of passwords are removed from the file. She can remove the password from PDF files to version 1.7 level 8 with 128-bit RC4 encoding.

Decryption is carried out as follows:

  1. In the top line, select the path to the file from which you want to remove protection.
  2. At the bottom, specify the folder into which you will need to save the decrypted file. By default, the source folder will be selected, and “copy” will be added to the file name.
  3. By clicking on the button "Convert", start the process of deprotection.

On this, the removal of restrictions from the file is completed.

Reasons for blocking

In an age of total accessibility of information and, as a consequence, development illegal copying of other people's achievementsSome content creators, writers, and scholars try to protect their own intellectual work. Among them, of course, there are people who profess the principle of universal accessibility and openness of data, but such a minority. And a person who believes that the authorship of a work is more important than its practical value is trying in any way to prevent or complicate its illegal replication.

In addition to unwillingness to give all laurels to other people, there is also more prosaic reason is secrecy. Not all documents are intended for the eyes of a simple citizen. Some of them contain information critical for ensuring the country's security, some contain personal correspondence and confidential information about a person. Regardless of its format, such things are protected by a reliable encryption key and, as a rule, are not included in the general access.

The third reason is the desire to save pristine labor. It often happens that, for example, a Wikipedia page or an important scientific report by a scientist is mercilessly edited by people who do not have sufficient competence in matters. And therefore, articles of network encyclopedias are protected from editing, and the works of scientists laid out in open access are presented for reading only.

Thus, there are three reasons for concern about the safety of information:

  • Confronting the theft of intellectual labor.
  • The secrecy of information.
  • Protection from censorship and editing.

Species There are two ways to protect PDF files:

  • From opening. As a rule, this way either secret information or teaching materials of one educational institution are protected from students using another. In the second case, students are usually given a universal password with which the document can be unlocked.
  • From copying and printing - this can also be done by some teachers who need their wards to express their thoughts in their own words, rather than simply copying from a textbook. In addition, protection against printing allows you to protect the document from illegal duplication and distribution.

Method 2: Free PDF Unlocker

Another free program to remove the password from a PDF file. As well as the previous tool, it is easy to use. Developers position it as a product that can easily be used even by a person who does not have experience with computers. Unlike the previous one, this program does not delete the password, but restores it.

The file unlock process can be started in three steps:

  1. Select the desired file.
  2. Specify the path to save the result.
  3. Start the password decryption process.


However, choosing Free PDF Unlocker to solve your problem should be patient. The program selects a password by brute force or using a dictionary attack. The preferred option is selected in the tab. "Settings". In this way, only very simple passwords can be decrypted quickly. In addition, it is not designed for a Russian-speaking user and in the explorer window incorrectly displays Cyrillic characters on buttons.

Thus, despite the fact that advertising of this application can often be seen on the network, its only advantage can be attributed only to free.

Method 3: Unrestrict PDF

Using Unrestrict PDF, you can remove restrictions on files created in Acrobat version 9 and higher. It copes well with protection, which was created using 128 and 256-bit encryption.

Unrestrict PDF refers to shareware programs. In order to get acquainted with its interface, users are offered a free trial version. Its functions are very limited. With the demo, you can only find out if the file has established restrictions.

Like other software of this type, its interface is extremely simple. Removing restrictions from a file is done in two steps.

  1. Specify the path to the decrypted file.
  2. Enter the user password in the window that appears.

    If the user password is not set on the file, you can leave this field blank.

As a result, a separate PDF file is created in which there are no longer any restrictions.

Method 4: GuaPDF

GuaPDF differs from previous programs in that it can be used both to remove the owner password from the file and to restore the user password. But the latter is possible only with 40-bit encryption. The program is easy to use and does not require installation. Can remove owner passwords created using even 256-bit AES encryption.

GuaPDF is a paid program. For familiarization, users can download the demo version for free. This is worth doing, because in cases where the file is small, it is fully functional.

To start the decryption process, just select the necessary file by opening the explorer on the corresponding tab. Everything starts automatically.

GuaPDF removes the restrictions set on the file instantly, but if it is necessary to restore the user's password, its operation can take a very long time.

Method 5: qpdf

This is a console utility for working with PDF files. Its advantage is the ability to both encrypt and decrypt files. All major encryption methods are supported.

But for confident use of qpdf, the user must have command line skills.

In order to remove protection from a file, you must:

  1. Unzip the downloaded archive to a convenient place.
  2. Launch the console by typing in a window "Run" the team cmd.

    The easiest way to call it is to use the Win + R keyboard shortcut.
  3. At the command prompt, go to the folder containing the unpacked file and type the command in the format:
    qpdf --decrypt [source file] [result file]
    For convenience, the decrypted file and utility should be located in the same folder.

