How to password protect a PDF?

15 February 2024By Sergey

Taking into consideration the fact that PDF has been one of the most popular formats used to share information over decades, the question of how to protect the contents of PDF files always remains vitally important. Read this article to learn how to password protect a PDF document with ease.

How to password protect a PDF?

Why password protect PDF files?

If you often deal with electronic documents, you might be concerned about the safety of your data, especially when it comes to working with confidential PDF files.

One of the easiest ways to guarantee the confidentiality of your PDF files is to encrypt them with reliable combination of different characters. Once set, a password allows you to store your file on any device and share it with other people. If they don’t know the password, they won’t be able to access its contents.

For example, if someone accidentally gains access to your PC or laptop or receives an encrypted PDF file by mistake via email, they won’t be able to open it without entering the the required combination of characters.

To sum up, password protection is a reliable feature that makes it possible to prevent unauthorized access to confidential information and guarantee the highest level of data security. It’s worth mentioning that you can password protect not only PDF files. The same method also works for Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.

How to password protect a PDF in practice?

To get started, you just need to have a suitable computer program that can open PDF files and protect them with passwords. One of the best applications for this purpose is ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors, a free and open-source office suite for Windows, Linux and macOS.

Starting from version 8.0, the ONLYOFFICE desktop app comes with a password protection feature for PDFs. What else makes ONLYOFFICE a good choice for this file extension is the availability of basic editing and conversion features. So you can view, annotate, convert and password protect your PDF files in one app, which is very convenient.

To encrypt your PDF file, you need to follow a series of simple steps:

Step 1. Install ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors on your PC or laptop and launch the program.

Step 2. Open the required file using the Open local file option in the start menu.

How to password protect a PDF?

Step 3. Switch to the File tab on the top toolbar and choose the Protect option.

How to password protect a PDF?

Step 4. After that, click the Add password button and enter your password in the corresponding field. Don’t forget to repeat the password and click OK.

How to password protect a PDF?

Congratulations! That’s it. Now your PDF file is reliably protected. When you open the file again, you will be offered to enter the password. Without it, you won’t be able to see what’s inside the file.

How to password protect a PDF?

When you try to enter an incorrect password, you will see a warning message. You can enter as many combinations as you want but only the correct one will allow you to access the contents of the password protected PDF file.

How to password protect a PDF?

How to change your password?

If you feel that your current password has been compromised or just want to set up a more reliable one for your PDF file, you can easily change it using the Protect option. All you need to do is to repeat the steps described above and enter a new password twice. After you click the OK button, your old password will no longer work. Now you can open the file only using the new password.

How to password protect a PDF?

What if I forgot my password?

When you password protect PDF files, you need to be careful. If you forget one of your passwords, you won’t be able to recover it, which makes it impossible to access the file’s contents. In this case, you might lose some important information forever.

To avoid this unpleasant situation, you can use a secure password manager and keep all your passwords in one place without having to memorize them.

Get ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors and encrypt your PDFs

Make your PDF document workflow as secure as possible and reliably encrypt your files with ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors. Get a free client for Windows, Linux or macOS:


Watch this YouTube video to learn everything about the latest version of the ONLYOFFICE suite, for example, fillable PDF forms: