How to remove PDF passwords

You have to open a PDF document , but you can’t do it because when trying to do this, a window appears where you are prompted to type the relative password to proceed? You need to print a PDF, but you can’t complete the process because the document is protected? Do not despair: for everything, or almost everything, there is a remedy, and today I am here to explain to you how to try to deal with situations of this kind.

In the tutorial you are about to read, in fact, I intend to show you how to remove PDF passwords , so as to put you in a position to view, modify and print the documents in your possession without the slightest problem and without necessarily having to “brain” to find the secret word associated with them. Great, right?

I already anticipate that to do this you can resort to the use of special computer programs, online services and even apps for smartphones and tablets. In all cases, do not worry, these are not difficult tools to use, but know that the success of the operation is not 100% guaranteed, it depends on the complexity of the password set and its type. Now, however, just chat and let’s take action. I wish you happy reading and wish you a big good luck.

Index

  • Preliminary information
  • How to remove PDF passwords: PC and Mac
    • QPDF (Windows / macOS / Linux)
    • PDFCrack (Windows / macOS / Linux)
  • How to remove PDF passwords: online
    • iLovePDF
    • Other solutions to remove PDF passwords: online
  • How to remove PDF passwords: Android and iPhone
    • PDF Tools (Android)
    • PDF Export (iOS / iPadOS)

Preliminary information

Before getting to the heart of the tutorial, going to show you how to remove PDF passwords , there is some preliminary information that it is my duty to provide you to allow you to have perfectly clear ideas on the matter.

You must know that documents in PDF format can be protected with two different types of passwords: the owner password which can prevent printing or modification of the files and the user password which instead completely blocks the viewing of the documents.

In the following lines we will see how to remove both types of passwords, but there is an important clarification before starting: the owner passwords are quite simple to delete , you can even rely on Web services that do all the work in a few seconds. User passwords, on the other hand, can only be overcome with the brute forcing technique , i.e. by trying all possible combinations of characters until you find the right one, and this is an operation that requires a lot of time and computing power to be completed. .

How to remove PDF passwords: PC and Mac

Having made the necessary clarifications above, I would say that we can finally get to the heart of the guide and find out how to remove the password from PDFs on PC and Mac .

To do this, you need to make use of some special programs: those you find listed below. There are both to remove the owner password and the user password.

QPDF (Windows / macOS / Linux)

If you need to unlock PDFs that contain private information, try QPDF : it is a free and open source software that allows you to remove the owner password from PDF files in seconds. It’s available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, but sadly it only works from the command line, so it doesn’t have a graphical interface to interact with.

That said, if you use a PC with Windows and want to try QPDF, connect to the SourceForge page that hosts the software and click on the qpdf-xxx-bin-mingw64.zip entry (if you are using a 64-bit operating system) or on the qpdf entry -xxx-bin-mingw32.zip (if you are using a 32-bit operating system).

Once the download is complete, open the .zip package that contains QPDF, extract the contents to a folder of your choice and open it. Next, press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard, right-click with the mouse on the bin folder and select the Open command window here item from the menu that appears, in order to open the Command Prompt window

If you use macOS , on the other hand, to install QPDF you have to get the Homebrew package manager (another completely free open source software) and you have to download QPDF through it. Fortunately, you can do everything with simple commands to enter in the Terminal .

So, open the terminal by selecting the relevant icon (the one with the black window and the line of code ) that you find in the folder More of the Launchpad , then install Homebrew entering the following command, followed by pressing the button Enter on the keyboard /usr/bin/ruby -e “$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)”. When prompted, also enter the password of your user account on macOS. Later, impart this other command to install QPDF: brew install qpdf.

At this point, enter this command in the Windows Command Prompt window or the macOS Terminal, followed by pressing the Enter key on the keyboard: qpdf –decrypt input.pdf output.pdf(where instead of input.pdfyou must enter the full path and name of the PDF to be unlocked and instead of output.pdfyou have to type the full path and name of the “smooth” PDF to get as the final result).

