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How to Remove Copy Protection From PDF Files

Updated March 23, 2017

When sending out PDF documents to others, it's often a good idea to apply copy protection and other document restrictions, such as printing and editing. This will prevent unauthorised users from copying the PDF content. To properly change any restrictions, you must enter the document's permissions password in Adobe Acrobat. The permissions password is created by the PDF author in the security settings of Adobe Acrobat.

Open a PDF document in Adobe Acrobat.

Click the "Advanced" menu.

Click "Security," then "Password Encrypt."

Click "Yes" if prompted to change the security. The "Password Security--Settings" dialogue box opens.

Click the check box under "Permissions" that reads "Restrict Editing and Printing of the Document."

Enter the permissions password in the field labelled "Change Permissions Password." This password was created by the PDF author when he placed the restrictions on the document.

Click the check box next to "Enable Copying of Text, Images, and Other Content" to remove copy protection. You also can make other changes to the restrictions by making selections from the "Printing Allowed" and "Changes Allowed" menus.

Click "OK." Click "OK" again when prompted. Enter the permissions password again to confirm it. Click "OK."

Click the "File" menu, then "Save" to save the changes to the document.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat
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About the Author

Amy Dombrower is a journalist and freelance writer living in Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry for three years and enjoys writing about technology, health, paper crafts and life improvement. Some of her passions are graphic design, movies, music and fitness. Dombrower earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.