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How To Password Protect a PDF on a Mac for Free

by Hung Nguyen

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You can use our Password Protect tool to protect your PDF file with a secure and nearly unbreakable password at no cost.

PDF files prevent content editing, but not viewing. Suppose you are sharing confidential information over the internet (email, file-sharing software) with another party. In that case, it’s best to place a password on that file—so that only those with who you intend to share the information to have access to your document.

And although MacBooks don’t come with a function to password protect your PDFs, we’ve got just the tool you need. It’s super easy to use, too.

How To Password Protect a PDF on a Mac

  1. First, access our online Password Protect PDF tool.

  2. Drag and drop your PDF in the toolbox to upload it.

  3. Enter your desired password, twice.

  4. Remember to note the password down somewhere.

  5. Download your password-protected PDF.


How you can protect your PDF on your Mac with a secure password, for free.

How Should I Pick My PDF Password?


A strong password for us consists of at least seven characters, including numeric characters, symbols, and capital letters. You should stray away from using obvious passwords such as the name of the PDF document itself on your Mac, your birthdate, or, worse, your own name.

Furthermore, you should go with a combination that is unique and memorable—to you. Better yet, instead of jotting your PDF password down on a piece of paper or digital notepad, you should try to store it using a password manager, such as Dashlane or LastPass. Such software will also automatically generate a password for you, and keep it for you to take, whenever you need (as long as you have internet access, of course).

Anyway, once you protect a PDF—as long as you or another party has access to the password, they can open it with any PDF viewer, from Adobe Acrobat to the Preview app that comes with any Mac computer, or, if you want to appease us—use the Smallpdf Desktop app.

How To Share PDF Passwords on Mac


There are many ways to do so: verbally, sharing a screenshot, but the best way for us is to use the two aforementioned password managers. Software such as Dashlane allows you to share passwords from online platforms securely, and of course, edge cases, such as PDF passwords.

All you have to do is create a new item and store the encrypted PDF’s password onto this software. Like Smallpdf, both are freemium services; thus, you do not need to have a paid subscription to share the password of PDF files on a Mac.

Can I Remove the Password Protection of a PDF on My Mac?


It would be silly for us now to have an undo button for such a tool. To remove the password of your PDF on your Mac (or, as a matter of fact, any other operating system), you can use our Unlock PDF tool to use.

The process is similar to when you needed to encrypt your PDF. You open the tool, upload the locked file to the pink toolbox, enter your PDF’s password, and hit ‘Really Unlock.’ We will remove the password protection and revert it to its unlocked state within seconds.

And don’t worry if you need to accomplish such a task on your phone, or a Windows machine, or even a tablet. As long as you can access your file, have an internet connection, you can protect or unlock PDF documents for free. You’re welcome!

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Content Marketing Manager