5 Simple Ways to Password Protect a PDF

Encryption is the best possible way to secure your data. Imagine, you want to share a confidential document with your colleague, but you don’t want anyone else to view it. How to do it? The easiest way is to convert that document into a PDF file and then protect it using a password.

But Why Convert the Document Into a PDF?

PDF is the most wonderful format, as it contains both images and rich text. Indeed, no one can modify a PDF, without leaving behind a digital footprint. And interestingly, password-protected PDFs can easily be accessed, i.e., if you encode a PDF using Windows, the receiver can still decode it on different platforms be it Android or Mac, or any other (provided they know the password). You don’t need the same software to access it.

You can opt for two types of protection using a password over a PDF document;

  • Owner password- Required for changing permission settings like copying or printing a PDF
  • User password- Used to open the PDF file

However, our analysis suggests that the owner password is not worth using, as one can easily copy, print your document using a good OCR reader, easily bypassing your password. Thus, we provide your details over the other method of protecting documents, which is the user password way. The methods that we discuss over here are simple and can easily be accessed over any operating system without any difficulty.

Way to Password Protect a PDF


When using Windows, PDF can be easily encrypted using Adobe Acrobat, but it involves a cost. But no worries, you can even opt for other free PDF programs which can password protect your documents for free.

To go ahead protecting your documents download and install your selected PDF application on your Windows device. Then open the document you wish to encode, convert it into PDF format using a secure PDF converter. Then, select file → security → open password → enter a strong password → click build.


Similar to Windows software, encrypting a PDF on macOS is simple and easy. You can make use of the built-in preview option for the same. Just open the PDF file using MAC’s preview format. Click on the ‘File’ tab present on the menu bar and hit ‘Export’.

You can easily spot the password space that pops right under the box before ‘Encrypt’. Make up for an alpha-numeric strong password, and save your file using 128-bit RC4 encoding. And don’t worry, your old file won’t get affected during this process, only the new file is not password protected.


To password protect a document over Android, you need to download a PDF editor or PDF converter application over your Android, which has a password option in it. Once the application gets downloaded, open it → select password protection → import the PDF, which you wish to encrypt, from your device storage.

Enter a strong password, to protect your PDF files from getting corrupt or exported to any third party. Finally, save the password. And you are done!


iOS does not come along with a free way to encode your PDF or documents. Almost every application in the apple app store is paid for. So, you will have to spend a few amounts to encrypt your files over an iOS device. However, still, if you do not want to make any such purchase then you can protect your PDF using any online service. But before making any such decision, do make sure that the application which you are about to use is secure and safe. Moreover, avoid websites that tend to save your information.

Online Service

No doubt, selecting the best PDF protection app is a tedious task, and may require you to make some purchases. To save yourself from any such thing, you can make use of online tools, such as CocoDoc, for password protection of your PDF files.

Indeed, such online tools might even assure you of privacy, as many virtuous among them do not read or store your PDF on their server. Moreover, such services are free and can be easily accessed on any device and any operating system.

About CocoDoc 

CocoDoc is an online PDF editor and PDF converter platform. With CocoDoc you can get creative with your PDF, utilizing different tools and features available to increase the safety of your documents. Their additional security and encryption measures help its users easily share their highly data-sensitive documents online. Moreover, their flawless management, transparency, and customer satisfaction serve as a great pain reliever for businesses around. 


By now, you all might have got an intuitive idea on how to password protect your PDF, using PDF editor and PDF converter applications over various devices. You may want to protect your PDF file for official or business purposes. However, do remember that PDFs, even though protected using passwords, can be decrypted. Thus, opt for a strong password, rather than randomly selecting any dictionary word.