Pls see below. I already entered the password to open and get inside the PDF. I then clicked on Protect, Encrypt, Remove Password. But THAT password I entered, isn't the "Permissions Password". It doesn't work when I typed it below.

If you recommend software, please specify if free. I prefer free.

Please don't just advise me to ask the author. Presume the author doesn't reply to emails, or refuses to remove the password.

enter image description here

  • Ask the author. Seems like the author of this PDF encrypt the document (open password) and also lock with different password the option to remove open password Nov 8, 2021 at 18:51
  • Assume the author doesn't reply to emails, or refuses to remove the password.
    – Wes
    Nov 9, 2021 at 1:09
  • In such case you should enter the open password every time. Nov 9, 2021 at 5:04

4 Answers 4


You can use qpdf which is a open source command line tool for manipulating and analysing pdf files.


To create a pdf without password protection use the following command.

qpdf --decrypt --password=abcdef encrypted.pdf output.pdf


The easiest solution would be to print to a PDF printer, Microsoft's one does the job for me in these situations.

Another option would be to use something other than Adobe's Acrobat tools.

Check out:

  • PDF-XChange Editor a free editor that might allow you to modify the properties you need.
  • NAPS2 - This one is a scanner tool that allows you to manipulate and author PDFs.

Hope this helps.


You can use DocDocGoose, a gratis and open source web app, to remove edit restrictions from a protected PDF. This does not require you to install any software, and the processing will occur on your computer.

Using DocDocGoose is probably better than printing to a PDF printer, because DocDocGoose will preserve the text layer in your PDF instead of 'flattening' it and converting everything to an image. If you use DocDocGoose, you will be able select/edit/highlight text in the resultant PDF.

Disclaimer: I am the author of this tool.


This method works for MacOS.

  1. Open the file in Preview.app.
  2. Click File > Export...
  3. Click the checkbox Create Linearized PDF.
  4. Save, it should now have the password removed.
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