As a result, a new PDF file with no restrictions will be created.

The list of programs that help to solve such a problem as removing the password from PDF can be continued further. It follows from this that this problem does not at all constitute an insoluble problem and has many solutions.

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Ways to remove protection

Depending on the case, you may need to use specific software, a powerful computer processor, and some amount to purchase a license. In other, milder cases, you can get by with a simple method. There are two options:

  1. Remove protection from PDF file by online service.
  2. Password selection through a program that works with the help of a dictionary embedded in it, brute force (in translation - brute force, simple enumeration of popular password phrases) and heuristic methods of selection.

Online services are just right in order to remove protection from copying or printing. More serious programs, as a rule, offer functionality that is not limited to simply unlocking or removing a password. They can combine several files into one, perform the reverse operation and establish protection on the file.

User Password Reset

Some users try to just reset the password, since it does not allow you to perform the necessary actions for another user. This type of password prohibits not only editing and printing the file, but also viewing it.

One way is to use programs that automatically select a password, but such utilities do not always give the expected result. Such a program will not be able to pick up if the password is complex. The speed of password guessing will depend on the performance of the computer, so this method is not suitable for weak systems.

Passcovery suite

The program works with most of the available archives and documents, including PDF. Runs only on a PC running Windows. For operation, the utility uses the resources of a video card to speed up the process of selecting suitable passwords. But the program is paid, and the cost is $ 199.

To use it for free, developers provide the opportunity to test for half an hour. This will determine if the program can pick up a password for a specific file. But due to restrictions, the user will be provided with only the first two characters, which may be sufficient in some cases, password selection.

Cisdem PDF Password Remover 3

A utility that will help you get file access for Apple product owners with macOS operating system. It works on the principle of selecting a suitable password, a similar method is used in the Passcovery Suite program.

To use, you need to drag the protected PDF file and select “Forgot”. If you have any guesses (characters, number of characters, special characters), then you can specify them to reduce the base for finding a suitable password. To confirm the action, click "Decrypt".

Minus the program is the duration of password guessing. Complex combinations can be selected within a few days. A lightweight digital is detected after a few minutes.

For free use, the program is suitable only for those users who need the first five pages of the file. To unlock all you have to buy the program for $ 35.

How to remove protection from PDF format in Google Chrome

The first way, which requires only a browser from Google. To remove protection from a PDF file, you need to start Chrome, open Google Docs and upload the necessary document to Google Drive. After downloading it, you must open it in Google Docs, you need to click on the printer icon or save the contents along the path “Download as” => “PDF document”.

Such free way allows you to create a new PDF file with the necessary information, which will no longer be blocked for the user. It can be edited through any PFD editor and printed.

Online services to remove protection from a pdf file

In order to reset the author’s password, you can refer to many different online services. All of them will work on the same algorithm, so there will not be much difference.

When using smallpdf.com, you will need to drag and drop the file you need to remove protection, and then confirm the right to unlock. After the service has completed its work, the file can be saved to Google Drive, and then start editing or printing.

A similar service is provided by pdf.io, ilovepdf.com and others. The principle of work is identical for everyone.

Like all similar services, it is easy to use. To do this, open the “PDF Unlock” section from the top line and click on the green “Select ...” button.

Next, you need to select the file that you want to unlock. After loading, you need to click "Unlock" and the process will begin.

Ready unlocked file can be downloaded.

Unlock pdf

Another representative of online services that can easily unlock PDF. For use, you do not need to register on the site. To enter the file you need to unlock, click "Choose file" or drag it into the "Drop PDF here" field. After you need to agree to the terms and click "Unlock PDF!"

After that, you can download the unlocked PDF file.

Copy text from scanned pdf file

If the PDF file does not have a lock, but the editing and printing procedures are still unavailable, then it is highly likely that all pages are simply scanned sheets.

To create such PDFs, scanners or cameras are used, after which the resulting images are inserted into the file. To get a text version, you need to use programs that can recognize text from pictures.

How to remove protection from pdf format in FineReader

The program from ABBYY allows you to extract text from a PDF file. You need to drag the file into the program window, after which the text recognition will begin. The result can be saved or copied to TXT or DOC or DOCX.

The program itself is paid, but users can use the online version. To do this, you need to register on the service, after which 10 pages will be available for recognition.

As alternative programs, but with completely free functionality, use: Office Lens, Adobe Scan, Free OCR to Word, Online OCR, Free OCR.

How to remove protection using GuaPDF

The program can be used without paying for small files. If you need to decrypt the book, you will need to buy the official version. GuaPDF not only removes the password, it can recover it, but only with 40-bit encryption. Removing passwords is possible even if they are created by 256-AES encryption.
For use, the file to be unlocked is selected, after which the process starts automatically. The user receives the result instantly if it is necessary to remove the password. When it is restored, you will have to wait some time.

