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How to Password Encrypt an Adobe Acrobat PDF

There may be times when you want to protect a PDF file that you are sending to other people, either to prevent unauthorized people opening it, or prevent others printing or editing sensitive data. You will need the full Adobe Acrobat Pro software to password encrypt a document. Adobe Acrobat DC users, please follow the instructions for protecting a file from Adobe.com. Otherwise, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the Secure button in the tool bar. Click "Encrypt with Password" in the drop down menu.
  2. When the box comes up that asks "Are you sure you want to change the security on this document?" Click "Yes".
  3. In the Password Security - Settings window, choose how you want to protect the document. You can require a password just for opening the document and also a password for editing or printing. Select the radio buttons for the restrictions you want on the document and then enter a password in the "Document Open Password" and/or "Change Permission Password" boxes. Click "OK".
  4. In the next window, confirm the password and click "OK".
  5. Click "OK" to the security warning message (check "Do not show this message again" to prevent it popping up every time).
  6. Save your document as you would normally. If you want to remove the protection at a later date, you can open the document, click "Secure" in the tool bar and this time click on "Remove Security".

Important Note: If you lose or forget your password you will be unable to retrieve the document again. If you are emailing or sending the document to someone else over a network, do not include the password with the document for security reasons. It should be sent to the receiving party by another means.

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