Best Way to Unlock a PDF File without Password

Jay Dwayne
5 min readMay 22, 2021


If you frequently work with PDFs, the good news is that you can easily password-protect them, so no one can access the content inside that PDF file unless they have the correct password. However, there are times when an encrypted PDF is annoying as you just forgot the password. In this case, you need to unlock password protected PDF file in order to regain access to their files.

There are a number of ways you can use to unlock a password-protected PDF. We will cover 4 of them in this article. The process basically involves recovering old password and setting up a new password.

This guide includes our step-by-step guide on how to unlock password-protected PDF for different situations.

Method 1: How to Unlock a Password Protected PDF File with Dr. PDF (Forgot Password)

There are a lot of PDF password recovery tools out there that claimed to unlock password protected PDF file if you forgot the open password. According to our test, most of them are not working in 2021. iSeePassword Dr.PDF is the one still working and delivers quality result.

Dr.PDF is a great program that provides three different options to unlock a password protected PDF thanks to its powerful decryption algorithm. The best part is that your original data remains safe. Let’s see how Dr.PDF works in the section below.

Step 1: Download the software from Dr.PDF download page and then install it on your computer. You can use it on a Windows PC or Mac.

Note that: You can try its free version that offers full premium features and then pay for it starting at $29.95 for a lifetime license if you want to upgrade and use it in the future.

Step 2: Launch it on your computer and then select Recover Open Password from PDF in the main user interface.

Step 3: Click Add File to select the PDF file you wish to unlock and then select the attack type. The program offers three different attack types, including Dictionary Attack, Brute Force with Mask Attack, and Brute-Force.

Step 4: Configure your attack type settings from the next window and then hit the Start button. The software will start unlocking your PDF file (the process takes seconds).

Upon success, you will see the password on the main window. For complex password combination, you have to wait hours or days to get it recovered. Please be noted!

Method 2: How to Unlock PDF File by Printing to PDF

This is one of the most used methods to remove password from a password protected PDF file. It’s basically the process by which you create a duplicate of your protected PDF file that won’t require password.

Keep in mind that this approach only works for PDFs that do not have any printing restrictions. If you already blocked the printing feature on your PDF file, then you are out of luck.
Assuming that printing restrictions have been removed from your PDF.

Let’s proceed with our step-by-step tutorial.

Step 1: Open your PDF file using Google Chrome and then click on the Print button at the upper right corner of the screen.

Step 2: Click Change under the Destination option, then select Save as PDF. After that, hit the Save button and provide a name and location for your new PDF file.

Step 3: Once you are done, you now can access PDF file without a password.

Note that this method works in Chrome on all operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. Alternatively, you can use PDF printer, a built-in tool in Windows 10 that allows you to open password protected PDF files.

Method 3: Unlock Password Protected PDF via Google Drive

Google Drive is an amazing data storage service that allows you to store all kinds of files to the cloud. If you need to unlock a password-protected PDF, then Google Drive may help you with that. To pull this off, you need a Google account to be used within this tutorial. Here is how:

Step 1: Sign in with Google account details and then click on the gear icon in the top right corner of the screen to trigger the Settings menu.

Step 2: From the Settings menu, enable Convert uploaded files to Google docs editor format option.

Step 3: Upload password protected PDF file to Google Drive, then select PDF as your target format. After that, right-click on the file, select Open with Google Docs option.

Step 4: Now, head over to File > Download as > Microsoft Word (.docx) to download your PDF as a Word file. Your PDF will be converted to a Word file without compromising its quality and content.

Method 4: How to Unlock a Password Protected PDF with Adobe Acrobat Pro

The next option is to unlock your PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Pro. This is a paid tool that offers powerful features, including the ability to crack open your encrypted PDFs. The app also lets you convert PDFs to a variety of formats.

Acrobat Pro now offers a 7-day free trial that lets you enjoy its full premium features before paying for it. We recommend you give it a try as it is a capable software.

Step 1: Once you have the program installed on your computer, open your PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Pro, click the lock icon at the left side, and hit the Permission Details.

Step 2: Click on the Security Method box, then select No Security, and hit OK to remove the password.

Step 3: Now save your file and close the program.

These are four active methods to help you unlock a password protected PDF file. If you forgot PDF password, then iSeePassword Dr.PDF is the best program to help you out. If you still remembered the password, you can unlock password protected PDF with Chrome, Google Drive or Adobe Acrobat Pro.

My name is Jay Dwayne. A former baby, still a Fire Fighter and currently a Software Engineer. Thankyou for making it to the end of this Article.

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Jay Dwayne

As a software engineer, designer, graphic artist, guitarist, and martial artist, Jay brings a unique blend of skills and passions to every project he undertakes