If you want to do before, you can type this other command: qpdf –decrypt. Next you have to drag the PDF to unlock into the Command Prompt or Terminal, so that its path is automatically copied to the window.

PDFCrack (Windows / macOS / Linux)

Removing the password from an access-protected PDF document, therefore on which a user password has been set, is quite complex, but not impossible. To attempt the enterprise you can rely on PDFCrack : a free and open source software available for Windows, macOS and Linux that works from the command line (it does not have a graphical interface) and in my tests it proved to be quite effective. Of course, the longer and more complex the password to discover, the more difficult it becomes to find it, but trying doesn’t hurt.

To download PDFCrack on Windows , connect to the program’s website and click on the Download item pdfcrack-xx.zip , xxk) on the right, then open the .zip archive that contains the software and extract the contents into a folder any.

At this point, press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard, right-click with the mouse on the folder where you extracted the program files and select the Open command window here item from the menu that appears.

The Command Prompt will open, in which you will have to give the following command to find the password of your document, followed by pressing the Enter key on the keyboard: pdfcrack file.pdf(where instead of file.pdfyou have to type the path and the complete name of the document to unlock).

If PDFCrack does not recognize the file and the message “[file name] not found” appears , take the PDF to be unlocked, copy it to the folder where you extracted PDFCrack and issue this other command: pdfcrack file.pdf(where instead of file.pdfyou have to type only the name file, without path; if the file name contains spaces, put it in quotation marks).

If you use macOS , download PDFCrack on your computer by connecting to the SourceForge page that hosts the program and clicking on the Download Latest Version button located at the top. Next, open the tar.gz archive that contains the software and extract the contents to any folder .

At this point, open the macOS Terminal , selecting the relative icon that you find in the Other folder of the Launchpad and give the following commands to compile the program, both followed by pressing the Enter key on the keyboard: cd [percorso in cui hai estratto PDFCrack]e make -f Makefile.

The operation is completed, open a new window of the Terminal and type the following command to start the search for the document password [percorso in cui hai estratto PDFCrack]/pdfcrack -u [percorso e nome del PDF da sbloccare].

If you want to simplify your job, enter this command: [percorso in cui hai estratto PDFCrack]/pdfcrack -u. Then, drag the PDF file you want to unlock into the Terminal window so that the document path is written automatically.

If pdfcrack can not find the PDF to unlock, take the document, copy it to the folder where you extracted the program and uses this other command to start the search for the document password [percorso in cui hai estratto PDFCrack]/pdfcrack -u “nome file.pdf”.

On both Windows and macOS, if PDFCrack manages to find the keyword, it will notify you with the message found user-password followed by the password needed to view the PDF content.

How to remove PDF passwords: online

If you want to unlock a PDF document protected against printing, editing or text selection, therefore protected with an owner password, you can rely on free solutions that can be used directly online that allow you to get the desired result in just a few seconds. If that interests you, read on. In fact, below you will find those that, in my opinion, represent the best solutions in the category.

However, keep in mind that if you have to deal with files that contain sensitive information (e.g. credit card numbers, personal data, etc.), such solutions are not exactly ideal, as the user does not have direct control over of them and require the uploading of PDFs to be unlocked on remote servers.

iLovePDF

In the context of online services to remove passwords from PDFs, I recommend that you first take a look at iLovePDF . It makes available to users various tools to intervene on documents in the format in question, including one that allows you to remove the password. It is free and allows you to process only one file at a time with a maximum size of 200 MB. To get around these limitations and unlock other extra functions, you need to switch to the paid version (with costs starting from 6 euros / month). Regarding privacy, the files uploaded to iLovePDF are removed from its servers automatically after a few hours from the upload.

In order to use iLovePDF, go to its home page , click on the Select PDF file button and select the PDF document you wish to act on. Alternatively, drag the document directly into the browser window. You can also choose to upload the document from your Google Drive or Dropbox account by clicking on the appropriate buttons .

