How To Password Protect A PDF For Free

Shivendra Nath


In this how-to article, I will explain how you can password protect a pdf and that too for free. I will list two software apps and two online services from which you can protect your important PDF documents by applying a password.

The good thing about all these 4 ways is that They all will work for Windows. However, for Mac, you need nothing to be installed feel free to skip to the last part. In which, I have provided the link to the official apple website. That will give you simple and clear instructions to password protect a PDF.

Moreover, if you have any of these software installed it will be much quicker for you. Just load the PDF document and apply the password to it. This Guide mainly focused on Windows OS.

Apply a password to pdf with PDFMate PDF converter

Download PDFMate PDF Converter for Windows here. Once installed follow the steps below.

  1. Open the PDFMate program and click on Add pdf button to add the pdf document.
  2. After adding a PDF file to the program click on Advanced Settings.
  3. Go to Security Field and then checkmark on open password. Enter the password of your choice and click on ok.
  4. Then select the Output folder as custom and add the desired path where password-protected PDF is to be saved.
  5. Then click on the convert button.
  6. And done, now your PDF is password protected.

Apply Password to pdf using OpenOffice draw

OpenOffice is an office software suite for word processingpresentations, spreadsheets, graphicsdatabases and more. And one can download and use it completely for free for any purpose. Another Best thing about it I like is, it is available in various languages. Among all of those, one is called Draw.

However, by default, it cannot properly read pdf files and cannot add a password to it. But there is an extension available for it that enables it to do these tasks efficiently and accurately. First, download that extension from here named as pdf import.

Make sure to install that extension once the open office draw has been installed. After that follow the steps below.


  1. Open Openoffice draw program and then go to file >Open.
  2. Select that pdf which you want to be password protected.

Note: OpenOffice may take some time to open pdf if it has multiple pages and graphics.

  1. Go to file > Export as PDF.
  2. Click on the Security tab and then click Set passwords.
  3. Under Set Open password enter the same password in both the field i.e. in the password and confirm fields. and click on OK.
  4. Then click on Export and choose name and location if you wish.
  5. If you are done with the PDF close OpenOffice Draw. Now the PDF is password protected and saved to the selected path.

Applying password to PDF Using the web apps:

If you don’t want to install any of these software applications or just want to apply a password to pdf using an online service. Then I’m listing these two web services that will help you to accomplish the same.

  • Soda PDF is an online service that helps you to add the password to PDF documents. Moreover, it also provides various PDF-related services. You can upload files directly from your computer or can load the files with the help of Cloud Storage services like google drive or dropbox.
  • Smallpdf is also a similar service but differs in the encryption process. It encrypts pdf fast as soon as you upload the pdf. And you can download the file back to your computer or save it to your google drive or dropbox account.

Encrypting PDF documents in macOS:

For macOS, you don’t need any application to be downloaded. The reason for that is, macOS has a built-in feature of PDF encryption. As I have mentioned at the starting of the article I will provide an official apple website link for encrypting PDF.So check this out.

I hope this has helped you in encrypting the PDF documents. Let me know what you think about this and If you use different services then mention them in the comments. Thanks for reading.


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