How to Unlock PDF for Editing With and Without Special Software

As you might already know, an Open password or User Password is not the only kind that can be applied to a PDF document. The other type of password, known as the Owner or Permissions password, is one that can lock a PDF from editing, copying of content, and printing. Although the document is unlocked for viewing, it is locked for pretty much everything else. To unlock a PDF for editing, you will need to use certain tools that are either installable or cloud-based. This article showcases two ways to unlock PDFs for editing, copying, and printing so you're not stuck with a bunch of read-only PDFs.

Method 1: How to Unlock a PDF for Editing with Software

aJoysoft PDF Password Remover is a one-click utility to remove editing and other restrictions from PDF files. You can process files one at a time or put them into a queue for batch unlocking. The software has a very user-friendly interface that requires minimal effort from the user to unlock as many files as you need to in one session. In addition, if you know the Open password, you can even remove that security feature with a single click. The following process describes how to use the software after installing it on your PC:

Step 1. Launch the application and start dropping your locked PDF files into the interface - just one or as many as you like, since there’s no restriction on the number of documents you can unlock in one session; you can also click the "Add Files" button on the software’s welcome page after you launch it.

unlock pdf for editing

Step 2. Click the "Remove Password" button on the bottom right to instantly unlock all the files in the queue.

how to unlock a pdf for editing

Step 3. Choose a local Explorer folder to save the files and save them to your computer.

Step 4. If the PDF file in question is locked for viewing with an Open password, you can enter it to unlock the file when you click the lock icon; you can then use the Remove Password feature to eliminate the need to enter the password each time the file is accessed.

how to lock pdf file from editing

This is probably the easiest and most foolproof way to unlock any PDF for editing, copying, or printing purposes. The software is highly reliable and, as we've just seen, quite flexible when it comes to the user experience. It's also one of the most affordable utilities around and doesn't require any kind of technical expertise to operate. A truly delightful plug-and-play experience.

Now you can open the unlocked PDF with any PDF editor and then you can edit it.

Method 2: How to Unlock PDF for Editing without Software

Google Drive users can also unlock PDFs for editing using a clever workaround. The file is first uploaded to Drive and then saved as a PDF download. The restrictions are automatically removed when you do this. Here's how it works:

  1. Open a Google Drive tab on a Chrome browser (preferable) and drag the PDF file into the browser tab to upload it to your account.
  2. Now, double-click the file in your Drive file list to open it; if a User password is required at this point, enter it when prompted.
  3. Next, you'll need to use the system print dialog to convert it to PDF and download it back to your computer - just hit Ctrl+P and change the destination in the print dialog to “Save as PDF”.
  4. Once you choose the destination folder and save the file, you can open it with any PDF editor to make changes, copy the content, or print the document.
how to unlock a pdf for editing

How to Lock a PDF so it Cannot be Edited

To understand how to remove restrictions, it's useful, first of all, to learn how to lock a PDF so it cannot be edited by normal PDF editing software or sent to a connected printer. Knowing the process of how to lock a PDF file from editing is not a complex task. Most PDF editors will have a security feature that allows you to apply an Open password and/or a Permissions password. Just open your file in the PDF editor, head to that part of the menu, and look for an option to apply a password or encrypt the file. Enter your chosen password twice and confirm the change. The file will now be locked for editing. If you ever forget the Permissions password, you can use the following methods to unlock PDFs for editing, etc.

In Conclusion

Unfortunately, not only does this method involve duplication of work (upload and download again) but it also works for just one file at a time. If you have more than a few locked files to unlock, this is not a viable solution. For that reason, we recommend aJoysoft PDF Password Remover as the preferred option when it comes to unlocking PDF files for editing and other reasons.