How to Password Protect a PDF: Simple Tips

Are you looking for a straightforward guide on how to password protect a PDF? You’ve already found it! In this guide by PDFLiner, you will learn how to protect your PDFs with passwords without effort. Besides, we share detailed information about the necessity of protecting a PDF and reply to the most frequently asked questions.

protect your PDF with password

What Protecting a PDF with a Password Means for Your Files

Why should you protect a PDF file with a password? Is it worth your time? Absolutely!

Here are the main reasons why it’s important to encrypt a pdf file with a password:

  1. PDF Compliance – you should make sure that your PDF is password protected if it includes any sensitive information that’s protected by GDPR regulations. Otherwise, you can be fined for enormous amounts of money;
  2. View and modification restriction – when a PDF is protected by a password, other users who may see it in a common database cannot view and edit the document. That’s why we recommend password protection if you want to prevent anyone from editing the document accidentally or intentionally. Content integrity is very important when you need to use a particular version of a PDF;
  3. Sharing protection – even if a PDF file is password protected, it can be shared against your will. However, the password may protect the information from being copied or changed by other users if they don’t know how to breach through PDF passwords.

Using the PDFLiner online platform, you can create a PDF document or upload one, and protect PDF with a password when the work is done. The service provides a comprehensive set of tools for creating, editing, converting, sharing, and locking your PDF documents.

Lock a PDF

Password Protecting PDF Software

Thinking of how to protect PDF file with a password, you should consider all the reliable services that let you do it. There are different types available for different kinds of users, so we have selected the best of them. When someone asks you ‘how do you password protect PDF,’ you will have a bunch of solutions to offer.

Paid online

  • SmallPDF – a comprehensive online solution that offers different PDF encryption methods, including password setting.

Paid offline

  • WinZip – it’s not only a convenient PC archiver but also an easy way to protect your PDFs and document archives with passwords. It’s a good choice if you work on loads of documents.
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC – the paid tier of this famous app lets you password documents in a couple of clicks;
  • Wondershare PDFElement – this is a swift PDF editing kit with a 2-click password setting.

Free online

  • PDF 2 Go – free online service that lets you set a password on your documents and restrict them from printing, copying, and modifying selectively. Choose the options separately, depending on your needs.
  • Soda PDF – a free PDF converter with document encryption features, including password.

Free offline

  • Icecream PDF Editor – this piece of freeware offers a bunch of convenient editing features along with simple document encryption;
  • PDF 995 – easy way to set passwords on PDFs offline. Similar to Icecream PDF Editor, it lets you restrict permissions to the documents.


Below are the most frequently asked questions by the users of the PDFLiner platform and readers of our blog. Skim them through to understand the topic better.

How to protect your password in PDF files?

To know how to protect password in PDF, you should remember the following rules:

  • Set a password that you can remember – there’s no legal way to restore forgotten PDF passwords, so you have to remember yours;
  • Don’t use obvious data – pet names, birth dates of relatives, and astro signs are very easy to guess even if you’re not a hacker. PDFLiner experts recommend using combinations of numbers and letters of different registers.
How to password protect a PDF in Adobe Reader?

If you want to password protect PDF on Mac or PC using Adobe Reader, you should know that there’s no password protect PDF free feature in this app. The paid tier that lets you do it starts at $14.99.month. If you already have it:

  1. Click the shield icon in the toolbar and select ‘’Protect using password’’;
  2. Set a secure password and save it. Now the PDF is protected.
How to remove password from protected PDF?

We have to inform you that removing passwords from protected PDF documents is illegal. You shouldn’t attempt to do it, as it’s important to respect digital privacy. There are some web services and desktop apps that can do it for you, but you can use them only to unlock your own docs if you forget a password.

How do I password protect PDF?

First of all, you should create and/or edit a PDF on PDFLiner, and then use one of the trusted services to set a password on your document securely. Make your password hard to guess for people and hacking robots by making long combinations of letters and numbers.

Edit a PDF File Easily

Edit PDF

Liza Zdrazhevska
Content Marketer at PDFLiner