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The Best Ways to Password Protect PDF File

The Best Ways to Password Protect PDF File.

Imagine: you want to share a document with your colleague, but you don’t want other people to see it. What will you do? Well, the most obvious one would be to convert this document to a PDF file and then password protect it. Right? So, here is the best way to password protect a PDF on another platform.

PDF is a great format for a variety of reasons. It can contain both images and formatted text. In addition, you cannot modify a PDF file without leaving a digital footprint. And the best part is that PDF password protection is platform independent, meaning if you encrypt a PDF using a Windows program, the recipient can still decrypt it on another platform like MAC, Android, or even email. You don’t need the same software on both sides.

There are two types of PDF password protection – owner password and user password. The owner password is required if you want to change permission settings, such as copying or printing a PDF file. And the open password is used to open the PDF file.

Now, if you ask me, it doesn’t make sense to set an owner password as it can be easily bypassed. For example, if a user sees a document, they can also easily copy or print it by taking a screenshot and using a good OCR program. So, here we will only focus on the user password or password required to open the PDF file. So let’s get started.

PDF Password Protect


The most popular PDF encryption program on Windows is Adobe Acrobat. But if you only want to password protect a few PDFs, there is no need to spend money on Adobe Acrobat. A free program like pPDFmate can do the same for you.

Just download and install this program like any other Windows application. Then open the PDF you want to encrypt in it. Select file security open password assign a strong password click assembly.


Encrypting PDFs on macOS is very easy. You can use the built-in preview for this. Just open the PDF file with MAC preview. Click the File tab on the menu bar and click Export.

Check the box in front of “Encrypt” and you will see a pop-up password field that appears right below. Select an alphanumeric password and click Save to save a new file with RC4 128-bit encryption. This step will not affect your old file, and only the new file will receive password protection.


It’s weird that there is no way to protect the PDF in the Adobe Acrobat Android app. But you can use other free apps like PDF Utility. Start by downloading the app from Google Play. Then open it password protection import the PDF from device memory. If you don’t see any catalogs, clear the app data and try again.

You will now see two password options – owner password and user password. As explained at the beginning of this article, the owner password is for permission, and the user password is what we need to open the document. To avoid confusion, enter the same password on both and save the changes. And it’s all.


Unfortunately, there is no free way to encrypt PDF on iOS. And this is not a surprise to me; most good iOS apps come with a fee anyway. But, if you’re ready to spend some money, try Apple’s Pages. For $ 10, you get a lot of options, including password protection for the PDF. But if you want to do it for free, you can still do it using an online service.

Internet Service

There are many online tools that password protect PDFs. I prefer PDFprotector for two reasons. One they use https, and the other, according to their privacy policy, they don’t read / store your PDF on their server.

The great thing about these online services is that they are free and platform independent. But as they say, there is no free lunch; this also comes with some risk. For example, you upload your sensitive data to a third party server, and if they want, they can see all of its content. And so I prefer the desktop app over the online tools.

Closing words

So, here we saw different ways to encrypt a PDF file. While remember that PDFs are not very secure, they are relatively easy to decrypt using simple brute force attacks, so make sure you choose a strong password and not a few words from a dictionary.

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