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Forgot PDF Password? Unlock PDF Online

by Hung Nguyen

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian and Portuguese.

If you’ve forgotten the password to your PDF file, you can use our free online tool to unlock it. No registration is required to use.

Everyone has those moments when their memory fails them, and a password disappears from our thoughts altogether. And rather than having to frustratingly go through the list of all possible password combinations or purchasing an overpriced PDF password recovery tool, you can use our PDF password remover to get the job done. And yes, it’s free to use online.

How to Unlock a PDF Without a Password

  1. Go to the Unlock PDF tool.

  2. Drag and drop your locked PDF to upload it.

  3. Pinky swear that you own the right to access the PDF.

  4. Click “Unlock PDF” and download your file.

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Forgot your PDF password? Unlock it online!

As soon as our unlock tool is done, your file won’t be password protected anymore. You’ll be able to view and edit your PDF instantly—unless the file was also secured against editing. In the spirit of full disclosure, we’d like to mention that our tool can’t recover forgotten PDF passwords, and there are some files that even we can’t crack. For instance, if someone used our Protect tool to encrypt their file, there’s simply no opening it without a password.

Can I Lock the PDF Again?


Of course! To secure a password-protected PDF file, you can go to the Protect PDF tool, upload the document again, and we’ll encrypt it with a strong password. As we don’t want to meddle, we don’t store or save your chosen password. Because our protect tool encrypts your data so strongly that not even the Smallpdf password unlocker can decrypt it, be sure to keep track of your new password. For the best result, do go for a password length of more than eight characters, with a few special characters also thrown in. And no birth dates!

Is This Secure?


Absolutely. Smallpdf transfers files for all of our tools via a super secure connection. Our site uses TLS encryption to ensure the utmost security for you and your information while using our services. We can assure you that your files are never read, analyzed, or downloaded. We permanently delete your files an hour after processing, except for eSign requests that remain available for up to 14 days. They’re only available long enough to guarantee you have time to download or share your files once you’re done working on them or you’ve received all the signatures you requested.

But I Don’t Want to Upload My PDF Online


No problem at all. We understand your concerns and that’s why we created the Smallpdf Desktop App. We added this software in late 2017 for those who can’t or don’t wish to upload their files online. Although our site offers a secure environment for file processing, we understand our users’ concerns. The desktop app completely eliminates the uploading process and does everything locally on your computer—even without an internet connection. If you’re not a Smallpdf Pro user, you’ll need a free trial, which you can start directly from the download page. The offline version of Smallpdf is currently available for Windows and Mac users. The process to unlock a PDF once you’ve forgotten its password is the same:

  1. Download, install and open the Desktop app.
  2. Select ”Unlock” from the left-hand panel.
  3. Drag a PDF into the window.
  4. Click ”Unlock,” and you’re all set!
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Unlock PDF offline

As you can see, multiple file processing is also enabled for the desktop app, so you can unlock or encrypt as many PDFs as you’d like in one go. We’ll save the files you’ve removed the passwords from in the same folder as the originals were located for your convenience. For the online website, a free trial would be needed to unlock batch processing, but the procedure remains the same.

And lastly, other than unlocking and opening passwords from PDFs, we have more than 20 other PDF-related tools for you to compress, modify, or annotate your files. Once you crack open a PDF, the possibilities for this versatile file type are endless.

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager @Smallpdf