Once uploaded, click on the Unblock PDF button at the bottom right. After that, the download procedure of the unlocked file will start automatically. If this doesn’t happen, you can force the download by clicking the Download unlocked PDFs button . You can also decide to save the final file on Google Drive , Dropbox or you can share it via URL , by pressing the appropriate buttons on the right.

Other solutions to remove PDF passwords: online

Are you looking for other solutions through which you can remove the password to PDFs online? Then try to contact the additional Web services belonging to the aforementioned category that I have proceeded to include in the list below. I sincerely hope they are able to satisfy you.

  • PDF Candy– is a web service that offers various tools for working on documents in PDF format. Of course, it also includes a password removal tool. Keep in mind that it allows you to upload files with a weight of less than 500 MB. To go beyond this limit and unlock other additional functions, you need to subscribe to a paid subscription (at the basic cost of 6 euros / month). Users’ privacy is instead protected as the PDFs uploaded to the service’s servers are automatically deleted within a few hours.
  • Online2PDF– this is an additional web service that allows you to act on PDFs in various ways, including removing any password set. It’s free and you can work on a maximum of 20 documents at a time for a total weight of 100 MB for a single file and 150 MB if you upload multiple PDFs at the same time. It does not require the creation of an account and protects the privacy of users by deleting personal files after a few hours from the upload.
  • PDF2Go– this is another web service that allows you to act on PDFs not only by removing the password, but also by compressing them, splitting them, converting them etc. Allows you to upload files with a maximum size of 50MB. To intervene on files with a larger size and unlock other functions, you need to create an account and / or subscribe to the paid plan (at a cost of 5.50 euros / month). User privacy, on the other hand, is protected as the content uploaded to the service is automatically removed from its servers within a few hours of loading.

How to remove PDF passwords: Android and iPhone

You don’t have a computer at hand and, therefore, would you like to know if there is a way to remove the password from PDFs even from smartphones and tablets? The answer is yes.

To do this, you just need to use apps designed for this purpose, such as those for Android and iPhone (and also for iPad , nothing changes) that I have reported to you below, which allow you to act on documents protected with an owner password.

PDF Tools (Android)

If you have a smartphone or tablet Android , you can remove password from PDF directly on the move for you through PDF Tools . It is free and offers a whole series of useful functions to intervene on PDFs in different ways: by joining them, dividing them, removing some of the pages that compose them, etc. Of course, it also allows you to unlock PDFs.

To download and install the app on your device, visit the relevant section of the Play Store and tap the Install button . If you are using a device without Google services , you can get the app from alternative stores . Then, start the app by touching the relative icon added to the home screen and / or to the drawer.

Now that you see the main screen of PDF Tools, choose whether or not to receive personalized ads (I recommend not), press the OK button and accept the terms of use by tapping the Accept and continue button . Then grant PDF Tools the necessary permissions to access photos, multimedia content and files on the device.

Then, click on the Unlock PDF button , tap on the Select PDF Files button and select the PDF on which to act saved on the memory of your device, then select the check mark appeared at the bottom right and you will get the unlocked PDF, which it will be saved in the same location as the source file.

PDF Export (iOS / iPadOS)

On iOS / iPadOS , I recommend that you try PDF Export . It is free and allows you to make various changes to PDF files, even to remove any protection applied. Its interface is very nice and it is also quite simple to use. It should be noted, however, that to access all the available functions, including the ability to share the documents obtained, you need to switch to the paid version of the app (which costs 10.99 euros).

To download and install the app on your device, go to the relevant section of the App Store , press the Get button , then the Install button and authorize the download using Face ID , Touch ID or Apple ID password . Next, start the application by selecting its icon that has been added to the home screen and / or to the App Library.

Now that you see the main screen of the app, press the (+) button at the bottom right and choose the Unblock PDF option from the menu that appears, then select the document you want to act on and you can finally access the unlocked PDF.

Warning: removing the password from a PDF that contains private information, on which you are not authorized to intervene, can lead to a serious violation of privacy or, in some cases, even the commission of a crime. This guide was written for illustrative purposes only, therefore I do not assume any responsibility for the use that may be made of the information contained therein.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.