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.
  • To make sure the procedure works like a breeze, you should use a dedicated PDF editor.
  • For all the tips & tricks on managing PDF documents, check out our PDF Hub.
  • Our Tech Tutorials Hub gives you access to countless similarly 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 certain PDF files.

This includes blocking the possibility to edit, print, or even open them 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.

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

1. Using Icecream PDF Editor

change pdf security settings in icecream

  1. Open the PDF file.
  2. Go to File and choose File permissions.
  3. Choose to protect either opening or editing the file by checking the corresponding option.change file permission in icecream editor
  4. Click OK.

And that’s it. Next time the document is opened or edited (by you or anyone else), a password will be required.

This way, you can restrict full access to a file, or just the editing option.

If you’re not familiar with Icecream PDF Editor, we should say that this is an intuitive PDF management tool that you can use on Windows-based devices.

It is equipped with an array of editing actions such as annotating, stamping, password-protecting, new file creation, and more.

Icecream PDF Editor

Icecream PDF Editor

Change the security settings of your PDF file in just a couple of steps with Icecream PDF Editor.
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2. Using Acrobat Reader

change pdf security settings in acrobat reader

  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.
Acrobat Reader

Acrobat Reader

For a professional tool to edit, protect and share your PDF files, use Acrobat Reader.
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By following these steps, you should be able to make a PDF file more or less restrictive. This ensures that your document 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 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, then No Security.

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

To change the properties of a PDF file, select File, then 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, select Documents, thenDocument 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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