How to Remove a Password from a PDF File in Mac OS X
Many users who send PDF documents with sensitive data back and forth will password protect the files from their Mac so that only authorized users can read and access the data contained within the document. This is fairly common with everything from contracts to accounting and financial records, and it’s equally common to sometimes require the removal of the password encryption from that same PDF document.
To remove the password from a PDF file on the Mac, you will use the same OS X Preview app that can be used to protect a PDF with a password as well. The process is quite simple:
Removing PDF Passwords from PDF Files in Mac OS X with Preview
- Open the encrypted PDF file into Preview and enter the password as usual to gain access to the document – you must first unlock the document to be able to remove the password from the PDF file, the file is encrypted and it is not possible to do so without (at least for most users)
- Choose the “File” menu and select “Save As”
- Save the file as a PDF without selecting encryption, just leave it unchecked
If you save over the existing file it will remove the document, otherwise saving as a new file name will create a new secondary PDF file without the password protection
Re-saving a protected PDF without the encrypted password will completely remove the password from the new document, allowing it to be sent and viewed as normal without password entry. If for some reason this trick works (and there is no reason it shouldn’t), you can try to re-save a PDF with a keystroke which is basically sends the PDF creation process through the print function rather than Save As function of OS X.
In a similar manner, you can use this trick to change a password on a protected PDF file too, simply by saving the file without a password, then re-saving it yet again with a new password. That may sound like a bit of work, but it’s a quick process, and certainly beats sharing a primary password with other users if you happened to have set one that wouldn’t be appropriate to share.
Thanks to Jordan for the tip idea.