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How to Open Password Protected PDFs with 3 Ways

Password protection and content security are of paramount importance in today's world where all content is shared primarily in the form of PDF documents. Therefore, it is obvious that we will be dealing with password-protected PDF files. Sometimes we may need to open password-protected PDF files. In such cases, it becomes important to pick the right PDF tool to open a password-protected PDF. This article highlights 3 ways to open locked PDF documents. To begin with the conclusion, UPDF is the best choice to help you and you can try it now.

Scenarios in Which You Need to Open a Password-Protected PDF

There are many situations when you may need to open password-protected PDF documents. These could arise during your day-to-day work while reading through the documentation for your company. 

Below are a few situations that may require you to open an encrypted PDF -

  1. Often your employees may share a password-protected PDF document with you. This is great from a content security perspective, especially for confidential documents and paperwork. Password protection is also a must when sharing identity proofs and important personal information.
  2. If you are in the academic world of teaching and your students submit their assignments in the form of PDF documents, it is ideal that you ask students to apply password protection to their PDF assignments. This eliminates the possibility of other students copying the assignment and ensures that the students are rewarded fairly.
  3. When dealing with patent-related documentation, if a PDF document falls into the wrong hands, a company's intellectual property may be stolen. However, if the PDF file is protected with a password there is a very low possibility that anyone unauthorized can open the file and read the contents of the file.

In all the above situations, you need an easy way to open password-protected PDF documents. 

Way 1. How to Open a Password Protected PDF

UPDF is the perfect tool for you if you are looking to open a locked PDF. It is an industry-grade all-in-one software that enables users to open, view, annotate, edit, convert, OCR, organize, share, and protect PDFs. It allows you to edit almost all aspects of a PDF document. The tool is user-friendly. It is extremely feature-rich and performant, which makes it ideal for heavy PDF workflows.

UPDF is available on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. The software requires almost zero training. Users can edit the text and even images in PDF documents with just a few clicks. The software also allows you to lock a PDF file from editing with a password. 

It is extremely simple to open a password-protected PDF with UPDF. You may follow the below instructions.

Step 1. Click the "Open File" Button

First, download and install the UPDF software on your system.

Launch the UPDF tool to view the home screen that enables you to open PDF files. You may drag or drop a PDF file in the home console or simply click on the "Open File" button.

open pdf without password

Step 2. Open a Password Protected PDF

There are two types of protected PDF documents:

  • First type: PDF document protected with a Permissions Password.

If your PDF document is protected with a Permissions Password, you can open it in UPDF without entering any password. You can open, view, and annotate the protected PDF document directly. However, if you want to make changes to the document, you will need to enter the password when you are trying to edit the text.

  • Second type: PDF document protected with an Open Password.

If you are attempting to open a protected PDF with an Open Password, UPDF will automatically detect it and prompt you to enter the password. You may now enter the password to gain access to your PDF.

open a password protected pdf

That's it! It is so simple to open a password-protected PDF.

More about this software:

UPDF also allows you to protect PDFs with passwords, including opening passwords and permission passwords. If you need to lock PDF, you can use it to protect your PDF file as well.

Check All Permissions of Protected PDF (Optional)

UPDF also allows you to check the permissions of locked PDFs. For this, you can tap on the "Security Properties" option.

check security properties

Then you will see all permissions of this PDF file in the Security tab. You can also go to the permission option to change the security permissions.

check security of pdf

Remove Password from the Protected PDF File (Optional)

If you think the password is unnecessary, you can choose to remove it when you know the password. To remove the password with UPDF, you can click the "Remove Security" option.

remove security of pdf open

Then in the pop-up window, click the "Remove" button and save the changed file. If you have not downloaded UPDF, you can download it first from the below button.

Way 2. How to Open PDF Without Password

Let us now explore how to open a PDF without a password. This involves two steps - 

  1. First, use a password removal tool (like aJoysoft PDF Password Remover) to remove password protection from the PDF file.
  2. Second, open the file using a high-quality PDF reader like UPDF
open locked pdf

Follow the below instructions to remove the password from the PDF file using aJoysoft - 

Step 1. Import Files to aJoysoft

Download and install aJoysoft PDF password remover. Launch the software on your system. 

Click on "Add Files" to import your PDF document. You can import multiple PDF files as well. 

open locked pdf add files

Step 2. Remove Protection from PDF

If your PDF has a Permissions Password, you can click the "Remove Password" button directly and this software will help you remove the password from PDF directly.

open secured pdf remove password

If your PDF has an open password, click the lock icon, enter the password, and click on "Remove Password". This will remove all restrictions on the PDF file.

Step 3. Open the Protected PDF and Begin Editing

In this way, it is possible to open a PDF without a password. You can now open, edit, copy, and print the PDF document's contents without the need to enter a password.

If you have UPDF installed on your computer, you may like to set it as the default PDF viewer. If you do so, click the PDF file and it will open on UPDF directly. If not, you need to right-click the PDF file, and then choose "Open with" > "UPDF". Now you can use it to edit the secured PDF file or annotate, convert, OCR, and organize it.

edit secured pdf after opening

Way 3. How to Open a Password Protected PDF Online

It is also important to note that you can open password-protected PDFs online using various tools available online. Before introducing the instructions, you need to understand that online tools don't promise to give you stable performance due to the internet situation. You may follow the below steps to achieve the same -

Step 1. Search for an Online Tool

First of all, you need to search on Google to find a proper online tool that allows you to open protected PDFs.

Step 2. Upload and Enter the Password

Navigate to the "Unlock PDF" online tool in your browser. Click the "Upload" button or drag and drop your PDF document into the online tool.

You will now need to enter the password if the file has an open password, and click on 'Unlock PDF'. The decryption process starts.

Step 3. Download and Open the PDF without a Password

You can now download the file after the process is completed. After you download the PDF file, you still need a PDF reader to open it. UPDF is still your first choice to do it. You can not only open the PDF file, but you can also make any changes to the PDF file with it.

FAQs About Opening Password-Protected Files

Can You Open a Password Protected File without a Password?

If you don't know the password, there is no way to gain access to the document without using a password recovery tool like aJoysoft. But if you know the password, you can unlock the PDF with UPDF and then remove the password so the document will no longer require an open password.

How Do I Open a Protected PDF Online?

There are a few online solutions that you can use to unlock a password-protected PDF. However, you can only remove the permissions password with online tools. It is not stable as you have to rely on the Internet situation. And you should be aware of data safety and only choose a tool that will delete the file after decryption. Choosing an offline tool like aJoysoft will be safer and more stable.

Why Can't I Open a Secured File?

PDF standard, for example, ISO 32004 Standard, cares more about the security of PDF documents. You may be unable to open the PDF because you don't have the password used to secure the document. Sometimes you may be able to open a secured file, but you find that you can't modify it in any way. In this case, the creator or owner of the document has set a restricted password.

Why is PDF in Protected View?

Protected View is a feature that is meant to add an additional layer of security to a PDF document to protect your computer from the malware that may be present on the document. This is why you may see a document as in "Protected View" if you downloaded it from the internet or if Windows detects that the file is damaged in some way. You can try to use aJoysoft to unlock and reopen it.


Many online and offline PDF editor tools can help you open protected PDF documents. However, it is important to choose the best PDF tool both from a security and affordability perspective. Online tools are generally not considered very secure because it involves uploading a PDF file to cloud storage. It is not always possible to track if the file is not being misused.

UPDF is high-quality and secure software because the files remain only on your desktop. Moreover, the tool is very cost-effective without any hidden charges. This makes it the go-to tool to open password-protected PDF files. Download UPDF today for a trial.