There are two types of protections provided by PDF file format. We can protect it from being opened by strangers so that when you try to open a PDF file, it will ask for a password. Without supplying the password, that PDF file cannot be opened.
The second type of protection is about the permissions. You can set permissions for printing, changing or copying the text from the PDF file. This protection also requires passwords but the end user can view the PDF file without any password.
Here is how you can unlock any PDF file in seconds using PDF-XChange Viewer:
- First of all we have to download and install PDF-XChange Viewer from https://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer.
- Open the protected/locked document in the PDF-XChange Viewer and from the menubar select Document Properties. You can also use the hotkey Ctrl+D to open the document properties.
- In the Document Properties window, select the Security category.
- From the drop-down listbox Security Method select No Security.
- When asked for the password, enter the password that was used to protect the PDF file. Without this password, you cannot unlock the PDF.
- Close the Document Properties window and then click on the Save button in the toolbar. If you try to close the PDF XChange Viewer window, then it will ask you to save the PDF file with the new modifications.
This is how we can remove any protections that we had added earlier to a PDF file. We do not need the source document for this. All we need is the protected PDF file and the PDF-XChange Viewer which is free for personal use.
However, this method does require you to know the original password that was used to encrypt and protect the PDF file when it was created. Without supplying this password, the above method will not remove any permissions or security from the PDF file.