Everything about PDF Password

Jose Henline
August 31, 2017 Preview 5.3K Preview 1
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PDF users always add securities that can limit unwanted access to a PDF by setting passwords or by restricting certain features like editing and printing. 2 types of Adobe PDF passwords are available, and here I am going to disclose you everything about these 2 passwords.

2 Types PDF Password

Open Password:
Also known as user password. With an open password, users must enter the password you set to open the PDF.   

Owner Password:
Also known as permission password. With an owner password, users don’t need to enter a password to open the PDF, but they have to enter the permission password to set or change the restricted features.

PDF can enforce various restrictions on documents operations, take a look at how these permission restrictions protect your PDF files.

Printing Allowed Specify the level of printing that users are allowed.

  • None---Completely prevents users from printing the PDF
  • Low Resolution (150 dpi)--- Allow users to print at no higher than 150 dpi resolution. Each page is printed as a bitmap image which greatly slow down the printing process.
  • High Resolution--- Allow users to print at any resolution with printers supporting high quality printing.


 Changes Allowed Defines which editing actions are allowed.

  • None---Completely prevents users from changing the documents.
  • Inserting, Deleting, And Rotating Pages (Available only for 128-bit RC4 or AES encryption) ---Allow users to insert, delete, and rotate pages, and crate bookmarks and thumbnails.
  • Filling in Form Fields And Signing Existing Signature Fields  (Available only for 128-bit RC4 or AES encryption) ---Allow users to fill in forms and add digital signature but not allow users to add comments or crate form fields.
  • Commenting, Filling In Form Fields, And Signing Existing Signature Fields---Allow users add comments and digital signatures, and fill in forms, but not allow users to move pages or create form fields.
  • Any Except Extracting Pages---Allow users to edit the document, create and fill in form fields, and add comments and digital signatures.


Enable Copying of Text, Images, And Other Content (Available only for 128-bit RC4 or AES encryption) Allow users to select and copy the PDF contents.

Enable Text Access For Screen Reader Devices For The Visually Impaired Allow users with visual impairing to read the documents with screen reader but allow to copy or extract.

How PDF Password Restricts Your PDFs

Check the following table to understand which restrictions each type of PDF Password puts on your protected files.

Useful Tips about PDF Password that Adobe Won't Tell You

  1. If the PDF is protected by both types of passwords, it can be opened with either password. But permission password is still critically beneficial to allow users to set the restricted features.
  2. Open password cannot be recovered by Adobe readers. A third-party app is often used to crack or hijack unknown open-password PDF.
  3. Owner password can be removed by PDF Password Remover via bypassing or circumventing the password to create an equivalent unrestricted PDF.​


In conclusion, if you well understand how PDF password works to protect your files, you will find the most efficient and effective way to protect even unprotect your PDFs. You won’t be stuck with annoying troubles like removing PDF password protection or recover PDF password any more.

Jose Henline
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Jose specializes in reviews, how-to guides, top lists, etc. on PDF, data recovery and multi-media. On his spare time, he likes to travel or challenge some extreme sports.

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  • Hilly0608

    Informative, thanks for sharing.

    7 years ago Reply

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