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 in three parts:

  1. User Password
  2. User Permissions
  3. Owner 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 a user password
You can give the user password to those you wish to grant access to your PDF file. Only people with the user password can open the PDF and view its content.

Setting user permissions
If you specify a user password, you can furthermore change what a user with a 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 an owner password
The owner password is like the master password to your PDF. The permission restrictions mentioned above do not apply when the owner 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 a user password.
  4. Choose what people that have the user password specified above are allowed to do with your PDF.
  5. Enter and repeat an owner 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 user password, your file can be opened normally with the password. No editing, printing or copying is restricted.
  2. You can set only permissions and an owner password. In this case, everyone can open and view the PDF, but copying etc. is only possible with the owner password.