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How to Unlock a PDF on Mac No Matter You Knew or Forgot the Password?

It is true that a PDF password works significantly to secure your document. But, in case that you want to remove restrictions of your password-protected PDF files, or in case that you lost the PDF password, do you have any idea to cope with these? Here we are going to list you some handy PDF Password Remover Mac to unlock PDFs with password in following parts.

Part 1. Get to know 2 types of PDF Password

 It would be better for you to have general information about PDF password if you want to unlock password-protected PDF files by using the right password. The PDF password is categorized into 2 types as follows:

PDF Owner password---also named as permission or master password, which specifies operations that should be restricted even when the document is decrypted, which can include: printing, copying text and graphics out of the document, modifying the document, or adding or modifying text notes and AcroForm fields.

PDF User password--- also named as open password, which completely encrypts the PDF file and prevents it from opening.

Here we also made following table to promote your understanding about these 2 passwords:


User(Open) Password

Owner(Permission) Password


To unlock, use

Password Type of PDF



cannot open and view

User(Open) Password



Can open and view, but cannot print, copy contents, edit, or any other modifications.

Owner(Master) Password



cannot open and view, cannot print, copy contents, edit, or any other modifications.

Owner(Master) Password

Part 2.Unlock PDF file on Mac if you know the password

Sometimes, you need to remove all the restrictions on the secured PDF file to get full access of all the actions. For Mac users, instead of empting your pocket for the Adobe Acrobat, Preview on your Mac can do this for you.

Step 1. Open the password-protected PDF document with Preview, you will be asked to enter the password.

how to unlock a PDF on Mac with Preview--for pdf unlock

Step 2. Go to “File” and choose “Save as”.

Step 3.Save the document in PDF format and leave the option “Encrypt” unchecked.

how to unlock a PDF on Mac with Preview 02--for pdf unlock

You will get an unlocked PDF file and you can edit or print……

Part 3. Unlock PDF file on Mac if you don't know/forget the password

Yet, there are chances that you get several PDFs with unknown or forgotten PDF password, but actually have legal rights to access to it.  The unknown password can be a user(open) password, or can be the owner(permission) password, no matter what it is, here we are going to show you 2 easiest workarounds to unprotect PDF without entering the password.

Method 1 (Paid) Use Cisdem PDF Password Remover

Cisdem PDFPasswordRemover, it is a high quality tool to unlock PDFs with password for Mac users. It is exclusively designed to help individuals with any restrictions they might encounter when working with PDF files on a Mac. It can directly remove the password protection from PDF without entering owner(permission) password, also remove PDF securities after a decryption process if the PDF is unknown-user-password protected(in the case that PDF cannot be opened without entering correct password). It also applies to removing passwords and restrictions from PDF in batch.

Step 1: Download and launch the Cisdem PDF PasswordRemover on your Mac.

how to remove security from PDF download pic

Download the Free Trial of Cisdem PDFPasswordRemover Now!

Step 2: Import secured PDF files

Drag&Drop PDF files or directly add files as it instructs into the main interface. 

to unlock PDF with Cisdem PDF Password Remover 01

Step 3:Once you have added the encrypted PDF into Cisdem PDFPasswordRemover, click "Remove", you will get an equivalent PDF without password, and the secured PDF is unprotected.

to unlock PDF with Cisdem PDF Password Remover 03                     

Useful Tip 1:
If there is a lock icon appearing on the right side with your PDF, it indicates your PDF is user password protected from opening. Click the lock icon, either enter the user password if you know or directly decrypt the password if you forgot it.

to unlock pdf with a unknown user password with Cisdem

Useful Tip 2: Go to the settings as follows. You can check or fill in the above options like, password length, additional characters, etc. By doing so, you will save a lot of time to crack PDF password.

to remove password from PDFs with unknown user password with Cisdem

Once your user password is decrypted(there would be no lock icon appearing), you can continue to unlock PDF by following previous steps.

Method 2(Free)Use Free Online PDF Unlocker

Online PDF Unlocker is always a highly sought-after method to remove PDF password protection since it costs not a dime or work, just requires a pinky swear.

To unsecure a PDF online, I recommend you to use PDF Unlock. This site will allow users to unlock password protected PDF no larger than 5 MB for free, and this works on Owner-restricted PDFs only, which means this online tool would choke on user-password protected PDF files.

Step 1. Click the hyperlink to go to PDFUnlock website, you will see its interface as this.

how to unlock a PDF on Mac with PDFUNLOCK--for pdf unlock

Step 2. Add your password secured PDF files to this online tool. You have two ways to add files, drop your PDF to it or you can select files from computer, Dropbox or Google Drive. But it doesn't support batch unlock secured PDF on Mac.  

how to unlock a PDF on Mac with  PDF Unlock02--for pdf unlock

Step 3. Then, click the "Unlock” button to start unlocking, you may need to wait some time.

how to unlock a PDF on Mac with PDF Unlock03--for pdf unlock                                    

However, It Turns out that Cisdem PDF Password Remover Works Better…

Actually, using online tool involves a lot of privacy policy, but developers usually hide that in the corner where users often ignore. Check the “Privacy and Terms” of those online PDF Unlockers, you may notice:

First, your files are stored for up to 24 hours and won’t be deleted after an hour. It involves risks of information leakage.

how to unlock PDF on Mac security01--for pdf unlock

But Cisdem PDFPassword Remover won't require users to upload the files and store in any other place, but only keep them to the users.

Second, “PDFUnlock” provides no warranties, which means they can’t guarantee the effect or others.

how to unlock PDF on Mac security02--for pdf unlock

But Cisdem PDFPassword Remover, has the perfect after-sales service. No matter what problem you have, you can send email to Cisdem’s support e-mail for any solutions.

What’s more, the liability of free online PDF Unlocker is limited, your use of this website is at your own risk.


As a popular saying goes, every coin has two sides. Online PDF unlocker is often free, but quite feature limited, and involving risks like leakage of sensitive information. While, Cisdem PDFPassword Remover provides more features for Mac users. It will be the most professional tool for you to eidt protected PDF&crack PDF password and drive your productivity to new heights.

2016-08-30 09:07:49 / Posted byRosa Reyes to PDF Follow @ Rosa

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7 Responses

  • Greygory

    Impressive and I tested one encrypted file with the Unlocker, it removed the password instantly.

    2 months ago REPLY
  • Carlos

    I bought your password remover, it can instantly remove the password protection successfully, if it can crack my open password faster(I know this makes sense cuz my password is always a little complicate), that would be perfect.

    5 months ago REPLY
  • Karon

    With a forgotten password, that's the most case. Cisdem convinces me of paying it for its high performance and fast work.

    6 months ago REPLY
  • Ariana

    Clear explanation. Find the right solution is the key, that save your time.

    8 months ago REPLY
  • Capatin

    I bow down humbly in the presence of such grassneet.

    1 years ago REPLY
  • Thomps

    I will not use online PDF unloaker anymore!!! Cisdem PDFPasswordRemover is indeed the best choice.

    1 years ago REPLY
  • Gabriel520

    Oh my god!!! I really don't know there are so many risks if I use free PDF password remover!!! I will use paid offline applications in the future. Mow, I am worrying about my privace imformation.

    1 years ago REPLY

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