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How to unlock a PDF file? Best apps and tools to remove the lock – step by step guide

How to unlock a PDF file? Best apps and tools to remove the lock - step by step guide

A PDF file, is a storage format created by Adobe System that is presented independently of the operating systems and whose main function is the simple reading of documents through a viewer. Its content may vary, being multimedia, interactive and graphic. Being portable and compatible with mobile applications, it is easily accessible to anyone who has a file reader.

However, in some cases these files are locked for security, which prevents you from being able to print, copy, edit and / or unlock it for the use or editing of your information. Solving this problem could be seen by most people as a task that only an expert in the field of computing could perform, but the truth is that it is very simple.

Therefore, in this article we will teach you various methods to unlock and remove the password to block PDF documents , as well as applications and tools to facilitate this process. At the end of the reading, you will learn everything you need to know about this way of protecting the information, so that in the future you can do the same with this type of documents.

Steps to remove and unlock password protection of a PDF

There is currently more than one method to block a PDF file, so it can be quite problematic for users to access the information they contain. One of them is the restriction of access and editing by password. So that this is not your case, below we mention what are the main methods to unlock and remove this protection.

Google Drive

Google Drive

In addition to functioning as a internet storage service, Google Drive allows users to edit, change and open these files with Google that lock.

  • Login to your Google account and go to Google Drive to get started.
  • Then press « New > »And upload your file to Google Drive.
  • Right-click on the document and select« Open with »and then on« Google Documents »That will allow you to edit the file , copy its information and print it.

I Love PDF


I Love PDF is an online service that allows you to edit your Portable’s Document’s Format’s since February 2010. Its goal is to help you save time by easily managing and unlocking them.

  • Enter
  • Select the option of « Unlock PDF » or you can also convert it to format of your choice (Word, Excel, Power Point)
  • To finish, select the file to unlock and wait for the corresponding process to finish.



PDFUnlock! Unlock password-protected documents of this type stored in “Google Drive”, “Dropbox” or on your computer.

  • Enter your search
  • Upload the file through of your device or the different storage clouds and press unlock.
  • Wait for the unlocking process to finish and voila, you will be able to access the document’s content freely.

Better tools and applications to unlock a password-protected PDF

In addition to the methods mentioned above, there are several tools and applications created especially for unlocking files in this popular format . The list of these is extensive and many of them are cross-platform, which means they can be used in multiple operating systems without restrictions.

For Windows

Windows is possibly the operating system where you will find more software capable of unlocking PDF’s . Here are the best options of the many you have to choose from.

Free PDF Password Remover : is a free tool available for Windows that serves to remove restrictions to a PDF and erase passwords and restrictions on printing, editing, copying, filling of forms and others. You can even remove document protection and passwords from owners and known users.

Aimer Soft PDF Password Remover Online: This is a low-cost and easy-to-use program that allows you to unlock several documents at the same time either as owner or user. You can check them out with just one click and it is specially designed for the operating system of Windows XP or higher. The files can be viewed in a viewer without any limitations and you can choose between a free trial version or buy a permanent license.

PDFKey Pro: is a program that you can use in free or licensed mode for a low cost that has the slogan “lost passwords, lost productivity”. It allows you to release PDF documents in simple steps, to recover lost passwords by making a copy of the file or even blocking it by setting a new one. It is available in 7 different languages ​​: English, Italian, French, Russian, German, Polish and Dutch. Designed for the Windows XP operating system or higher versions.

PDFelement: PDFelement is a software designed by Wondershare for Windows and Mac, which also has its versions in both mobile applications for Android and iOS, being considered by many as the main alternative to Adobe Acrobat ( default reader for PDF files). With it you can do much more than delete passwords of owners of encrypted documents to be able to print and edit them to the user’s preference.

In addition to that, allows you to modify the font, file size , as well as convert documents to another format, create new files and check write errors automatically using a spelling error detector. That is without forgetting your ability to sign documents and add comments or annotations in each paragraph. This program has a trial version and a single cost license that includes free and immediate customer service and 30-day product warranty .

A-PDF Password Security : is a desktop software created to encrypt PDF documents and remove owner passwords . One of its best features is that it has an excellent user interface, where you can change the formats and restrictions at a low cost and also try the trial version. Available for Windows XP or higher versions of the Microsoft operating system.

Android Apps

On this platform you will also find several alternatives to unlock portable documents easily . However, it should be noted that these are not as powerful as desktop software, so their functions are considerably more limited.

PDF Tools-Merge, Rotate, Split & PDF Utilities : This Software created for the Android operating system available on Google Play, allows you to apply different changes to a PDF file, such as unlocking your encryption , join several files into one, convert images to portable documents, delete, extract and reorganize the pages, add watermarks, headings, footers and even add numbering, change the font, color, function and encrypt files. It is by far one of the most powerful applications in Android in terms of manipulation of this format.

PDF Reader : This app is a complete portable document editor that not only allows you to lock or unlock them, but also modify various aspects of their content. It is interactive, so you can add forms and images, in addition to converting any other format.

PDF Utilities : This German application has been specially developed to eliminate the protection of this type of documents. With it you can also delete pages and edit other aspects of its content, although its functions in this regard are much more limited than other tools, however, it can be considered as a good alternative if what you want is to delete the passwords from the file.

Applications for iOS / iPhone

iOS is another platform where tools to eliminate passwords and other ways to lock portable documents abound. In fact, Apple itself has developed some of them to ensure maximum compatibility with its operating system .

PDF Password – Protect PDFs and remove passwords : This paid application is available in the App Store and is compatible with iOS 8.0 or higher. Its main function is to remove passwords from documents with protection. In addition, it gives you the possibility of obtaining a PDF reader from different apps such as the Safari browser, Dropbox, Google Drive and many others.

Power PDF – PDF Manager: is a completely free and useful tool for any user with the need to lock and secure their documents on their Apple device. In addition, it allows you to edit files from your mobile device, strain annotations on the display and convert documents (JPEG, Doc, PPT, HTML, TXT, RTF) to this format. This app is specially designed for devices compatible with the iOS 10.0 operating system.

What is the best way to protect and block the information in a file PDF?

There are several free ways to password protect a PDF file , something very easy to do, no matter how you do it. There are programs that you can download to encrypt the document or some online services that work in a web browser.

Without a doubt, the best way to protect a document of this type is with a payment application, since these apply much more complex encryption methods , making their passwords more difficult to decipher. Here are the best options available for this task.

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat can encrypt your documents with a password, in addition to working as a reading viewer. If you do not have it installed and prefer not to pay just to protect these files, do not hesitate to get the free version for 7 days. This is the editor created by the very inventors of the portable document format , so there is no doubt that it is the best possible software to modify them.

With Acrobat also you can edit a PDF and make virtually any change to the document; from editing, copying or writing more text , to adding multimedia elements or interactive forms that make your PDFs much more dynamic.

Microsoft Word

microsoft word office

Although it is not the first thing that comes to mind, the truth is that yes, Microsoft Word can add a password to this type of document s. In addition, you can also modify some aspects of it that are limited to modify the text and add images.

It is certainly not the most elegant option, but being practically free can be very helpful for those who simply need to protect the data in the file .

PDF Suite


A simple tool to use, with few functions but perfectly fulfills the mission of blocking and protecting the information of portable documents . With it you can also edit some aspects and add images and hyperlinks to the content.

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