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How to Unlock PDF Files

by Hung Nguyen

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

Forgot the password to your PDF file? Use Smallpdf to instantly unlock them and regain access to your content.

Don't we all have that moment where we forget passcode in our lives? Whether it's for your phone, your email or even credit card, there are always support channels to help you sort this issue out. Lucky for you, this is the same when it comes to PDF files, so not all hope is lost.

Smallpdf has the most popular online PDF unlocker for you to do this. To try it out, follow the instructions below:

How to unlock PDF files

  1. Access the Unlock Tool and upload your file.

  2. Pinky swear that you have the right to edit the uploaded file.

  3. Click 'Unlock PDF' and let Smallpdf crack that password for you.

  4. Download your file.

  5. Pro tip: Users with a premium 'Pro' subscription can also carry on working with our other tools before downloading the file, including the ability to merge, split, compress or to convert the file to different formats!

How to unlock PDF

How to unlock PDF files with Smallpdf

Is this secure?



Smallpdf transfers files for all 18 of our tools via a super secure connection. We can also assure that your files are never read, analyzed or downloaded, and we always delete them an hour after processing. It's only available during this time for you to download after you are not working on your files. Talk about how to unlock PDF files securely and conveniently!

How to prevent files from being unlocked?


Funny that you ask! We also have a secured Protect PDF tool for you to do precisely this.

While most PDF files can be unlocked, via using our Unlock function, some cannot. These cases happen when such files are heavily encrypted, thus making nearly impossible to unlock. By doing so, you ensure that it's completely secured for sharing!

If you'd like to read up on how to do this explicitly, do check out our 'How to Encrypt a PDF' guide. Otherwise, access our Protect PDF tool to try it out for yourself. Our Protect encrypts your files so strongly, that not even the Smallpdf password unlocker can decrypt it!

And remember, don't forget your password!

Any feedback, concerns, product requests, bugs or what not, pop us an email, and we will help you out.

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Content Marketing Manager