How To Password Protect Your PDF [Tutorial]

PDF files are great for sharing online since they do not allow further editing of a text. Contracts, forms, legal documents, but also school assignments, papers , and theses are typically sent and handed in using the PDF format. This is mainly because they do not allow further meddling or altering of the document.

Did you know that there is a way to make your PDF even more secure? Add password protection using our free online tool!

Password Protect Your PDF Document

First of all, let me explain what the protect function of PDF2Go allows you to do.

The settings available when using PDF2Go to protect your PDF document are grouped into three parts:

  1. Open Password
  2. Permissions
  3. Permission Password

Setting one of the passwords will add the password to your document. This means that anyone who tries to open the PDF will be prompted to enter a password in order to view the content. However, there is a difference between the user and the owner password which we will explain below.

Setting an open password
You can give the open password to those you wish to grant access to your PDF file. Only people with the open password can open the PDF and view its content.

Setting permissions
If you specify an open password, you can furthermore change what a person with the password can do with your PDF.


  • Printing: When set to “no”, users can not print the PDF.
  • Copying: When set to “no”, users are prevented from copying a highlighted/selected text in the PDF.
  • Modification: When set to “no”, users can not modify the PDF, e.g. highlighting text or adding comments.

Setting a permission password
The permission password is like the master password to your PDF. The permission restrictions mentioned above do not apply when the permission password was entered once prompted.

How To Add A Password To Your PDF

Now that you know all we can do to add password protection to your PDF, here’s a step by step tutorial on how to do so:

  1. Go to www.PDF2Go.com/Protect-PDF
  2. Upload your file. It can be a PDF or other documents like Microsoft Word’s DOC or TXT, or even an image file like JPG or PNG. The file you will receive, however, will always be a PDF.
  3. Enter and repeat an open password.
  4. Choose what people that have the open password specified above are allowed to do with your PDF.
  5. Enter and repeat a permission password.
  6. Click on “Save Changes”. After a short while, you can download your now password protected PDF document.

That’s all you have to do to add extra protection to your PDF file. Here are some more considerations and tweaks you can work with though.

  1. If you only set the open password, your file can be opened normally with the password. No editing, printing or copying is restricted.
  2. You can set only permissions and a permission password. In this case, everyone can open and view the PDF, but copying etc. is only possible with the permission password.