• Products NEW
  • Features
  • Enterprise
  • Resources
  • Blog
  • Download
  • Pricing
  • 2nd Anniversary
    24 hours left

Chat with Any PDF. Get Instant Summaries and Answers with AI Assistant Online. Use It Now

How to Edit Read Only PDF – A Pro's Guide

Have you ever been stuck with a read only PDF that you could not change? It is frustrating when you cannot edit the contents in your PDFs. But do not worry, as we are here to outline some easy steps to edit your read-only PDFs. You will learn how to make important changes in those tricky PDFs.

Part 1. Why Is Your PDF Read Only?

There are a couple of reasons why your PDF file might be read-only. First, it could be password protected. This means the person who created the PDF has set up a password to restrict others from making changes. A protection password is commonly used to safeguard sensitive or confidential information. Another reason is that your PDF might be read-only if it is an image or scanned PDF.

The document's content is converted into a static image, so it cannot be edited directly. You can only view the information but not change its elements. So, you must convert your read-only PDF to an editable PDF to make any required changes.

Part 2. How to Convert Read Only PDF to Editable PDF on Windows and Mac?

For Windows and Mac users, they can try the methods to edit read-only PDFs with the methods explained in this part.

The first method involves utilizing a comprehensive PDF solution provider, UPDF. It can convert read-only PDFs to editable formats regardless of the causes of the read-only status. The second method utilizes Adobe, a comprehensive PDF editing software with extensive text editing capabilities.

Way 1. Convert Read-only PDF to Edit Via UPDF

UPDF PDF editor tool is a helpful solution for converting read-only PDFs into editable formats. It offers a range of features to assist you with file conversions. No matter what type of file you need to convert, UPDF can handle it. Additionally, it can convert scanned PDFs into editable formats and supports the recognition of over 38 languages. One key aspect of UPDF is document security.

Want an easy way to edit read-only PDFs regardless of the situation? Try UPDF:

Windows • macOS • iOS • Android 100% secure

Edit read-only PDF

Your files are protected with enterprise-grade encryption to ensure privacy and data security. Moreover, in case of dealing with password-protected passwords, you can make use of UPDF to unlock read-only PDFs. Batch conversion is another useful feature of UPDF. However, all your files are encrypted with 256-bit SSL encryption, ensuring the security of your files and documents.

Pros of Using UPDF PDF Tool

  • Read and annotate PDFs with an eyes-friendly display.
  • Edit PDF images directly with a built-in feature.
  • User-friendly page management.
  • Works on multiple platforms.
  • Affordable subscription options.
  • One-time purchase, available on all platforms.
  • Sleek and attractive user interface.
  • Fast and responsive performance.

Unlock Read-Oly PDF

In several cases, you may need to use UPDF to unlock read-only PDFs by removing the permission password. These cases include editing contracts or legal documents, extracting data for analysis, and printing important documents. Learn the steps guided below for better help:

First, you have to download UPDF on your Windows or Mac computers.

Windows • macOS • iOS • Android 100% secure

Step 1: Explore UPDF Tool and Import File

Access the password-protected file on your device and open the UPDF tool alongside. Then, on the UPDF tool, hit the "Open File" button and import the required password-protected document.

Open file on UPDF to edit read only PDF

Step 2: Remove the Password to Make Any Changes

Next, press the "Protect Using Password" button from the right toolbar and click the "Remove Security" option. Confirm the action by pressing the "Remove" button, entering the correct password, and tapping the "Unlock" button. Afterward, save the file as needed and hit the "Later" or "Save" button.

Remove the password to make any changes using UPDF

Step 3: Edit PDF as Desired and Save It

Following this, tap the "Edit PDF" option from the left sidebar. This will enable various editing options in the top bar. You can now make changes to your PDF file as per requirements and save your document at the end.

convert read only pdf to edit using UPDF

Convert Read-Only PDF to Editable PDF Using OCR

You may encounter a read-only PDF as an image or scanned document in certain situations, making it uneditable. However, a solution exists to convert such PDFs into editable formats using the UPDF tool's OCR feature. This is beneficial when you need to update information, correct errors, or work with the text within the document. Read the detailed steps below regarding the usage of this feature. Ensure that you have UPDF installed on your devices.

