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I am trying to fill out some docs, but the provided PDFs are "SECURED", meaning I can't use FoxIt's typewriter tools.

Is there any way to remove the security?

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What I understand is that these pdfs are signed - in acrobat all you need to do is remove the signature and then they will be editable (as it would be invalid after editing). Suppose foxit will have a similar feature. – bdecaf Sep 18 '13 at 9:48
I don't think so removing security is a type of question which should be allowed here. If it is secured, it must be for a reason. – Firee Mar 4 '14 at 17:47
For Linux users, Thebozo Already answered this question here: – Hello World Aug 10 '14 at 13:48
  1. Print to a PostScript (PS) printer (where the printer's port is set to print to file, not to the printer -- or check the "Print to file" option in the Print dialog)
  2. Edit the resulting .ps file and remove:

    mark currentfile eexec
  3. Save and distill the .ps file

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Works for me. I have scripted it here:… – Lmwangi May 19 '14 at 15:37
I've used this trick before, but now I don't remember how I managed to convert to .ps. :( – Isaac Kleinman Oct 28 '14 at 21:16

Assuming it's simply a 'rights' (owner) password that restricts things like editing, printing, and copying (i.e. the password does not need to be entered to open the file) the following will remove the restrictions:

  1. Grab
  2. Unzip/Install and navigate to the bin folder that holds qpdf.exe (or similar for your platform)
  3. Place the PDF you wish to work on in the same folder
  4. Run: qpdf -decrypt InputFile OutputFile (use "s if the file name has spaces).
  5. Do what you like with the OutputFile.

If your PDF file is password proctected, change step 4 to qpdf -decrypt --password=yourpassword InputFile OutputFile

This won't work for Adobe Digital Editions, files with a user password (although if you know the password you may be able to use QPDF in the same way), and may have issues with digitally-signed files.

Some discussion on the background of these owner password restrictions at .

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qpdf work well for me. I can install it in OS X using homebrew. – Donny Kurnia Oct 6 '15 at 15:15


  1. From the full version of Acrobat (I used v9.3), select "File..Export..Postscript..Postscript". This creates a ".ps" file.
  2. Click on the .ps file, it converts it back to pdf automatically with Acrobat distiller.
  3. You now have a perfect copy of the original file, minus any signatures, restrictions on editing, etc.

I needed this technique fix the pdf file so it would display on my Kindle DX, via the "Advanced..Preflight" menu. This method worked perfectly on a file that had resisted all attempts by the four major utilities that offer to remove restrictions on pdf files (i.e. A-PDF, pdftk, Kernel PDF, UnrestrictPDF) .

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Nope, this didn't work for me... Got this error: This PostScript file was created from an encrypted PDF file. Redistilling encrypted PDF is not permitted. Looks like they caught up with this trick. – Jon Apr 27 '12 at 13:03
This site unlocked a PDF for me. – Jon Apr 27 '12 at 13:10

Analog conversion. Print and re-scan.

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Hmmmm ... even if you wanted to go that way, isn't it easier to just "Print to PDF" from the full version of Acrobat? However, this ruins the margins, so you get a perfect conversion if you export to Postscript, then reimport to pdf (see my answer below)? – Contango Sep 3 '10 at 8:58
@gravitas That's only easier if you've paid for the full version of Acrobat, as the questioner is talking about FoxIt I'd assume they haven't got Acrobat Pro. – GAThrawn Sep 3 '10 at 12:07

Removing user/open password is next to impossible, but if your PDF file is only protected with owner password, i.e., PDF print, edit, copy and other functions are disabled then there are several programs available to remove PDF security like the one mentioned in this article:

Due to security and privacy reasons I would not recommend those online services where you’re supposed to upload your PDF documents to remove PDF security.

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Contrary to the above solutions, you do not need additional software.

Anyone with Windows can do it with no extra software in 2 simple steps.

  1. If you are using Windows, open the PDF, you need to trick the system. Pretend to print the PDF.

From your print options choose Microsoft XPS Document Writer. It will create an XPS Document.

  1. Open the file, Print, go to Microsoft PDF Creator. It will now save it as a PDF again.

I had to remove the first/last page of a document so I only printed the pages required.

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In my case, there was a view password that maintained its state through save -- but print, etc. were not blocked. That left open the analog method, or print-to-PDF-printer, which is what I did. The resulting file lacked a password, and seemed to suffer no degradation.

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Directly (see and) remove the restrictions from your pdf without any tricks:

1- Online method:

If you want to do in your browser (without installing a tool), then use PDFUnlock. You just need to upload your pdf (drop it to the available box) and it removes the security restrictions. However, up to 5MB files are converted for free.

2- Offline method:

But, like me, if you prefer having an offline tool on your machine, then you can install Weeny Free PDF Password Remover.

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I upload it to google drive with chrome, hit the print button and save it as pdf (which has to be enabled within chrome settings on some versions). I get the real deal, images are same resolution, file size checks out too, but all the security restrictions are gone.

Thanks Google! You guys are hackers :-)

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protected by nhinkle Jul 24 '11 at 19:50

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