How to Password Protect PDF

Once emailed or published online, there is always the concern that your PDF file might fall into the wrong hands. To protect your personal work or as a result of company policy on documents such as company reports or filled application forms, you will need to apply a few PDF security settings and then a simple password.

The level of password protection PDF you use depends on a few settings. By applying PDF restrictions in the form of a password and supplying it to a select few, not only can you choose who is able to open the file, but you can also decide what type of access they have.


To Set a Password using Adobe Acrobat 11 Pro:

  • 1Open your file and go to View > Tools > Protection.
Acrobat Protection Option
  • 2In the Tools Pane, select Encrypt > Encrypt > with Password from the Protection section. Confirm that you want to change the PDF document’s security settings.
Acrobat Encrypt Password Option
  • 3In the Password Security dialog, check the box beside Require a Password to Open Document and type in your password.
  • Once you choose a password, you can also limit or increase their functions by setting other PDF security settings. You can, for example, restrict options such as printing or editing.
Acrobat Open Document Password

To Password Protect your PDF Content

  • 1In the Permissions section of the same window, check the box beside Restrict Editing and Printing of the Document.
  1. Choose the type of printing allowed.
  2. Select the types of Changes Allowed.
Acrobat Password Permissions
  1. Decide whether or not to enable content copying.
  2. Decide whether or not you would like to enable text access for screen reader devices.
Acrobat Setting PDF Permissions
  1. You can allow others to change the permissions of the file by entering a password.
  • 2In the last Options section, select the PDF’s compatibility level and choose from the encryption options provided.
  • 3Click on OK to activate your PDF restrictions.
Acrobat Permissions Options