Windows • macOS • iOS • Android 100% secure

Step 1: Import the File and Customize the Options

Once UPDF is open on Windows or Mac, import the scanned file through the "Open File" option. Afterward, tap the "Recognize Text Using OCR" button from the right toolbar. Download the plug-in if required. Otherwise, stay on the "Searchable PDF" option under the "Document Type."

Convert read only pdf to editable pdf using UPDF OCR

Step 2: Perform OCR on the File

If required, modify the layout, language, and resolution from the right expanded panel. Following this, press the "Perform OCR" button and save your editable and searchable document where needed for editing purposes later.


As mentioned earlier, UPDF is an all-around PDF editor that also offers many other practical capabilities. While the free trial (click the button below to get) provides access to most premium features for free, users can still choose to upgrade to the pro version to unlock all powerful functions, including Unlimited AI.

Here is a video to help you gain a deeper understanding of UPDF:

Way 2. How to Edit a Read-Only PDF in Adobe Acrobat?

Another method to edit a read-only PDF is through Adobe Acrobat. A widely recognized and powerful PDF editing software that allows you to modify read-only PDF files. Professionals trust it in various industries, including publishing, marketing, legal, and finance.

With Adobe Acrobat, you can change the content of a read-only PDF and customize it to suit your needs. Below, see the detailed steps on how to edit a read-only PDF in Adobe Acrobat:

Step 1: Import and open your read-only PDF in Adobe Acrobat. On the left panel, click the "Protect a PDF" option. Next, choose the "Remove Security" option under the "Advanced Options." Next, enter the password if prompted and click "OK" to remove any security.

choose the remove security option in adobe acrobat

Step 2: After removing the password, tap "Edit a PDF" from the right-side panel to start editing. You can use the available tools to edit text, images, links, and other content per your requirements.

edit the read only pdf in adobe

Step 3: However, if your document has scanned pages or images, press the "Scan & OCR" option from the toolbar on the left side. Now, move to the "Recognize Text"  section and click the "In This File" option in the top toolbar.

tap on in this file under recognize text in adobe

Step 4: Next, hit "Settings" and select the output option "Editable Text and Images." You can also configure other settings according to your preferences. Following this, proceed with the "Recognize Text" option to start the OCR. Now, wait a few seconds for OCR to complete. 

When the OCR is finished, select "Edit a PDF" from the right sidebar to edit the PDF. You can change the text, images, and other elements using editing tools.

press the recognize text button in adobe

Part 3. How to Convert Read-Only PDF to Editable PDF Online?

Converting a read-only PDF to an editable format online is a breeze with the Sejda PDF editor. This tool offers both free and paid versions of its editor. The free version is available as an online tool or a desktop editor. Both versions have some limitations.

You can perform up to three processing tasks per day, and the files should not exceed 50MB. The images you work with should be at most 5MB. Additionally, you can only work with one file at a time. Moreover, the interface presents a categorized list of tasks.

You just choose a task, upload your PDF document, and the tool will process it accordingly. You can upload a PDF directly from cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or a hard drive and URL. We have provided step-by-step instructions below to help you learn about how to convert read-only PDF to editable PDF online:

Step 1: Starting with password-protected PDFs. In case your read-only PDF contains any password, it is necessary to remove the password first and unlock PDF. For that, head to Sejda unlock PDF feature and then hit the "Upload PDF Files" button at the center of the screen. Import the file, click the "Unlock PDF" button, and wait for processing time. Then, press the "Download" button to save the unlocked file.

unlock permission protected pdf Sejda

Step 2: If the PDF you want to edit is in an image or any other scanned format, use the OCR feature in the Sejda tool. Next, hit the "Upload PDF Files" button and open the scanned file. Afterward, set the required "Language" and then "Output Formats" as "PDF." Now, tap the "Recognize Text on All Pages" button and wait for some time. When the task is processed, the "Download" file is for editing purposes.

click on recognize text on all pages in sejda

Step 3: Now, as your PDF file is ready for editing, access the Sejda online PDF editor tool. Click the "Upload PDF File" option and access the file you want to edit. In the top bar, you will get various options to edit your file, like annotating, inserting links and shapes, managing forms, and many other editing options. Finally, tap the "Apply Changes" button and "Download" the edited file for any further use or sharing.

tap apply changes to modify the pdf online in sejda

Part 4. How to Edit Read Only PDF Files on Mobile?

