FIX: This document restricts some Acrobat features

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • You’re always eager to try out the best software to create editable PDF forms. However, this doesn’t mean that these tools are error-free.
  • You’re most likely using Adobe Acrobat over Acrobat Reader thanks to all those additional features to create and manipulate PDF files.
  • If you keep getting the error that states This document restricts some Acrobat features, make sure to install the original version of Adobe Acrobat.
  • When you’re interested in discovering more useful guides like this, there’s only one thing that you should do. Just visit our Adobe Troubleshooting Hub.
Fix This document restricts some Acrobat features

A Portable Document Format (also known as PDF), is probably one of the most common and versatile file formats available.

These can contain text, images, links, and pretty much anything else, all within a single unified format. They can even be used securely thanks to certain security restrictions that you can apply, making the files uneditable.

However, what happens when you are on the receiving end of a restricted PDF, file and you can’t edit it at all?

Plenty of users have been reporting that they have been receiving error messages when trying to open PDF documents, stating that: This document restricts some Acrobat features.

This error message usually appears when you open a document created by a designer that restricted the editing, commenting, Bates stamping, etc of the PDF file.

How can I remove document restrictions from Acrobat features?

Whenever you receive this error message, you should know that by default there are several things that you may not be able to do with the document. These vary depending on the restrictions applied by the creator:

  • You may not be able to copy the content of a document
  • Signing the document as your own may be forbidden
  • You cannot use the document as a template
  • Printing the document may be  prohibited
  • Document assembly may not be possible
  • Page extraction may not be allowed
  • Form filling may be disabled

1. Install the original version of Adobe Acrobat

grab Adobe Acrobat

There is no better tool than Adobe Acrobat if you want to easily create, edit PDFs, and convert them to Microsoft Office formats.

Choosing it from a variety of professional PDF apps was a smart move indeed. However, it’s time to ask yourself if you’re running the original Adobe Acrobat.

Maybe you’ve used Adobe Reader and decided to step up to the pro league. Have you downloaded it from a supposedly trustworthy third-party source?

If it happens to discover that you’ve been scammed, correct that right away and grab the original version of Adobe Acrobat.

Download Adobe Acrobat here

2. Use third-party PDF unlockers

If you do not own a subscription to Acrobat Pro, you could try some third-party PDF unlockers. Using them varies from program to program, but the general consensus is that they are all easy-to-use.

They come in the form of a downloadable desktop client, as well as online services that you can access straight from your browser.

Here are some good examples of reliable PDF unlockers:

By following these steps, you should be able to edit a PDF file in however way you please.

Did you find this article to be useful to you? Let us know in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about PDF restrictions

  • How do you change security settings from Adobe PDF?

As described in this detailed guide, changing security settings is done from the Tools pane.

  • Is it possible to unsecure a PDF?

Yes, it is. Just open it in Chrome and print it as PDF. The resulting PDF document can be easily edited or signed. If encountering printing issues, use this dedicated article.

  • How do I unencrypt a PDF?

To unencrypt a PDF, click Advanced at the top of the Acrobat window, then select Remove Security under Security. However, you should now secure your files with the tools from this awesome list.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in December 2019 and was revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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