How to Unlock a Password Protected PDF if you’ve forgotten the password

Have you ever received a PDF file protected by a password you had to open? Or maybe you forgot the password and had to open it by all means to extract the information it contained? What can you do in such a bind?

Give up and count the information as a loss or look for a way to bypass the password to open the file. Many people don’t really know that it is possible to unlock a password protected PDF file without the password.

It is possible to unlock it, and we will show you simple steps on how to do this below.

Adobe Acrobat


Adobe Acrobat is an application of choice for many who have lost the password to their PDF, but there are variations to Adobe. If you use the free Adobe Reader version, you will be unable to unlock the PDF without the password. However, you can view the file if you have the Adobe Acrobat Pro paid version. While you may not be able to unlock it for edits and extraction, you might be able to view the content.

This is how to use Adobe Pro.

Step 1 – Launch the application

The first step is to launch the application on your device after downloading and subscribing to the paid version.

Step 2 – Select the file

The next step is to select the file you want to open. Initiate this action by clicking the menu in the top left corner. If you viewed the PDF recently, you could access it by clicking the “Recently Viewed” icon to find it quickly.

Step 3 – Double Click PDF

Double-click the PDF file to open it, then select a new directory where it will be saved, such as Document or Desktop; or better still, create a new file for it.

Step 4 – View The File

After double-clicking the file, wait a while to view it. If your web browser has a preview option, you can also view the content in the file. However, note that you will not be able to edit or copy the content as those functions will be disabled.

Online Application

Another way to unlock a password protected PDF is to use a web app. Not all online applications will work well, but if you find a useful one, you should be able to unlock the PDF.

With your smartphone or computer, log onto the site and upload the PDF from whichever folder it is saved. Once uploaded, re download it again from the site.

This action will only take a few seconds or a minute, depending on the size of the file. Fortunately for users, the PDF will not be corrupted even if the online application you use does not work. You can always try as many online applications as you wish until you find one that works for you.

However, not all web applications will completely unlock the PDF for extraction. Some will only allow the user to view the file and nothing more. Very efficient applications will disable copy/paste, printing, assembling, and modification restrictions after disabling the password.

Password Remover

Better still, you can use a standard password remover to disable password restrictions in a PDF file. A password remover is easy to use in a few steps. There may be several remover applications online, but they all work in the same way.

Here is how to use a standard password remover.

Step 1 – File import

Import the PDF file but before you decide so, launch the app. When it opens, click the icon provided to upload the file. You should be able to do this even if the file has a password.

Step 2 – Select a folder

The next step is to select a folder for the PDF. Once you’ve selected a folder of your choice, click the unlock icon to initiate the password removal. This action will unlock the file so you can open and view its content. It is that simple.


Not every PDF unlocking tool you find online will unlock your PDF, and not all of them that work are user friendly. If you want to remove the password as quickly as possible, we recommend UnlockAnyPDF.

As the name suggests, UnlockAnyPDF is a file unlocking tool that can unlock any password protected PDF with your device. All you need is to drag or upload the file in the taskbar and initiate the process. This tool works like magic to unlock password protected files within seconds. You can check it out here: Forgot PDF password.

If you didn’t know how to unlock a PDF file without the password, now you do. All the options highlighted above work to a certain degree, but for faster results, UnlockAnyPDF is a tool you can trust.