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How to unsecure a PDF file

Updated March 23, 2017

Acrobat is a suite of productivity applications developed and distributed by Adobe Systems. Adobe Acrobat (full version) enables the user to edit, modify, secure and manage Portable Document Format (PDF) documents. In addition, Adobe Acrobat will allow the user to remove password security and encryption from a secured PDF file. To unsecure a PDF file, the user must use the editing password. Obtain the PDF editing password from the owner or creator of the PDF document. Once the password has been entered, and the steps performed, password protection and security may be completely removed from the document.

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  1. Right-click the PDF document and select the option labelled "Open With."

  2. Select the "Adobe Acrobat" program link.

  3. Click the "Document" link from the top menu bar.

  4. Click the "Security" option from the Document menu.

  5. Click "Remove Security Settings from this Document." A verification dialogue box will launch.

  6. Click "OK." The security settings are now stripped from the document.

  7. Click the "File" option from the top menu bar, and then select "Save" to save the changes to the PDF.

  8. Test the PDF by opening in a PDF viewing application. If no password prompt is shown, the security settings have been removed from the PDF document.

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Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat installed
  • PDF editing password

About the Author

Tammy Clevenger works in the I.T. industry while maintaining creative outlets through film making, writing and audio production. She is a published academic author and is an accomplished and certified Project Management Professional.

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