How to Unlock a PDF: A Guide to Removing Password Protection


PDF is a cross-platform file format developed in 1992 by Adobe. Cross-platform adoption means that files can be viewed on almost any device, so it's no surprise that PDF has become the universally accepted way to share digital documents online. But this universal file format offers a lot more.

Why you may want to remove a password lock on your PDF

While one may argue with all the valid reasons why you need to leave your PDF file locked, in some cases, it makes more sense to unlock PDF files. Some of the reasons include:

1. Risk of forgetting the password

With social media accounts or online accounts, it's easy to click that "forgot password" button, and everything will be reset within minutes. That isn't the case with PDF files. If you can remember where you got the protected file from, or you just forgot the code, it can be hard to recover the file. Therefore, you may want to unlock PDF passwords from files that don't need protection, or you risk forgetting it altogether.

2. Quick access to the file

It can be frustrating to type a password every time you want to open a file. Unlike online accounts, where there are many safe ways to save passwords in the cloud, so you don't have to remember them, opening a password-protected PDF will need you to remember the security code off hand. This can be a pain, specifically if you're not good at memorizing or have so many locked PDFs you always need to open multiple times a day or within a short period.

3. Need to edit or print the PDF file

Although PDFs are preferred because they aren't easily editable, the possibilities are still there. However, you'll need to unlock password protected PDF files first before getting editing and printing rights.

4. You need to access vital information or share the file

Documents like bank statements come encrypted with a password. Typically, the password is drawn from some digits in your account number. You might want to remove this info if you want to share the file, maybe with your accountant, colleague, or family.

How to unlock your PDF file

Before we dive into more depth, it's important to know that there are two levels of protection for PDF — user-locked password and owner-locked password. User-protected documents mean that you can't open the document at all without keying in the password, while the latter (owner-protected) restricts any other person from copying, editing, or printing the file.

Use WinZip for your PDF needs

Remove PDF password with WinZip PDF Pro

  1. Open WinZip PDF Pro and select Unlock
  2. Choose the file you want to unlock
  3. Enter the password and click Apply
  4. Press Control + S to save your changes

WinZip is a secure third-party application that features all the functionality you may want to use to manipulate your PDF files. Compression, converting, and merging multiple PDFs has never been easy. WinZip PDF Pro brings this to a whole new level with improved capabilities to help password protect your PDFs with military-grade encryption and a hassle-free way to remove the password whenever you like.

Conclusion

Knowing how to unlock PDF file can open a new level of convenience and mask you from potential loss caused by forgetting the password or wasted time.

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