These days due to the growing technology, the ability to learn how to edit read-only PDF files on mobile has become increasingly necessary. Whether you need to make edits or collaborate with others, having a reliable solution for editing PDFs on mobile is essential. Fortunately, several mobile apps are available that enable you to edit read-only PDF files conveniently and efficiently.

Way 1. How to Edit Read Only PDF on iPhone?

Editing a read-only PDF on your iPhone is made easy with the help of Wondershare PDFelement. This robust PDF editor tool lets you effortlessly edit, create, convert, and share PDFs from your iPhone. With this handy mobile app, you have the flexibility to view, edit, and manage your PDFs anytime and anywhere. PDFelement provides a user-friendly interface that allows you to navigate PDFs with ease.

You can change the PDF's text, images, and other elements, add annotations or comments, and even fill out forms directly on your iPhone. The app also offers convenient features such as document conversion, allowing you to convert your read-only PDF into other editable formats. Still, wondering how to edit read-only PDFs on iPhone? See the highlighted instructions provided below:

Instructions: Open the PDFelement app on your iPhone. Then tap to open the PDF you want to edit. Afterward, press the three horizontal dots at the top right corner. Then, choose the "Recognize" option, and now you can select either the "Text Only" option for offline or "OCR PDF" for online use. Afterward, perform the OCR on your PDF file and make the necessary edits. Then, at last, save the document on your iPhone.

use pdfelement ios recognize feature on iphone

Way 2. How to Edit Read Only PDF on Android?

Thinking of how to edit read-only PDF Android? Well, PDF Extra Editor and Scanner is the tool you need. With PDF Extra, you can access a comprehensive set of features that allow you to view, edit, and create PDFs conveniently and efficiently from your phone. In addition, PDF Extra offers OCR technology, which allows you to recognize text from your scans and images.

This feature is handy for extracting text and making it editable or sharing it through email, messaging apps, or cloud storage. PDF Extra also provides cloud storage options to back up your scans and PDF files. By logging into your account, you can enjoy free cloud storage of 5GB on MobiDrive. With that, keep an eye on the steps below for a better editing experience:

Step 1: Access the PDF Extra app on your Android. Afterward, scroll down, and under the "Recognize" section, you will see three OCR options. Select "Scan to Text," "Image to Text, " or "PDF to Text" based on the file you want to edit. Then follow the on-screen instructions to perform OCR on your file.

choose the recognize tool in PDF Extra Editor and Scanner

Step 2: Next, tap the "Edit Text and Images" options and select the required file from internal storage. Now, you can make necessary edits to your file, like inserting text boxes, pictures, links, or even pages. After that, tap on the three dots at the top right corner and hit the "Save As" option to store the file on your device.

edit the editable document in PDF Extra Editor and Scanner android

The End

Summarizing this, we have explored various ways to help you understand how to edit read-only PDFs, covering platforms from Windows and Mac to Android and iPhone. Following the steps discussed in this article, you can easily learn to edit PDFs and make changes according to your needs. UPDF PDF Editor stands out as a highly recommended option among the different tools mentioned.

This robust tool provides a user-friendly interface and offers a range of features that make editing read-only PDFs a breeze. Whether you need to remove password restrictions, convert scanned PDFs into editable formats, or make changes to the content, UPDF has got you covered. Download it to try it for free now!

Windows • macOS • iOS • Android 100% secure

You can use this limited time coupon to purchase designated UPDF PRO or AI products.

Get limited
time coupons !

Click to receive and use it
Extra {couponPrice}% off coupon Extra ${couponPrice} coupon

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Continued use of this website indicates your acceptance of our privacy policy.