How to Open Encrypted PDF File Without Password

Tracy King updated on Dec 11, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

Are you looking for a way to open encrypted PDF files without password? This article will show you how to open an encrypted PDF in three useful ways by using Google Chrome, Adobe Acrobat, and a free online PDF password remover tool. Besides, a professional data recovery program is recommended as a bonus tip to help recover lost PDF files.

open encrypted pdf

Open Encrypted PDF with Adobe Reader:

Step 1.  Locate and open the encrypted PDF file. Right-click it and then select "Open with".

Step 2. Click "Choose another app", open PDF files with Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, then press "OK". 

Step 3. If Adobe Reader prompts you for the password, enter as required. Now, you can open and see the encrypted PDF files.

On the whole, we provide 3 ways to open encrypted pdf without a password. The following table shows a brief overview of the methods, click to check the full guide.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Use Google Chrome Right-click encrypted PDF > Select "Open with" > Choose Chrome...Full steps
Fix 2. Use Adobe Acrobat Open locked PDF in Adobe Acrobat > "File" > "Properties" > "Permission Details"...Full steps
Fix 3. Use Password Remover Go to > "Choose file" > Upload locked PDF > "Unlock..."...Full steps

"Hi there, do you know how to decrypt an encrypted PDF file without a password? I encrypted an important thesis PDF file a few days ago and didn't record the code word. The problem now is that I've forgotten the key. Right now, I need to use the file. But I cannot access it. Do you know how to open encrypted PDFs without password?"

If the PDF contains sensitive or confidential content, people may encrypt it to protect the PDF content from unauthorized editing, opening, copying, and printing. Also, there are times users receive a PDF file that needs to be unlocked with a password before you can read it. Usually, you can decrypt the encrypted PDF document with a key and access to edit it easily.

However, it happens a lot like demonstrated in the scenario, users forget the password of the PDF and are not able to open it. Don't worry. Whenever there is a problem, there is a solution. This page will show you the three most used ways to open encrypted PDF files without password. And these methods are simple and straight that can be understood and proceeded.

How to Open Encrypted PDF Without Password in 3 Ways

If you don't have a password, you may not be able to remove the password on your PDF file. You can try all the following approaches until you can open encrypted PDF files.

1. Open Encrypted PDF Using Google Chrome

Step 1. Choose the encrypted PDF. Right-click it and choose "Open with" Chrome Browser. 

Step 2. Right-click the PDF and choose "Print".

Step 3. Select Microsoft Print to PDF option and click on Print. Now you can have and open the encrypted PDF with no password. 

2. Unlock Encrypted PDF Without Password via Adobe Acrobat

Step 1. Open the encrypted or locked PDF file in Adobe Acrobat.

Step 2. Click "File" and open "Properties".

Step 3. Now, click on "Permission Details" and open the "Security" tab. Check the "No Security option".

Step 4. Click on the "Remove Password in Security Method" menu. Then the password will be removed from the original PDF file.

Step 5. Save the PDF file and now access the file.

3. Remove Encryption from PDF with Free Online PDF Password Remover

When you search on a web browser, you might find many available PDF password removers. You can choose a tool with a high reputation and credibility to avoid data theft or data damage. SmallPDF (  is a free online service that helps to open an encrypted PDF file with ease.

We cannot guarantee that the software mentioned here is free of any security issues. To be 100% safe, we highly suggest that you first choose the one you trust.

Step 1. Go to

Step 2. Click on "Choose file" and upload your encrypted PDF document.

Step 3. Then, click on "Unlock PDF!", and wait for the process to finish. As soon the password restriction is removed from the PDF file, download it to save locally. Then, you can access and open the PDF without password.

how to open encrypted pdf


I hope by trying the above methods, you can open encrypted PDF without password. Then, you can keep it for reuse. To protect your PDF files, in addition to encryption, you can also back up the files regularly. If you don't want to do it by yourself, you can resort to a schedule backup software for automatic backup daily, weekly, or monthly. However, if you lose your PDF due to careless deletion, don't worry, you can recover the lost files effortlessly with a professional data recovery program.

How to Restore Deleted or Lost PDF Files

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a top-notch data recovery tool that enables you to restore lost documents within a few clicks, including Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, CWK, HTML, and more.  

You can use this software to recover lost data from emptied recycle bin, formatted hard drive, lost partition, virus attack, etc. Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and follow the three steps below to get lost data back. 

Step 1. Launch EaseUS data recovery software. Select the drive where you lost your PDF files and click "Scan".

select the location of the pdf files

Step 2. When the scanning process completes, click "Filter" and check "PDF" to list the PDF files only. Or, directly search .pdf. You will be able to find PDF files without difficulty.

scan the lost pdf files

Step 3. Select the wanted PDF files and click the "Recover" button to save them to another secure location.

recover pdf files

How to Open Encrypted PDF FAQs

Here are a few more questions related to how to open an encrypted PDF file. Check the answers if you have the same problems.

How do I unencrypt a PDF?

  • Open Adobe Acrobat, click "Advanced" at the top of the window.
  • Select "Security" and then click "Remove Security." Click "OK" to confirm and remove the encryption.
  • Acrobat might prompt for the password. If so, enter it and press "OK."

How do you open an encrypted PDF file?

Open Encrypted PDF with Adobe Reader:

Step 1. Locate and open the encrypted PDF file. Right-click it and then select "Open with".

Step 2. Click "Choose another app", open PDF files with Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, then press "OK".

Step 3. If Adobe Reader prompts you for the password, enter as required. Now, you can open and see the encrypted PDF files.

How do I upload an encrypted PDF?

You can find a site that enables you to unlock and upload an encrypted PDF file. Usually, you can click "Browse" or "Select File" on the main page. Then, use the file browser window that opens to locate the encrypted PDF file on your hard drive, and then click "Open" or "Upload".

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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