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Professional Guide to Add Password to PDF in Easy Ways

 Saumya Tandon

  • Published on:  November 30th, 2023

Before sharing a PDF (Portable Document Format) that contains any Confidential data, Tax information, financial records, trade secrets, a person’s phone number and address, medical records, and social security to anyone, a question that always occurs in mind that is how to keep the data secret, the open easy option to keep your PDF safe will be adding a Password to the PDF. In this article, we will discuss different ways to add passwords to PDFs.

Currently, I work as an HR professional, and my main responsibility involves storing confidential data on my system. Suddenly, my boss asked me to share a file for specific needs. However, I have a question: How can I put a password on a PDF document? I aim to add encryption to prevent unauthorized access to vital information.

Why do We need to put a password to a PDF document?

Adding Encryption to PDF could be done in various simple ways but before that, we need to know why to add a password in your PDF file. In fact, there could be several reasons, depending on the document type and context. Here, we will share some common reasons for protecting PDF files. After reading this, you can simply add password to PDFs.

  • Sensitive Information: If your PDF contains vital and confidential data it always needs protection before sharing it with anyone because that data must not be shared with anyone.
  • Limited Access: An encrypted PDF allows you the control the access of your PDF File.
    This comes in handy when you do not want to share this with a special group of people.
  • Document Integrity: Adding a password to PDF ensures that there are no changes by any unauthorized user. This helps in maintaining the integrity of the file and secures the data to be unchanged.
  • Time Limit Access: There are some tools available in the market with which you can add a password to PDF  with a time limit. Setting an expiry time/ Date adds an extra layer of protection with which you can make sure how long your shared PDF will be used by the sharing party.
  • Accidental Sharing: In shared environments, Such as cloud storage services, it is necessary to add a password to PDF. So that it can prevent PDFs from individuals who shouldn’t have access to them.

However, the above problems could be some of the reasons for adding Passwords to PDFs. Now, we will get to know how to do that.

4 Ways to Add Password to PDF File

We will give you many apps or tools to protect your PDF with a password. Sometimes, it could be confusing and not reliable. So here still, we will assist to do so in the safest ways.

#1. Adding Encryption With Adobe Acrobat:

Adobe Acrobat is a software application that enables the creation, viewing, editing, and printing of PDF files. It comes in two versions, Standard and Pro(Paid). With Adobe Acrobat, you can edit, secure, and in addition to you can print your PDF. You can add password to PDFs with Adobe by the below-mentioned steps.

  • Open Your PDF file in Adobe Acrobat.
  • Select File > Protect Using Password. As another option, select Tools  > Protect > Protect Using Password.
  • Choose whether you prefer to set the password for viewing or editing the PDF. 
  • Now Type and Retype the password. Your password should have a minimum length of six characters.
  • Click Apply and Confirm your password.
  • Now save the document.

Sometimes, users want to remove Password from PDF in Adobe Reader because they forgot the passwords of their files.

#2. Using WPS Office:

WPS Office Suit enables users to modify, edit, or protect the file. Here, we will discuss how someone puts passwords in PDFs with WPS Office.

  • Launch WPS Office and open the PDF file to which you want to add a password.
  • Select on the Protect tab in the main toolbar.
  • Choose a password and confirm the Save As dialog box.

#3. With The Help of The Third-Party Tools: 

There are many free and paid tools available in the market apart from Adobe Acrobat or WPS Office i.e.,  PDFencrypt, Small PDF, etc. These software are available in the market and you can use them to add password to PDFs. Here, we are going to discuss how to use Small PDF  to add password to PDFs.

  • Visit the SmallPDF website (smallpdf.com).
  • Find the “Protect PDF” tool on the SmallPDF homepage
  • Upload the PDF file you want to password-protect.
  • Enter the password you want to use.
  • Once the password is set, download the protected PDF.

#4. With GhostScript (Command line):

Ghostscript is an open-source software suite for interpreting and rendering PostScript and PDF files. It is commonly used for tasks related to printing and document conversion on various operating systems, including Unix-like systems (such as Linux and macOS) and Microsoft Windows. You can use Ghostscript to add a password to PDF by following the Steps.

  • Install Ghostscript on your Windows, Mac, or Linux
  • Use the command prompt on Windows or Terminal on macOS/Linux.
  • Use the following command 

gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -sOutputFile=output.pdf -c “.setpdfwrite <</OwnerPassword (yourpassword) /UserPassword (yourpassword) >> setdistillerparams” -f input.pdf

Replace your password with the desired password, and input.pdf and output.pdf with your file names.

  • The password-protected PDF will be saved as output.pdf.

Precautions While Putting Passwords

  • Always use a strong password that combines letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Remember or securely store the password, as there is usually no way to recover it if forgotten.
  • Be cautious when using online tools, especially with sensitive documents, as they involve uploading files to third-party servers.

Conclusion

In short, adding a password to a PDF document can be accomplished through various methods, each catering to different preferences and needs. Select the method that aligns with your preferences and security requirements. Always stay informed about the latest features and updates of the tools you choose to use for adding passwords to your PDF files. In the last, keeping your PDF protected is easy, and it helps to ensure that your data is secured. We hope you’ve got your solution on how to add password to PDF file.

About The Author:

Saumya is a proficient technical content writer with a deep passion for technology and a natural talent for writing. She excels in creating compelling and informative content that captivates readers on technology websites. Her areas of specialization include data migration, Email backup, and recovery, where her vast expertise enables her to develop superior-quality content that is both educational and stimulating.

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