How to Remove a Password From a PDF File on Your Mac

The best way to keep your confidential information secure in a PDF file is to add password protection to it. This way, when someone tries to access the file, he or she will have to enter a password that is only known to you and the authorized receiver. Doing this helps you to prevent any unauthorized access to your PDF files.

On the other hand, there are times when you need to remove the password protection from your PDF files so they can be viewed by everyone. Usually, this happens when you send a PDF file to someone who does not know how to unlock it using a password, and so on. Removing the password protection from a PDF file on a Mac is very easy. All you need to do is follow these steps and you will have a password-free PDF file.

You should, however, keep one thing in mind: you must know the password for the protected PDF file. This guide does not teach you how to crack open a password protected PDF file.

Removing a Password from a PDF File using Preview

The first step is to open the password protected PDF file using Preview. Just right-click on the PDF file you wish to unprotect and select “Open With” followed by “Preview.” It will launch the file in Preview on your Mac.

Select 'Open With' followed by 'Preview.

Since the file is password protected, the app should ask you to enter the password for the file before you can view its content. Just type your password in the given box and press Enter. If the password is correct, you should be able to view the PDF file in Preview.

Type your password in the given box and press Enter.

Once the file is opened, click on the “File” menu followed by “Save….” Alternatively, you can press the shortcut key “Command + S.” It should let you save your PDF file.

Click on the 'File' menu followed by 'Save....'

On the next screen, choose a place where you want to save your new password-free PDF file. The option that removes the password from the PDF file on this screen is “Encrypt.” Make sure that it is unchecked and you should be good to go. When that is done, click on the “Save” button to save the file.

The option that removes the password from the PDF file is 'Encrypt.'

You should now see the newly saved PDF file in the directory where you chose to save it in the previous step. Now, when you launch this file in any PDF reader, you will see that it does not ask for a password anymore. It does not require a password to be accessed as the Preview app removed it when you saved the file.

The file is now ready to be sent to anyone, and they will no longer have to enter a password to access its content.


This nifty trick of removing a password from a PDF file really helps when you want someone to access the content of that file, but he or she just does not know how to enter a password. Alternately, maybe you just do not want them to know the password because you use the same password for all of your accounts, which according to me is a not a good thing!

Mahesh Makvana Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who's written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He's been into the field for last eight years and hasn't spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.


  1. Tried this three times on three different locked pdfs that i forgot the password and it does not work. Says can’t save this file and puts an empty file in the folder.

    1. Hi Jay,

      As said in the article, this procedure does NOT crack open a PDF file that you have forgotten the password for. You must know the passport for the file, the procedure only lets you save an unprotected version of a password-protected file.


Comments are closed.