How to unprotect a PDF

PDF is one of the most used digital formats when sharing documents, as it offers easy navigation. However, it is possible to block this type of document and it is not always easy to obtain the password, so knowing how to remove it can be more useful than you think.


What is a PDF document?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format, and it is a digital format with which you can create documents that contain text information, bitmaps, vector images, or everything together.

The PDF was created by the company Adobe Systems and has the particularity that it works independently of the hardware or software with which they are working, so they are not corrupted by the transfer, sending, downloading or sharing actions carried out by users.

One of the advantages that has made PDF such an important format is its cross-platform quality, so you can open a PDF document in practically any operating system today. Likewise, its ability to combine data and information is striking, allowing visual, text, hyperlinks, sound elements and much more to be integrated into a PDF document.

On the other hand, it should be noted that it is one of the most widely used formats worldwide, being used by all kinds of people, whether natural or legal. At the same time, its universal cross-device reading feature helps information be shared without the risk of data loss or disorganization.

Finally, and probably the reason why you are in this space is that the PDF document can be digitally signed, to lock it or require a password if it wants to be opened, edited, printed or shared. This helps protect the content and copyright of the creator.

PDF Lock Types

Digital documents, whether textual or graphic, are subject to copyright, so it is common to find passwords that prevent access to or modification of the aforementioned file. Generally, there are two types of locks and they are as follows:

        By the intellectual owner

The blocking done by the intellectual owner of the document, that is, who created it, prevents a third party from being able to edit, copy or print the protected PDF. In addition, if you wish, it can also be configured to prevent it from even being seen.


        By the user who owns it

The password used by a user, that is, a person who legally acquired a copy of the original document, can only prevent viewing the document, since the other protections have already been previously stipulated by the creator.

How to remove PDF protection?

In general, the user who generated the password is not usually an influencing factor for the difficulty of opening PDF documents, since, as you will see below, there are a couple of methods that you can use when you need to remove the security of a PDF:

1. Method by Google Chrome

The method to remove protection from a PDF document using Google Chrome requires that you have the browser installed on your computer. Run it and in the address bar go to by entering your Gmail username and password.

When the Google Drive window opens, you can directly drag the PDF document there and drop it, to upload it to the web. Another option is to right-click in the window to display the Menu, then select Upload Files to choose the document and click OK to upload it.

Once you have the PDF in Google Drive, double click on it to open it within the browser, enter the password and press the key combination Ctrl + P to display the document print window. Choose the Change option and now click Save as PDF.

The document will then be downloaded to your computer without a password and you can now edit the protected PDF in any way you need.

2. Method by online services

Services focused on PDF password removal through virtual upload are capable of removing the locks placed by both the owner and the user, so that the document can be edited in the way you need.

To find these services, all you have to do is do a simple internet search that contains the keywords “unlock PDF”, which will return results of web pages where you can upload your file, and then download it without the dreaded password.

This access to modify a PDF will let you save it without a password, providing the possibility to edit it on your computer as required. In addition, you will also be able to remove pages from the PDF in case you need to print a certain number of pages, among other advantages.

In conclusion

Knowing how to unlock a PDF on a desktop or laptop is part of the useful knowledge for heavy users of digital documents. The internet is a vast network full of information, data and knowledge, which is why it has become the source of consultation for millions of people.

For example, imagine you’re coming home from the store with your new Dremel 4300 multi-tool for your DIY projects and find yourself with a bunch of parts you don’t know where they go and, surprise, the instruction manual isn’t included. You do a quick internet search and the only digital copy you find is protected. This is inconvenient if you do not have previous experience with the equipment and its handling is not entirely intuitive.

Believe it or not, protected PDF documents on the web abound more than you imagine. Many times it can be because the user who uploaded it had put a password on it while editing it and then simply forgot it. Due to this, it is not at all strange to find comments on blogs where the author is asked for the password to unprotect the PDF online.

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