Which program or server to remove the password from a pdf file, choose - it's up to you. And that's all for today. I liked the article, do not be lazy to share it with your friends on social networks. But, and to always be up to date with the latest news on my blog, be sure to subscribe to the updates. See you on my blog.

Popular Sites

There are some of the most visited resources for unprotecting PDF online. They allow you to almost immediately remove all restrictions on the use of the file.This cannot be considered a hacking, because the services work on the principle of editing the so-called permissions - the permissions specified in the editor when creating the document.

There are several famous sites:

  • thepdf.com - allows not only to remove restrictions from the document, but also to convert to and from the PDF format, as well as to remove a simple password by sequential enumeration of popular combinations. The list of supported formats for converting not only Word and Excel documents, but also such as PowerPoint presentations and even drawings. In the latter case, even several hundred images can be converted and converted into a multi-page document.
  • Formerly pdfunlock.com, it is now located at sodapdf.com. A distinctive feature is not only the ability to unlock, but also the ability to download files from several cloud resources - such as Dropbox and Google Drive. It has its own separate application, which can be installed on a PC and used without the Internet. It provides a whole range of standard services - you can decode, split and combine, compress, convert, set the signature and protection, edit and preview the document. Provides text recognition services.
  • ilovepdf.com - among other things, it has a useful feature for automatically paginating document pages. It can be customized to your liking - select the start page and the number from which the countdown will start. This is useful for self-publishers.

The principle of all such sites is almost identical. To work with a document, you need to click on the "Open" or "Open" button and upload the desired file to the server. After the process selected by the user ends, the unlocked document with the changed name is automatically downloaded. Most often this field is “unlocked”. If the unlock failed, the user receives a corresponding message stating that it is impossible to crack the protection.

Paid Subscription Services

Unlike previously discussed, these services are not completely free. Without payment, they have very limited functionality and tools. Among the paid features:

  • Disabling advertising on the site.
  • Providing services for 256-bit encryption of documents with the provision of both a master key and a user for decryption.
  • No limit on the number of documents for one-time processing.
  • Increased file size that can be uploaded to the server.
  • The simultaneous use of several tools to work on one document.

As you can see, most of the functions that the user gets for the money are not used by ordinary people in their daily work. The only exception is the file size limit.

A few examples of such services:

  • smallpdf.com - has a desktop application that allows you to encrypt and sign files electronically.
  • pdfio.co - does not contain tools for electronic signing, but provides a service for viewing its previous documents. Links to them remain in the user's account, which allows you to view the history of work with the service.

Programs for working with PDF files

Before spending money on the license of one of these programs, it is worth familiarizing yourself with a few of their characteristics. For example, support for encryption standards, tables and dictionaries, the ability to remove user and owner passwords. The latter function is useful if you need to obtain special permissions associated with the authorship of a document.

The most well-proven software products are:

  • Advanced PDF Password Recovery.
  • PDF Decrypter Pro.
  • PDF unlocker.
  • VeryPDF PDF Password Remover.
  • PDF Encrypt.

The average price of a license for one user is approximately the same for all programs, and therefore, when purchasing, you should pay attention to the set of necessary instructions and system requirements. The fact is that some of the tools require significant hardware components to reduce the time required to select passphrases or user keys.

So, Advanced PDF Password Recovery has good optimization for modern processors and allows you to utilize up to 40 streams for password selection at the same time. This means that even the most high-performance processors of the Hasswell-E, Broadwell-E, Skylake-X and KabyLake-X families will be able to cope with tasks as quickly as possible. Instructions such as AVX, AVX2 and AVX-512, supported by most modern processors, are even more optimally able to cope with the selection by sequential dictionary and heuristic search.

Solving printing problems

Despite the fact that printing protection itself can be removed quite easily, there are a number of problems that do not depend on it. For example, particularly inventive document protectors often use the method of converting a PDF document into a bitmap instead of lines of text. Together with this procedure, the size of the file itself increases and the ability to scale it normally without loss of quality is completely killed.

A partial way out of this situation is to use a virtual printer that prints a document and converts it according to its algorithms to a PDF format. Thus, you can convert one bulky file into a completely identical file, only a smaller one.

One of the most popular options has always been Bullzip PDF Printer. It offers great opportunities for virtual printing and many additional features:

  • Quality control of the output image - separate ability, the number of dots per inch, etc.
  • Ability to batch convert, including multiple files into one.
  • Preliminary preparation for printing in book mode on devices that do not have the possibility of two-sided printing.

In addition, it helps print a secure PDF as if it had no security. It does not require downloading to online services or using special programs. In the process of printing to a virtual printer, the utility does everything on its own.

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