Now that everyone is at home, it might be problematic trying to restrict your kids or siblings from getting their fingers on your work PC or laptop. It’s essential to be able to know that work confidential PDF files are well-protected from the prying eyes of everyone at home.
One way of protecting your confidential PDF files is by adding a password. This way, anyone who wants to open the PDF must have to input the password first. You can also limit access by restricting certain features like printing and PDF editing.
And you don’t necessarily need to use third-party tools. Both Windows and Mac have built-in tools to help with password protecting a PDF file. So how can you password protect a PDF file?
Here’s a step by step guide on how to password protect a PDF file on both Windows and macOS.
How to Password Protect a PDF file on Windows.
Password protecting a PDF on Windows is not as daunting and intimidating as you’d like to think. It can be easily done using Microsoft Word. Wonder how? Follow the instructions below.
Step 1. Open Windows File manager
Step 2. Open the Microsoft Word app
Step 3. Drag and drop the PDF file to Microsoft Word. Word will automatically create an editable version of the PDF file
Step 4. Next, tap “File” from the Microsoft Word top toolbar
Step 5. Click “Export” and select “Create PDF/XPS Dcoument” then tap “Create PDF/XPSF” button
Step 6. Choose your preferred export location
Step 8. Now tap on the “Options” button
Step 9. Turn on “Encrypt document with a password” and click OK
Step 9. You’ll be shown a new dialogue box that allows you to enter a password. (Remember to follow the minimum password length guideline shown)
Step 10. Once done, click Ok then save the file by hitting Publish or Save button
How to Password Protect a PDF File on Mac
On Mac, there’s also a built-in solution for password protecting PDF files. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do it;
Step 1. Find the PDF file you want to password protect
Step 2. Open the PDF file in the Preview app
Step 3. Tap “File” in the top menu bar
Step 4. Select “Export”
Step 5. Choose PDF as file saving format
Step 6. Enable “Encrypt” by tapping on the checkbox near it
Step 7. Input your Password in the field below, then re-type it again to verify
Step 8. Tap “save”.
That’s how you encrypt a PDF file on Mac and Windows. If the guides above look tedious, don’t worry, you can use third-party services to do the same. The best thing about third-party tools is they are platform-independent. The solution works across devices.
Add a password to a PDF using Adobe Acrobat DC.
Well, Adobe offers a way to password-protect PDFs directly using Adobe Acrobat DC.
Step 1. Open a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat DC
Step 2. Tap “File” on the top toolbar menu then select “Password protect”. Or, you can use this route: Tools > Protect > Protect
Step 3. Choose whether you want the password to be required before editing, or opening the PDF. The More options button lets you set advanced password protection. For instance, using advanced protection, you can choose compatibility, Encrypt All Document Contents, Encrypt Only File Attachments, etc.
Step 4. Enter the password and retype it for verification
Step 5. Hit the apply button
Adobe will show a pop-up message confirming the changes.
How to Password Protect PDF files Using Third-party Tools
There are a couple of dedicated websites on the internet that could help password protect a PDF.
Warning: We, however, do not recommend uploading your documents on third-party websites. In terms of security, the built-in windows and Mac tools for encrypting PDF files are better.
Step 2. Hit the “Choose file” button which will take you to your local disk where you can select the PDF. Or you can drag and drop the PDF file directly to the website.
Step 3. Enter a password that will be used for opening the file
Step 4. Hit the “Encrypt PDF” button
Step 5. Give the website some time to upload the PDF and encrypt it
Step 6. Once done, small PDF will display a download button to save the password-protected PDF locally.
Method 2: Small PDF Alternatives
Besides small PDF, you can also use an alternative website like pdf2go,soda pdf and iLovepdf. This links will take you directly to the password protection tool under each service. However, you can still access the feature under the tools category on each service. It’s also crucial to note that soda PDF and I love PDF also allow you to upload files directly from Google Drive and Dropbox, but we don’t recommend using the feature. Just upload files from your local PDF.
The process of password protecting a PDF file with PDF2Go, soda pdf and ilovePDF is similar to using Small PDF.