6 Best PDF Password Unlocker Software on Windows and Mac

Aug 8, 2019 17:28. Posted by to Tutorials

PDF security is an essential component of business communication. Since sensitive data is usually shared on PDF, any unauthorized viewing, access, or even modification can have adverse effects on your business. To better protect the intellectual assets, adding password security to all PDF documents is always a good idea. However, that means users sharing several documents will need to remember multiple passwords, which they can easily forget password of PDF file. The only thing to do is to unlock the document using a third-party service or software. This review covers six of the best PDF password unlocking tools available on the Internet. Let's take a look at what they can do, as well as their pros and cons, so you can make a more informed decision about which one to use.

#1 iSeePassword PDF Password Unlocker (Windows and Mac)

Straight out of the gate, iSeePassword Dr. PDF impresses users with its slick interface and intuitive options. Launching the app on your Mac or Windows desktop will show you two clear objectives: Recover Open Password from PDF, and Remove the Restrict Editing Password. Dr. PDF offers three powerful password attack types to recover PDF open password. Brute Force and Brute Force with Mask are the two commonly used ones, but you can also use the word lists from the built-in Dictionary attack function.


The recovery rate for PDF passwords are well over 95%, which means the majority of user passwords can be quickly recovered, and the PDF file unlocked. Dr. PDF scores well in reliability, ease-of-use, and ability to crack complex passwords. Removing PDF Restrict Editing password is even easier. Just upload the files in bulk and hit the Start button to instantly blank out all owner passwords. It's a vital tool if you're working with password-protected PDF files on a regular basis.


PDF Password Recovery


Pros of iSeePassword Dr.PDF:

Cons of iSeePassword Dr.PDF:


win version


Windows Version
win version


Mac Version

#2 Wondershare PDF Password Remover (Windows & Mac)

This is more of a complementary tool to the powerful PDFelement PDF editor software from Wondershare. It's a purpose-built utility that's as intuitive as its sister product but solely designed to remove the Restrict Editing password. That means you'll still need to know the Open password in order to remove editing restrictions. That's a major limitation but if your requirement is only to make PDF documents accessible to editing, printing or copying, this could be the perfect tool for you.


If you're using it in combination with PDFelement, that's even better because it resolves any compatibility issues with PDF versions, and so on. Using the Wondershare PDF Password Remover is literally a no-brainer. Just install it, launch it, add your files, and hit Start. All edit restrictions, including modifying, printing and copying, will be removed instantly, and you can start working on your documents in just a few minutes.


Wondershare PDF Password Remover


Pros of Wondershare PDF Password Remover:

Cons of Wondershare PDF Password Remover:

#3 PDF.io Online PDF Password Unlocker

PDF.io is actually a suite of tools containing several modules, each designed for a single purpose. The PDF Unlock module is what we're concerned with here. The service covers unlocking a protected PDF document as well as removing any access restrictions and encryption. Overall, it's a great way to quickly and fully unlock your PDF files online, without installing any software.


However, there's always the worry about your files being hacked into during the upload or download process. The site itself offers https security, but the safety of your data ultimately depends on the type of Internet connection you're using. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are probably the worst because they're often the weakest in terms of security. Nevertheless, in a pinch, you can depend on PDF.io to get you through a session of unlocking PDF files. The best part is that you can drag and drop files, as well as upload them from Drive, Dropbox, or even a URL.


Online PDF Password Unlocker


Pros of PDF.io:

Cons of PDF.io:

#4 PDFCrack Free Password Unlocker (Linux Only)

PDFCrack is a Linux-based Windows utility for removing both user and owner passwords from PDF documents. It is an open-source tool with a command-line interface, so don't expect any fancy GUI. In fact, don't expect a GUI at all! You'll need to first build the program with the help of GNU Make and the latest compiler collection (GCC.)


There are also some adjustments to be made in Makefile. It does a fairly thorough job, although currently, only brute force with specific character sets and dictionary attack with pre-formatted word lists are possible. To be clear, this tool cannot decrypt a file that's been protected with a password. It only retrieves the passwords using the two methods mentioned above. If you know the user password, then the search feature for the owner password can be optimized to save time.




Pros of PDFCrack:

Cons of PDFCrack:

#5 SysTools PDF Unlocker (Windows & Mac)

The PDF Unlocker utility from SysTools Software is another tool like the PDF password unlocking tool from Wondershare. It won't recover your open password, but it will help remove any editing restrictions applied by the owner (owner password.) however, if you know the open passwords for a group of PDF files, you can remove them in bulk with the Mac version of this software.


Just install it on your Mac or Windows PC, launch the program, import the locked documents and hit the Unlock button to remove all passwords for Restrict Editing. As with the Wondershare utility, you need to know the user password, so you can only use this if you have access to the files in question because you will need to enter it when uploading the PDFs to the program.


Systools PDF Unlocker


Cons of Systools PDF Unlocker:

Cons of Systools PDF Unlocker:

#6 Portable PDF Unlocker Free (Windows Only)

This is a simple drag-and-drop application that unlocks your PDF files for editing, printing, copying, and other actions. Just click-hold your file in Explorer, and drag it over to the software window and drop it there. The password removal is fast, and you can proceed with editing the unlocked files in just a couple of minutes. One good addition would have been a command-line version of the tool, and the ability to import files from within the software.


Portable PDF Unlocker


Pros of Online PDF Unlocker:

Pros of Online PDF Unlocker:


All the tools listed above are popular in their own right, but as you can see most of them require that the user password be known. That's because decrypting a file to unlock it is virtually impossible. The best option, therefore, would be to recover it. That's what iSeePassword Dr. PDF does, and in that respect, it clearly comes out at the top of this list.


If you're only removing restrictions, try the Wondershare Password Password Remover. It is the best at keeping the formatting exactly the same in the unlocked output file, which could be an important consideration for your work. The other utilities are recommended for non-critical documents where it doesn't matter if formatting goes awry or if someone else gets their hands on the document.

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