How to Password Protect a PDF File? Quick & Easy Ways

Written By Mohit Jha
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh  
Published On February 5th, 2024
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

In the modern era, the majority of people use PDF format because of its ability to safeguard their sensitive information. You can password protect PDF file to prevent unauthorized access. You can also apply password to restrict editing, copying, printing, and extracting data from the PDF file.

In this article, we will guide you through several methods to secure PDF file with password. All methods are easy and quick to implement:

Part 1: What is the Need to Secure PDF File with Password

Part 2: How to Password Protect PDF File

Method 1: Add Password to PDF With Native Software

Method 2: Password Protect PDF Offline

Method 3: Online PDF Protection Tool

Method 4: Encrypt a PDF with Password Using Microsoft Office

Part 3: How to Create a Password Protected PDF File on Mac

Part 1: What is the Need to Secure PDF File with Password?

Adding a password to a PDF file is an essential security measure for various reasons. Here are some of them:

  1. To prevent unauthorized access: If you have sensitive data in your PDF file, you can password protect it to prevent unauthorized access. Only those users who know the password will be able to open the PDF file.
  2. To apply restrictions: You can apply restrictions on the PDF file to control what users can do with it. For example, you can disable any form of editing, printing, and copying of data. So, users will be able to open and read the file, but unable to make any changes to the original PDF.
  3. Share securely: PDFs are often shared among people via different means. If you password protect the PDF file, you can share it securely without worrying about interception of data.
  4. Legal requirements: Some laws and regulations require you to present PDF files in a secure way. By securing the PDF file with password, you can add an extra layer of security to your PDF files.
  5. Sensitive media: You may have some sensitive media like images, audio, and videos embedded in the PDF file. If the PDF file is password protected, you can safeguard these media from unauthorized viewing or copying.

Part 2: How to Password Protect PDF File

In older times, adding a password to a PDF file was a cumbersome task. Fortunately, in today’s digital age, it is much easier to password protect a PDF file with Adobe Acrobat, Word, online and offline tools. Here are some of the tools that can help you encrypting a PDF file.

Method 1: Add Password to PDF With Native Software

Many PDF editors and readers have in-built security features that allow you to password protect your files. Adobe Acrobat, the de-facto PDF application offers a simple way to add password to your PDF file.

Here are the steps to do it:

  • Open the PDF file using Adobe Acrobat.
  • Click on the “Tools” tab in the top menu.
  • Click on the “Show More” option to expand the Tools menu.
  • Select “Protect“.
  • Choose Encrypt >> Encrypt with Password.
  • Set a strong password in the dialog box.

set a strong password

  • Confirm the password and click “OK“.
  • Choose the Adobe version from the dropdown.

choose adobe version

  • Save the PDF file to apply password protection.

In the new Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, the steps may vary a little:

  • Open the PDF file in the new Adobe Acrobat DC.
  • Click on “All Tools” to expand the tools menu if not yet expanded.
  • Click on “Protect a PDF” from the drop-down menu.

protect a pdf

  • Select Encrypt.
  • Set a password and confirm it.
  • Save the PDF file to apply the password.

Method 2: Password Protect PDF Offline

Apart from the native Acrobat tool, there are other software that offers advanced features for protecting your PDF files.

The best option is PDF Lock Tool. This software offers advanced features to add password to your PDF files in bulk. You can add a document-open password to restrict access to your file, you can apply a user password to restrict certain actions on your PDF file, or you can do both to get the best security for your file.

Here are the steps to use the tool to password protect multiple PDF files:

  • Download and install the software.

Free Download  Purchase Now

  • Click on “Add Files” to open multiple PDF files within the software.

  • Click on “Change” to set the destination location to save the secured PDF files.

  • Go to the next window and check the Apply Document Open Password box.

  • Set a unique and strong password to protect your PDF file.
  • You can also apply restrictions on certain actions by checking the Apply Document Restrictions button.

  • Navigate to the encryption type and select the preferred one among the given types. Do note that the higher the encryption level, the fewer applications will be able to open your file.

  • Once everything is set, click on the Lock button to apply password protection settings.

  • Wait for the process to complete, and then view the password protected PDF files.

Method 3: Online PDF Protection Tool

There are many online tools that allow you to add password protection to your PDF file. If you do not want to install any software on your computer, then these solutions may come in handy. Do note that you are uploading your file to a third-party website, so do not share any sensitive information on these platforms (which beats the entire reasons you are doing this).

Anyhow, here are the steps to password protect PDF file online:

  • Open the website on your online browser.
  • Upload the PDF file you want to protect.

upload the pdf file

  • Select the option to add a password.
  • Set a strong password for the PDF.

set a strong pdf password

  • Click on the “Protect” or “Encrypt” button.
  • Download the newly encrypted PDF file.

Method 4: Encrypt a PDF With Password Using Microsoft Office

Another option to encrypt a PDF file with password is to use Microsoft Office. In this method, you will need to have Microsoft Word installed on your computer.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open the document in Microsoft Word.
  • Click on “File” in the top left corner.
  • Choose “Save As“.
  • Select the location to save the file.
  • Choose “PDF” from the format dropdown.
  • Click on “Options“.

open options

  • Check “Encrypt the document with a password“.

encrypt the document with a password

  • Enter and confirm the password, then click “OK“.
  • Click “Save” to create the password-protected PDF.


Part 3: How to Create a Password Protected PDF File on Mac

Users can also create a password protected PDF file from the get go. If you are using Mac, you can open the PDF file on Preview and create a password for the document. Here’s how to do it:

  • Open the PDF file using Preview app.
  • Click on File >> Export.

go to export option

  • Check the Encrypt button.

encrypt pdf with password

  • Type a strong password in both Password and Verify boxes.
  • Click on the Save button to export a password protected PDF file.


It is important to encrypt your PDF file to secure sensitive information and media elements. Users can password protect PDF file to enhance its security. Whether you’re using native PDF software, Microsoft Word, online tools, or offline software, each method is discussed here in detail. By incorporating these methods, you can easily add password to multiple PDF files with ease.


By Mohit Jha

Mohit is a Microsoft Certified Expert who wears multiple hats as a writer, researcher, and editor. He's really into cyber security, cloud computing, and digital forensics. These topics get him excited and push him to go beyond just his job. His big goal is to create super well-researched and carefully written articles that help readers learn important technicalities.