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How to Password Protect PDF Without Acrobat? (The Best Method)

PDFs these days contain sensitive data and must be protected to avoid data leaks. Password-protecting PDF is the most suitable choice as this helps to give access control to authorized users only. Adobe Acrobat offers this service, but many users avoid using it due to its expensive cost and limited accessibility.

For this purpose, we will discuss the methods to password-protect PDFs without Acrobat in this article. Also, keep a check on the comparison table to learn about why the alternative tool stands out.

Part 1. Which is The Best Tool to Password-Protect PDF Without Acrobat?

If you have been thinking about how to password-protect a PDF file without Acrobat, UPDF is the best PDF editor to use. To learn in detail about how it stands out, head to the table with a detailed comparison of UPDF vs. Adobe:

  UPDFAdobe Acrobat
Open PasswordOpen Password
 Encryption Level
Permission PasswordPermission Password
 No Printing Allowed
 Low-Resolution Printing Allowed
 High-Resolution Printing Allowed
 No Changes Allowed
 Inserting, Deleting, and Rotating Pages Allowed
 Enable Copying of Text and Images
 Filling in Form Fields Allowed
 Commenting Signing Existing Signature Allowed
 All Changes Allowed Except Extracting Pages
 Encryption Level
Remove SecurityRemove Security
Security PropertiesInsert Title, Author, and Subject
 Insert Keywords
 Track PDF Creation and Modification Date
ChatGPT IntegratedTranslate PDF
 Summarize PDF
 Explain PDF
 Ask PDF
 Chat PDF
PricingYearly PlanUS$29.99US$239.99
 Perpetual PlanUS$49.99
 AI Add-OnUS$5.00/Month$45.00/Year

Based on the results above, the UPDF PDF editor is the best tool to help users password-protect a PDF. UPDF offers all the advanced features when compared to Adobe but at a much lower price. Even the perpetual lifetime access fee of UPDF is more cost-effective than that of Adobe's yearly pricing.

Plus, UPDF has a built-in AI feature that helps users deal with PDFs more effectively. This tool even offers 20GB cloud storage featuring UPDF Cloud to help users track changes promptly. So, to use all these advanced features, download UPDF now via the official site and purchase the premium plans at very budget-friendly rates.

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Part 2. How to Password Protect a PDF File Without Acrobat (Open Password)

To protect your PDFs with an open password and that too without using Acrobat, the UPDF PDF editor is the best to use here. This tool offers the best open password option with a high-end encryption level. An open password is helpful when you do not want someone to view the contents of your PDF document.

Moreover, while applying the open password in UPDF, you can set its encryption level to 128-bit RC4, 128-bit AES, and 256-bit AES. Now, to password-protect PDF without Acrobat, learn the guided steps:

Step 1: Open the PDF and Click on “Protect Using Password."

Explore the UPDF PDF editor after downloading and installing it on your device via the below button. Once you launch it, hit the "Open File" option and import the required PDF to apply the password to it. Now, in the right-side panel, click on the "Protect Using Password" button to open the "Encrypt with Password" menu on the right side.

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password protect pdf without acrobat encrypt with password

Step 2: Update the Password Settings Per Your Needs

On accessing the "Document Open" tab, first, type your password and confirm it on the next tab. Moreover, tap on "More Options" to set the "Encryption Level" from three different options. Afterward, hit the "Apply" button and save your document to set an open password.

password protect pdf without acrobat document open password

Part 3. How to Password Protect a PDF File Without Acrobat Using Permission Password?

There might be cases where you want the users to access the contents of the PDF file but do not let them edit it. Here, applying the permission password is the most useful option. Using this option in UPDF, users can apply the restrictions to a PDF file. You can set the printing permissions to prevent users from printing the PDF.

However, if needed, you can even allow them to print in low or high resolution. Also, there is an option to allow users to make changes. These may include restricting them to inserting, editing, filling forms, commenting, extracting pages, and various other restrictions. Choose to enable the image, text copying, and setting the encryption level if needed. So, to apply these permissions on UPDF, read the steps provided below:

Step 1: Access the Password Protection Menu in UPDF

Launch the AI-powered UPDF PDF toolkit and access the document for applying the permissions password. Following this, head to the right-side panel, select the "Protect Using Password" feature and press the "Permissions" option.

password protect pdf without acrobat permission icon in updf

Step 2: Apply the Permission Password with Customized Restrictions

Once you are in the "Permissions" tab, type your permission password and re-type it for confirmation. Then, hit "More Options" to reveal the advanced permission settings. Here, you can customize the restrictions, such as managing the "Printing Allowed," "Changes Allowed," and "Encryption Level" settings. Press the "Apply" button at the bottom and save the file on your system.

password protect pdf without acrobat permissions password setting in updf

If UPDF is what you need, you can download it via the below button.

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Part 4. FAQS About Password Protecting PDF Without Acrobat

Q1. How to password protect PDF with Acrobat?

Open Adobe Acrobat and access the PDF document that needs to be protected. Locate the "All Tools" > "Protect a PDF" feature from the left panel. Select the “Protect with Password” and enable the options of “Viewing” or “Editing” the PDF, if needed. Add the password and hit “Apply” to conclude the process. However, you might have to buy the premium subscription plan for Adobe.

Q2. How to password-protect PDF without Acrobat for free?

For password-protecting a PDF without Acrobat for free, try using MS Word. Right-click the PDF document in the file explorer, navigate to "Open With," and select "Word." On opening, head to "File" > "Save As," and double-click on "This PC." Add the name, and select "PDF" from the "File Type" drop-down. Hit the "Options" button and checkmark the "Encrypt the Document with a Password" box. On clicking "OK," add the password and save the document.

Q3. How to password protect PDF without Acrobat online?

PDF2Go is the best option for password-protecting PDF documents online without Adobe. Access the site and head to the "Protect PDF" page. Click the "Choose File" button for uploading the PDFs. Scroll and add the open or permission password. Enable the "Optional Settings" if needed and click "Start" to execute the process. After the password is added, select "Download" or "Download ZIP File" as required.

Final Words

Now, we know that adding passwords to PDFs is relatively easy and doesn't need complex steps to follow. When using the UPDF PDF editor, your task of adding a password gets much easier. Moreover, to password-protect PDFs without Acrobat, UPDF stands as the best option with advanced permissions features. 

In addition, it lets you customize the security settings for your crucial PDF documents to enable any customized restriction for various uses. To use this AI-powered tool's advanced features, download UPDF via the below button for free to ensure your PDF remains safe and secure at any cost.

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