Free Methods to Convert Secured PDF to Unsecured

author_icon William Wilson time_icon Last updated: Oct 15, 2019 03:08 pm tips_icon PDF

We receive many private and confidential files every month in form of PDF like invoices, bank statements, transcripts, etc. It is frustrating to enter the password every time to view, copy,edit and print the document. This article will provide all the methods that are available to convert the secured PDF file to unsecured with their advantages and disadvantages.

Part 1: What Is Secured PDF

It is possible to limit the access to a PDF file and securing it by setting a password or by using certain restricting features i.e. printing, copying and editing. Here are the two types of passwords used to secure PDF files:

Document open password

The document open password is also known as “User password” and it requires the user to enter the password in order to unlock the PDF and view its content.

Permissions password

A permission password is also known as “Owner password”. You can restrict the printing, editing and copying of content in the PDF file by using the permissions password. The document can be opened in Adobe Reader or Acrobat without a password, but it needs the password in order to change the restrictions of copying, editing or printing.

document open password & permissions password

To check if a PDF file is secured or not, follow the 2 simple ways listed below.

Method 1. Check File Name

Step 1: Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader by double-clicking on the name of the file.

Step 2: Check the name of the file at top of the Screen. If a file is protected there will be written SECURED after the file name.

title secured

Method 2. Check Properties of the File

Step 1: Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader by double-clicking on the name of the file.

Step 2: From File menu select Properties.

Step 3: A window will pop-up. Click the Security tab in the window.

Step 4: Read the Document Restrictions Summary to check restrictions imposed on file.

document restrictions summary

Part 2: How to Convert Secured PDF to Unsecured for Free

Google Chrome and Adobe Acrobat are 2 free methods can be used to convert your secured PDF files to unsecured.

Method 1. Using Google Chrome to Unsecure PDF

The easiest and hustle free way to convert secured PDF file to unsecured is using Google Chrome. This method might sound silly, but it is one effective and working method. Google Chrome has a built-in PDF reader and writer which can remove the password protection. If you want to view the content of your PDF file, this method will be applicable if you remember the document open password. However, copying and editing restrictions can be removed by without having the permissions password.

Follow the steps below in order to unsecure your PDF file:

Step 1: Right-click on the password protected PDF document and select Google Chrome from Open with menu.

open with google chrome

Step 2: Enter the correct password in the prompted box to open the PDF in Google Chrome.

Step 3: Click on the Print icon in the top right corner.

google chrom print icon

Step 4: From the Destination section on the left menu, click on the Change button. Then select Save as PDF.

google chrome change button

Step 5: Click on the Save button to save the unsecured PDF file.


The steps to remove restrictions on your PDF are the same as the above. However, this method is only valid if the PDF does not have print restriction.

Method 2. Using Adobe Reader to Unsecure PDF

Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free download. It provides the feature which allows you to view PDF files but if you want to edit or modify the security setting, you have to buy the pro version of Adobe Acrobat Reader

In order to convert secured PDF to unsecured with the help of Adobe Reader you need to follow the following steps:

Step 1: Install Adobe Acrobat and open the PDF file from which you want to remove the password.

Step 2: Go to File option and click Properties

Step 3: In the Security tab, select No Security option in the drop-down menu of the Security Method to remove the password.

adob choose no security

Step 4: Click File and click Save to save your changes.

Part 3: How to Convert Secured PDF to Unsecured Online

It is very easy to convert the secured PDF to unsecured by using LightPDF. LightPDF is a safe and free website providing various online tools. These tools include PDF converts, editor and other tools that are used to split, merge and unlock PDF. LightPDF can only automatically convert the secured PDF to unsecured if the file is protected with the permission password. If the PDF is protected with document open password, then it is necessary to enter the correct password to continue. You can follow the steps given in order to remove security:

Step 1: Navigate to the official site of LightPDF

Step 2: Upload the secured PDF. Then the tool will automatically begin the process. It will take several minutes or longer time to remove security, which depends on the complexity of the password.

lightpdf unlock

Part 4: How to Convert Secured PDF to Unsecured by Using Software

Online tools like LightPDF require a high-speed Internet connection and are not secured as you have to upload the document onto their server to unsecure the document. However, Passper for PDF is a tool which will unsecure any PDF file without any data leakage.

The features of Passper for PDF are listed below:

Passper for PDF is a multifunctional tool. It can unsecure your PDF file by recovering document open password or removing restrictions.

It can remove all restrictions on your PDF file within 3 seconds.

It is an easy-to-use tool. By using Passper for PDF, you can access or edit PDF file within 3 steps.

It supports all versions of Adobe Acrobat or other PDF applications.

Free DownloadFor Win 10/8/7/XP/Vista

Passper for PDF cover all types of password protection:

  • Unable to open the document

  • Unable to view or make any edits

  • Unable to leave any comment

All these problems can be solved with the help of Passper for PDF. Follow the steps listed below to remove security or restrictions on your PDF file.

Step 1 After installing, launch Passper for PDF and select the Remove Restrictions option.

homepage of Passper for PDF

Step 2 Add the secured PDF file to the software by browsing to the location of the file and click Remove.

choose a PDF file

Step 3 Passper for PDF will remove the restriction in about 3 seconds.

remove permissions password of PDF


You can unsecure PDF with multiple methods. But most of the methods require correct password or only remove permission passwords that allow a person to make edit, copy and print the PDF. Thus, Passper for PDF will be a better choice for you.


By William Wilson to PDF

Posted on Sep 16, 2019 ( Updated: Oct 15, 2019 )

William Wilson, a blogger who is interested in MS Office software. In the past three years, William has been trying to write articles to help people better understand MS Office software.