Still possible to remove password from PDF even forgot the password?

Copper Contributor

I have a password protected PDF file and can't open it now because I forgot the password.  This PDF contains important information that I need to access urgently. I've tried several passwords that I thought might work, but no luck so far.


I am wondering if it is possible to remove password from PDF file? If so, could you please share the methods or tools you used? I'm looking for a reliable and safe way to recover the password without compromising the contents of the file.





15 Replies
It is an open password, right? You have unlimited chances to guess out the password. Just try all the passwords you could remember. Otherwise, you have to use the third-party password remover software to recover and remover password from PDF file.

@AndrewPytel PDFCrack is a command-line tool for removing PDF passwords. It is suitable for users comfortable with using command-line interfaces and offers a powerful way to crack PDF passwords.


Download and install PDFCrack from its official website or a trusted source. Open a command-line interface (Command Prompt on Windows, Terminal on Mac/Linux). Navigate to the directory where PDFCrack is installed. Run the following command:


pdfcrack -f filename.pdf


PDFCrack will attempt to recover the password. This may take some time depending on the password complexity. Once the password is found, open the PDF and remove the password from PDF.

@AndrewPytelModern web browser like Edge has a built-in PDF reader and millions of extensions. They can also be used to remove password from PDF document with the printing feature.


  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Drag and drop the password-protected PDF into the Chrome browser window.
  3. Enter the password when prompted to open the PDF.
  4. Click on the print icon or press Ctrl + P (Windows) or Cmd + P (Mac).
  5. In the print dialog, set the destination to "Save as PDF".
  6. Click "Save" and choose a location to save the PDF file without the password.


This is a free way to remove password from PDF file.  However, this is only working for PDF owner password not the open password.

To remove password from PDF. If you're feeling adventurous, you can try using a brute force attack tool like John the Ripper or Aircrack-ng. These tools can try every possible combination of characters to guess the password. However, this method is time-consuming and may take a while to crack the password.

Before you decide to use PDFCrack to remove password from PDF file, make sure you've got a backup of your important files and are prepared for potential consequences. If you're not comfortable with these risks, it might be better to explore alternative methods or seek professional help.

@AndrewPytel Browser extensions are often developed by third-party developers, which means they might not receive official support from the browser vendor (in this case, Microsoft). This can leave you without a reliable source for troubleshooting or bug fixes.

Removing a password on PDF file is a relatively straightforward process. Whether you forgot your password or no longer need it for security reasons, there are several methods to help you regain access to your file. Just remember to be cautious when choosing a tool or software and take necessary precautions to ensure your file's security remains intact.

John the Ripper (JtR) is a popular password cracking tool that uses various algorithms to try and guess or brute-force passwords. It's often used by security professionals to test the strength of passwords, but not for removing passwords from PDF files!
If you're not careful, JtR can overwrite or delete your original file, leaving you with a corrupted or lost document.

@AndrewPytel  Smalllpdf is a very popular online service that offers a wide range of PDF tools designed to simplify document management. Among its many features, the PDF Password Remover stands out as a quick and user-friendly solution for removing password from protected PDF online.


The online PDF Password Remover is built with ease of use in mind, no software installation or technical expertise. With just a few clicks, users can remove passwords and regain full access to their PDF files. This service is secure and your documents remain private and confidential throughout the process.

@DeannaCheriselyDon't use online PDF password remover!!! Most of these tools often fail to unlock documents with strong encryption or complex passwords so it is totally waste of time and frustration. The reliance on web-based solutions means that users are at the mercy of the tool's limitations and the strength of their remote server.


Moreover, online PDF password removers can pose security risks. Uploading sensitive documents to a third-party server exposes them to potential breaches, even if the website claims to be secure. Users must weigh the risks of compromising their data against the slim chance of successfully unlocking their PDF. This trade-off often results in more trouble than it's worth, especially for those handling confidential or personal information.


Lastly, many online tools impose restrictions, such as file size limits and usage caps. Users often spend more time searching for an alternative or dealing with multiple failed attempts rather than solving their problem. Given these drawbacks, relying on online PDF password removers can be a futile effort, better replaced by more reliable desktop app to remove the forgotten PDF password.




Speaking of Adobe Acrobat Pro removing PDF password, I had an experience that was quite helpful. I had a PDF file on hand, and I had set a complex password for security reasons. But the problem was that after a while I forgot PDF password myself, which became a big problem when I needed to view some important information inside.


I tried several methods recommended on the Internet and finally decided to try it with my subscription Adobe Acrobat Pro. The operation was actually quite straightforward. I opened the encrypted PDF file, and it automatically prompted me to enter the password. Since I really couldn't remember the password, I started to try Acrobat's "Remove PDF Password" function. Of course, this usually requires you to know the original password, but after trying several common passwords, I unexpectedly guessed it right.


The process is quite straightforward. You just need to enter the password when opening the file, then change the security settings and save the changes. Adobe Acrobat Pro is really powerful in handling PDF security. If you have this tool, it can effectively help you solve the password problem. But don't forget to make sure that you use this function legally!


I had a PDF file with a password, and I couldn't remember what the password was. This was a real headache because I needed information in it.


To solve this problem, I decided to try a PDF password remover tool called PDFCrack. This tool is basically used to try to crack or remove PDF password that you have forgotten. I downloaded the software and followed the guide to set some parameters, such as the possible password character set. Then I let it run and try to find PDF password.


To be honest, the process was a bit slow because the software was trying all possible password combinations, which was like guessing the password. Fortunately, after a while, it really helped me remove PDF password. Although the waiting process was a bit anxious, it was still a relief when I saw that the password was successfully recovered.


Hi! I have used an online PDF password remover service before to process a PDF file whose password I forgot. The whole process was simple, just upload the file, click unlock, and the file was processed within a few minutes. Although this method is quick and convenient, I was a little worried about privacy and security afterwards, after all, uploading a file with sensitive information to an unfamiliar third-party server.


So, although online PDF password remover services are convenient, you do need to consider the privacy risks when using them. If the file is very sensitive, you may still need to look for a more secure solution. This experience taught me to be more cautious when handling important files.


Well, I really have something to say about online PDF password removers. Once I urgently needed to unlock a PDF file and found an online tool that looked pretty good. But once I opened the website, all kinds of ads and pop-ups were like uninvited guests, everywhere. These ads popped up from the sidebar, and pop-ups popped up frequently, which really affected the operation. This experience was very uncomfortable, and sometimes I had to work hard to find the download button because they were often covered by ads.


What's worse is that these ads and pop-ups are more than just visual distractions. I accidentally clicked on an ad once and was redirected to a completely unrelated commercial website. This made me doubt the security of such online tools. Later, I decided to avoid using such ad-filled online services as much as possible and instead look for more reliable and secure local applications to remove PDF password.

 QPDF is an open source tool that can be used in the command line to remove password from PDF file. Here are the instructions:


qpdf --password=YOUR-PASSWORD --decrypt input.pdf output.pdf

 This requires you to know the password of the PDF file. If you don't know the password, this method will not work.