This is how you change the security settings of a PDF file

Teodor Nechita
by Teodor Nechita
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  • When dealing with sensitive data, chances are you’ll want to change the security settings of your PDF files.
  • You may only assume that you use Adobe Acrobat as a default PDF file reader. Your choice is far from questionable.
  • To make sure the procedure will work like a breeze, installing the most recent Adobe version is highly recommended.
  • You shouldn’t stop your searches here, especially when our Tech Tutorials Hub gives you access to countless easy to understand tutorials.
How to change PDF security settings

PDF files are extremely versatile in terms of what you can use them for. They can be text documents, they can hold pictures, they support hyperlinks and more.

However, given the versatility of the format, you can end up using it as a support for more sensitive data. As such, you may want to limit the access that certain individuals have to that PDF file.

This includes the inability to edit it, print it, or even open it all together. On the other end of the spectrum, maybe you want to make a PDF file more accessible to everyone.

Whichever the case, we’ve created a step-by-step guide that will show you exactly how to change the security settings of your PDF files easily.


QUICK TIP: This article takes into account the idea that you use Adobe Acrobat as your default PDF file reader. However, that’s not enough if you want to successfully change the security settings.

To be more precise, it’s essential to run the latest version. All you have to do is to grab it from the Adobe Acrobat distribution page and install it with no hesitation.

Download Adobe Acrobat here


How do I change the security settings of a PDF file?

  1. Open the PDF file.
  2. Go to the Tools pane.
  3. Select Protection.
  4. Choose Encrypt.
  5. Select Encrypt with Password.
    • If you want to change other security settings, select Manage instead.
  6. A new window will appear containing all the settings that can be switched on and off.
  7. Select the settings you want to modify, for example:
    • Set or remove passwords.
    • Encrypt only portions of the document or the entire thing.
    • Modify access permissions to limit or enable editing and printing of the document.adobe restrictions
  8. When finished changing the settings, click OK.
  9. Click on File.
  10. Select Save.
  11. Additionally, you could also press Ctrl + S.

Not much of an Adobe Acrobat fan? Check out this article for some good alternatives.


By following these steps, you should be able to make a PDF file more or less restrictive while manipulating them with Adobe Acrobat.

This ensures that your PDF file cannot be edited, printed or even opened, even if unauthorized users get their hands on it.

On the flip side, changing security settings can allow you to make a PDF document more flexible for a wider audience.

If you have any other questions regarding the matter, or are interested in similar articles tailored for other programs other than Adobe Acrobat, leave us a message in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about some useful PDF settings

  • How do I remove security settings from Adobe PDF?

In order to remove security settings from Adobe PDF, as described in this detailed guide, all it takes is to go to the Tools pane and select Protection > No Security.

  • How do I change the properties of a PDF file?

To change the properties of a PDF file, select File > Properties first. Then, hit Custom and you’ll be good to go.

  • How do I change the author on a PDF?

When changing the author on a PDF is your wish, select Documents > Document Properties. Click the Description tab and make the desired changes in the Author text box.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2020 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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