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3 Ways to Remove Password Protection from PDF on Mac


PDF (Portable Document Format) is one of the most common ways to transfer data. It converts large amounts of data into a smaller size, thus making it easier to transfer from one system to another. Created by Adobe, this format is used for long documents and images. Apart from adding text, the user can add images, links, etc. After the document is created, notes can be added for reference. Also, by highlighting text, and adding signatures, the data becomes more relevant. It can be used by multiple users, provided that they have a PDF reader on their device. This cross-platform software can be used on any device which has a PDF reader. It can be accessed on phones, tablets, computers, etc.

Since PDF files are one of the best ways to transfer data, they are sometimes protected by passwords. When passwords are used to protect the files, all the data is encrypted. Hence, it is used only by people who need to use the data. This then protects sensitive information. It allows users to share information, without worrying about the data may be compromised. This password can then be shared. Then, the receiver can use the relevant information.

While transferring PDF files from one system to another, it often becomes important to use passwords to protect them. This prevents loss of sensitive information. However, once received and accessed, the password is no longer required. It becomes difficult to keep re-entering the password when the user wishes to use the data. Thus, there should be mechanisms to remove the password. Several applications have been designed for this purpose. Additionally, operating systems like those present on the Mac systems have in-built functions to do this.

Some of the ways of Remove a Password From a PDF File on Your Mac system are described in this article.

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  • Right-click on the PDF you wish you unlock. Go to Open With and click on Preview.
  • Enter the password for the file when prompted.
  • Once the file is opened, go to File > Save… (Or use Command+S)
  • Select the location and name with which the file will be saved.
  • Ensure that the Encryption check box is unchecked. This will remove the password protection.
  • Click on Save to complete the operation.
  • Using a new name creates a new unprotected PDF, while saving with the same name and location replaces the existing file.

The file is decrypted automatically when it is opened. Thus, by saving the file again, it is saved in its decrypted form. All the protection forms which were in-built with the PDF document are removed by the process. A similar process may be done even on Windows systems. Hence, the user can use the file as many times as required, without needing to give the password again. This simple, direct method is the most common way to unlock and save PDFs.


Adobe Acrobat Pro is a paid application. Different from the reader, it allows the user to change permissions. After opening the PDF, go to File > Properties. In the Security tab, change the Security Method to No Security from the drop down menu. Save the file to save the setting.

Designed by the developers of the PDF format, this is one of the most reliable methods to unlock PDF files. This application changes the file properties to unlock and decrypt it. It is one of the best methods of unlocking a file because it ensures that the file does not get corrupted. Hence, no data is lost. This is ensured since the PDF  format developers can run and change the file settings effectively. However, this application is paid. Compared to other options available, this is used less often.



Third party applications have also been developed for this same task. These use various methods to unlock the PDF file. Many of these are cross platform, and can be used from various devices. Effective, and simple, they give access to locked information. These may also be used in cases where the password is unknown. However, usually, the files can be accessed only from within the app.

Most third-party applications follow the same sequence to remove passwords on PDF.


  • Open the application. Drag and drop the files you wish to unlock. (Alternatively, the Add File option can be used for this)
  • Once added, select the files you wish to unlock and then click on Remove (or Start, based on the app)
  • When the process is completed, you will be able to edit or change the PDF files.

Some of the common applications for this task are Cisdem PDF Password Remover, Coolmusted PDF password Remover, iSkysoft PDF editor, Wondershare PDF Password Remover etc.


Removing passwords from PDFs makes it easier to use and access the locked data. This feature is in-built in the OS of Mac systems. Since PDFs are one of the most common ways of sharing data, this option is important, and effective.