5 Efficient Methods to Password Protect a PDF File with Permission You Should Know

Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Tina Clark

To protect some important or private PDF documents, you have to set up a password or permission to the PDF files. How can you password protect PDF files without an Acrobat? Here are the 5 most efficient methods to secure the files that others cannot open PDF without your permission. Just learn more details about the process and choose the desired one accordingly.

How to Password Protect PDF

Part 1: How to Put Password to A PDF File with Microsoft Word

If you use Microsoft Office 2010 or above versions, you can export a Word document to a PDF file or protect an existing PDF document with a password within clicks. Just learn more details about the detailed process of encrypting a PDF file with a password for free.

Step 1: Create a new Word file or open the current document you want to save to an encrypted PDF. Click the File menu and choose the Save as an option. Decide a location to save the output PDF file.

Save Word as PDF

Step 2: Select the PDF option from the Save as type dropdown box. And then click the Options button at the right bottom. You can find the Encrypt the document with a password option at the bottom. Check the option and click the OK button to protect a PDF file with a password.

Choose PDF Option on Word

Step 3: Enter the desired password according to the reminder and reenter again to confirm the consistency. You should know the password must be between 6 characters and 32 characters in length. Please use a password frequently used or keep a record instead.

Protect PDF with Password on Word

Part 2: The 2 Reliable Ways to Password Protect PDF Files

How to Encrypt PDF Files with WidsMob PDFEdit

WidsMob PDFEdit is an all-in-one PDF editor that enables you to create, edit, convert, perform OCR, manage pages, add a signature, apply comments, and even password protect a PDF file. Whether you need to protect the files from others or set up permission for any change, it should be the ultimate method to secure a PDF file.

  • Set a password to open the document and permission to make any change.
  • Permissions for printing, changes, copying text/image, and text access.
  • Provide three different encrypt settings, RC4, AES 128bit, and AES 256bit.
  • Save the default password and permission protection as a default preset.
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Step 1: Download and install the PDF editor and launch the program on your computer. Click the File button to import the PDF file, or click the Create menu to create a new PDF file. Just have another preview of the PDF file within the PDF editor.

Create PDF File on PDFEdit

Step 2: Click the Protect menu and choose the Encrypt with Password from the section on the right. It enables you to set up a password to open the PDF, use the permission to make any change, print the PDF file, apply the desired encrypt settings, and more others.

Choose Protect Menu on PDFEdit

Step 3: You have checked the Require a password to open the document option, then enter the password to protect a PDF file. Moreover, you can also enable the permission, which others can only fill in form fields and sign existing signature fields without other changes.

Password Protection on PDFEdit

Step 4: After that, you can use the different encrypt settings, and click the OK button to secure and lock a PDF file. Then you can also share the PDF file or hide them on your computer. It should be the best alternative for Adobe Acrobat.

Change Permission on PDFEdit Win Download Mac Download

Can I Password Protect A PDF file with Adobe Acrobat

Yes. Both Adobe Reader 11 and Adobe Reader DC enable you to protect the PDF files with a password. There are multiple advanced options for encrypting a PDF with a password and permission. Here is the detailed process you should know as below.

Step 1: After opening the PDF file within Adobe Reader, you can go to the Tools menu. Choose the Protect option and select the Encrypt with Password option. The tools are on the top left side of the screen in Adobe Reader 11.

Step 2: Once the menu pops up, click the Yes button on the screen to change the document. After that, you can enter the password to ensure the Require a password to open the document option. Of course, you can also set up the permissions.

Step 3: After that, you can choose the compatibility for this selected version of the PDF file to encrypt PDFs with Acrobat on your computer. Make sure you save your encrypted PDF in a safe location and share no password with others.

Password Protect PDF Acrobat

Part 3: The 2 Quickest Ways to Password Protect a PDF File Online

How to Secure A PDF File Online with SmallPDF

SmallPDF is a small online PDF editing tool that provides great help when you want to secure a single PDF file within the shortest time for free. But it might take a long period to upload and download the PDF files online.

Step 1: Go to the online SmallPDF and register an account with your email ID and a password. Scroll down the online webpage to find and click the Protect PDF option at the bottom.

Step 2: Click the CHOOSE FILE button or drop the PDF file you’d like to protect with a password to the pink area. Then you can click the ENCRYPT PDF option after enter your password and repeat it.

Step 3: After you have done, your PDF file will be password protected by the program online. Then you can download the file from the online website to the desired location or share it with another device.

SmallPDF Password Protect

How to Lock A PDF File for Free with PDF2Go

PDF2Go is just another online tool you can choose to password-protect your PDF file. Moreover, you can have a password to restrict permission and limit the functionality of your final PDF for preventing printing, preventing copying, and preventing modifying.

Step 1: Go to the online PDF editor on any browser and click the Choose File button to upload the PDF file you want to protect. It enables you to select the files from an URL, Dropbox, and Google Drive.

Step 2: Enter and repeat an open password for the PDF file. If you restrict usage rights and specify the permission password, some PDF readers might ignore these restrictions.

Step 3: Choose what users of your PDF are allowed to do. You can click the Start button to set up password protection for your PDF file. Then download the PDF file to your computer.

PDF2Go Protect PDF


As introduced above, here are the best methods for password-protecting your PDF files. Of course, you can use Word as the free method to set up a password. Here are 4 more excellent ways to lock and secure PDF files with ease. WidsMob PDFEdit should be the best solution to password protects a PDF file without Acrobat.

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