How to Unprotect Protected PDF Files

Written by jordan baughman
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How to Unprotect Protected PDF Files
(Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

As some Adobe PDF files may contain sensitive content for businesses and publications, document administrators are given the option to password protect the file so that only the administrator may copy, print or edit the file. If you so choose, you can use your administrator password to "unprotect" the PDF document so that anyone may alter the content. Removing the PDF file's encryption is a very simple process and can be accomplished in a very short amount of time.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Launch Adobe Acrobat by either double-clicking its desktop icon or selecting it from your computer's "Start" menu.

  2. 2

    Open the "File" drop-down menu and then select the "Open" option.

  3. 3

    Highlight your desired PDF file by left-clicking it and then select the "OK" option.

  4. 4

    Navigate to the taskbar and select the "Lock" icon.

  5. 5

    Select "Remove Security" from the list of options presented to you.

  6. 6

    Type in your "Administrator's Password" and then press "OK" to remove file protection.

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