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How to Open a Password Protected PDF File without Password

You tried to open a PDF file on your computer, only to find that it is protected by a password, and you don’t know (or forgot) the password? Losing access to an important PDF document is a very frustrating thing. But don’t lose hope. In this article, we will show you a few tricks on how to open a password protected PDF file without the password?

open password protected PDF file

Way 1: Open password protected PDF file with Owner Password

There are two types of passwords in PDF: Document Open Password (also known as User Password) and Permissions Password (also known as Owner Password). The former protects PDF documents from unauthorized opening, while the latter is used to restrict PDF editing, copying, printing, etc.

When a PDF file is protected by both a Document Open Password and a Permissions Password, it can be opened with either password. Therefore, if you forgot your Document Open Password but remember the Permissions Password, you can use the permissions password to open your password protected PDF file without a hitch.

If you know neither of the passwords or if the PDF file is protected only with a Document Open Password and you forgot it, move on to the next method.

Way 2: Open password protected PDF using PDF Password Refixer

If you don’t know (or forgot) the password to open your protected PDF file, there is no way to get around it without doubt. All you can do is recover the password using a PDF password recovery tool like iSumsoft PDF Password Refixer.

Why do we recommend iSumsoft PDF Password Refixer? Does it really work?

Almost all third-party PDF password recovery software on the market use brute-force attack technology to walk through all possible passwords one by one until the right password is found. It is conceivable that this is a time-consuming task.

iSumsoft PDF Password Refixer was developed with four powerful and intelligent password recovery types. It is one of the most powerful and easy-to-use PDF password recovery tools, which can recover forgotten PDF passwords in the shortest possible time without losing any data.

Step 1: Download and install iSumsoft PDF Password Refixer on your computer. After installation, launch the software.


Step 2: Click Open or File > Open in the upper left corner of the software interface, then navigate to the password protected PDF file and add it to the software.

add password protected PDF file

Step 3: Select one recovery type from the drop-down menu under “Type of attack”, and then tick or fill in the relevant options for the selected type, such as password range, length, start and end characters, and so on.

select attack type

Tip: Dictionary and Mask attack are intended for users who forgot the password but kind of vaguely remember it partially.

Step 4: Now you can click Start to start recovering your PDF password immediately. Then wait for the password to appear.

Step 5: When the password is recovered successfully and displayed on the screen, click Copy followed by Open.

PDF password recovered

Step 6: Your PDF reader (Microsoft Edge, Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader, depending on which program you use as the default program to open PDF file) will start. Paste the password into the box, and then click OK. You will successfully open the password protected PDF file.

paste password to open PDF file

How to remove password from PDF after opening?

After opening the password protected PDF file, you may want to remove the password protection so that you can open the PDF without a password next time. Removing the password also prevents you from forgetting the password again.

Step 1: Open the password protected PDF file with Adobe Acrobat Pro, then click File > Properties.

click Properties

Step 2: The Document Properties window opens. Select the Security tab, and then select No Security from the drop-down menu next to Security Method.

select No Security

Step 3: When a warning dialog pops up, click OK to confirm. Then click OK again.

click OK

Step 4: Finally, click Ctrl + S to save your changes. You will see that the SECURED sign on the title bar of your PDF document is removed. This means the PDF is not password protected and you can open it without any password required.