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How to Edit a Secured PDF
How to Edit a Secured PDF

How to Edit a Secured PDF

by Alexa Davis
Feb 29, 2024

Knowing how to edit a secured PDF is essential for those who regularly work with documents.

Protected PDFs are files that have restrictions on what changes can be made to them. They might be simply prevented from printing or copying the content or be fully encrypted and require a password.

In this guide, we'll explain different kinds of PDF protection and 4 ways of editing secured PDFs.

Types of protected PDFs

When trying to remove a password from a PDF, you should grasp the two methods of PDF preservation that can be implemented to secure the document.

  • Open password

An open password is used to restrict the ability to edit a locked PDF. It is usually set by the author of the document with a PDF protector. This provides an extra layer of security, as unauthorized viewers will be denied access to the content of the PDF.

  • Permission

The second kind of PDF protection restricts what a user can accomplish with a PDF. For example, it can prevent other people from being able to print, copy, or edit a locked PDF. The creator can prevent PDF modifications using a special service.

Now, let's see how to edit a secured PDF with one of these types of protection.

1. Edit a secured PDF online

This way of editing secured PDFs is preferable because it is easy to use and does not require any software installation.

This tutorial will help you to edit a locked PDF:

  1. Go to the online PDF unlocker. Add the PDF with the "Add file(s)" button or drag and drop it into the box.
  2. Tap "Unlock PDF", then click "Edit".
  3. Now, a protected PDF is available for editing. You can edit PDF online now in so many ways! You can type, remove, and highlight text, add images, draw on the page, and more.
  4. Once you have made all your desired changes, click "Export File".
  5. When the processing is complete you can download and share the edited PDF or continue working on it.


The benefits of using an online service to edit a password-protected PDF:

  • It is fast and secure. All files are removed from the servers after 2 hours.
  • You can add and edit PDF text, images, and annotations to your document.
  • No software setup is necessary.
  • You can download processed files from other devices for two hours if you log in.
  • Upload files to Google Drive and Dropbox or create a link to share the documents with other users

Following the instructions in this guide, you will be able to edit a secured PDF without any difficulties.

2. Edit a locked PDF offline

Editing a secured PDF is not always easy, but it is possible to do it quickly. The best option to remove a password from a PDF on Windows is to use PDF Candy Desktop. This is a great way to modify your documents without diminishing their security.

Here are the steps required to remove a password from a protected PDF file:

  1. Download and install the PDF unlocker.
  2. Click "Unlock PDF" and select the document.
  3. Type the password in the textbox, tap "Unlock" and save the file to your computer.
  4. Now upload PDF to online PDF editor in your browser and make any modifications you like. You can edit text, add images and rectangles, whiteout content to hide it.
  5. When you have finished the changes, click "Export File" and decide if you want to download it, upload it to a cloud service, or share it with your friends, family, or colleagues.



  • The interface is intuitive to use.
  • Powerful set of additional tools. Split, rotate, crop, and merge PDF.
  • You don't need an internet connection to remove a password from a PDF.


  • PDF unlocker isn't available for Mac OS.
  • You have to know the password to edit a locked PDF.

Employing PDF Candy Desktop to modify secured PDFs on a Windows PC is an efficient solution for making edits without risking security.

3. Unlock PDF in a browser

If you can open a PDF but can't edit or copy the document it means that the creator disabled those actions. The method described below only works in case permission settings allow printing the PDF.

Here's a step-by-step guide to editing protected PDFs with a browser:

  1. Open the PDF in your web browser.
  2. Click "Print" or press Ctrl + P (Windows) or Command + P (Mac) on your keyboard.
  3. Select "Save as PDF" in the print window to unlock PDF and choose where you want to save the file.
  4. Open the newly saved file in the PDF editor and perform all the changes you need.
  5. Tap "Export File" and download the edited PDF, upload it to the cloud, or create a shareable link.

Print option


  • No need to install additional software or plugins.
  • All browsers (Google Chrome, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, etc.) support the Print option.


  • You can't remove a password from your PDF this way.
  • Protected PDF must allow printing.

By following these steps, you should have the capability to successfully edit secured PDF files without any hassles.


Is there any way to transform a protected PDF to a different format?

A: After unlocking PDF you can convert it into other formats such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint using online PDF converter.

What is the most efficient way of editing secured PDFs?

A: The ideal solution is to unlock PDF online as you don't have to enter the password to edit a locked PDF.

Can I rearrange pages in a secured PDF?

A: Yes, you can remove the password from a PDF with one of the methods described above. Then reorganize PDF pages in your browser.

Can I print a secured PDF?

A: Yes, unless printing is restricted by the document owner. Check the document's permissions to verify printing capabilities.


Now you know how to edit a secured PDF. Being aware of what type of protection was used to lock the file will help you choose the appropriate method to solve the problem. By taking these measures, you can easily unlock a secured PDF document and make changes as needed.

With practice, this process will become second nature and it will be easier for you to update documents whenever necessary. Moreover, mastering the ability to edit password-protected PDFs can be advantageous for anyone wishing to have more authority over their documents and data.

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