How To Password Protect a PDF on Mac and Windows

Last updated on March 9, 2023

Summary :

Adding a password to your PDF documents will be a very good measure to prevent confidential disclosure. You will find the answer in this article.

Content Table

In the digital age, privacy is getting more and more attention. When you don’t want others to read the contents of your PDF documents, putting a lock on your documents is also a great way to do so. Please read on to learn how to quickly password-protect a pdf on Windows and Mac.

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How To Password Protect a PDF on Mac Using PDFgear

PDFgear is a completely free all-in-one PDF editor and manager with a wide range of features. You can use PDFgear to compress, crop, split, merge, convert, add comments, signature, highlight, or unlock PDFs. If you are a person who will frequently use PDF tools, then PDFgear can be a great alternative to Adobe. When you want to set a password for your PDFs, PDFgear will come to your aid. With the following button, you can get the PDFgear desktop application in one piece.

100% Clean & Safe

Step 1. Install PDFgear

Go to the website through the official channel to download PDFgear to your computer (or you can use PDFgear online processing tool directly).

Download PDFgear

Download PDFgear

Step 2. Import PDF File to PDFgear

Double-click the PDFgear desktop shortcut icon to enter the program. Click “Open File” in the box at the top of the main page to browse and add files locally. In the main interface, you can see all the functions are divided into six blocks: Hot Tools, Convert from PDF, Convert to PDF, Merge & Split, Compress PDF, and All Tools.

Upload PDF to PDFgear

Upload PDF to PDFgear

Step 3. Locate the Protect PDF Tool in PDFgear

When you upload the PDF file to PDFgear, you will automatically enter the edit mode. Similarly, you can see all the features shown on the home page in edit mode. Highlight, underline, add page numbers, rotate PDF, and so on. Here, we locate the penultimate function button – “Protect”, and click the “Protect” ribbon in the “Password” button. Also if you want to remove the password from PDF is just as simple.

Find the "Password" button in PDFgear

Find the “Password” button in PDFgear

Step 4. Set the Password in PDFgear

When you click on the “Password” button you can see a pop-up window, you need to first type in the password you want to set and then again to determine the case in case of a wrong password. Click “OK” to complete the settings after confirming that there are no errors. Finally, click the upper left corner of the Save button, and you can have a PDF document with a password.

Customize the Password in PDFgear and Save

Customize the Password in PDFgear and Save

How To Password Protect a PDF on Mac Using Preview

Preview is a very powerful tool that comes with Mac. If you are good at using it, you will get a very efficient office experience. Whether it is split PDF, combining PDF Files or converting PNG to PDF, or Converting PDF to Word, Preview allows you to quickly complete the operation. The following is a list of 3 steps for you to immediately password a PDF.

Step 1. Through Preview to open the PDF document you need to set the password and quickly enter the editing mode.

Enter the Editing Mode of the PDF Document in Preview

Enter the Editing Mode of the PDF Document in Preview

Step 2. Click the upper left corner of the “File-Print” into the print mode, and click the pop-up window in the lower left corner of the drop-down box “Save as PDF…”. . Then you will see another new pop-up window. In your choice of storage location, set the file name, theme, keywords, and other information, and click on the bottom of the “Security Options…” for custom password settings.

Save PDF in Preview

Save PDF in Preview

Step 3. Custom password. In Preview, “PDF Security Options” tab, check the “Require password to open document” and then type the same password twice to complete the operation of encryption of PDF documents. At the same time, you can also check the password required to unlock the PDF when copying and printing.

Set Password in Preview

Set Password in Preview

How To Password Protect a PDF on Windows Using Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is certainly the first software program that most people will think of for processing PDF documents. Because it is powerful and famous enough. It is not only a very practical PDF Converter or an efficient PDF Combiner.

Step 1. Open a PDF in Adobe Acrobat, and then jump directly to the “Protect” page.

Position to Adobe Acrobat's "Protect" Page

Position to Adobe Acrobat’s “Protect” Page

Step 2. Select the “Protect Using Password” option to enter the password setting process.

Click the "Protect Using Password" Button in Adobe Acrobat

Click the “Protect Using Password” Button in Adobe Acrobat

Step 3. Set a difficult password to protect the PDF, and you can set whether it is readable or editable after decoding.

Apply a Password in Adobe Acrobat

Apply a Password in Adobe Acrobat


How Do I Lock a PDF for Free?

Currently, many PDF editors are offering paid services or free trial services. However, PDFgear is a completely free tool. You can lock a PDF document in three steps: upload the PDF > click Protect > select Password > enter the password and click OK.

How to Password Protect a PDF on Windows 10?

How to password-protect a PDF document in Windows 10 has become a hot topic. Here we recommend using the PDFgear editing tool to protect your PDF documents. Upload the document that needs to be encrypted, click Protect-Password in editing mode in turn, and save it after entering the password.

Why Can’t I Password-Protect a PDF?

To password protect a PDF document, first, you need to go to File – Properties – Security, and then under “Security Method” select “Password Security”. Customize your settings, type in your password, and then complete the operation.

Can I Email a PDF With Password Protection?

Of course, you can. You just need to use the help of the PDFgear editor, select Protect-Password in edit mode and then go to password setting and saving. Then add the encrypted document in the form of an attachment to the email to send.


Secure and fast encryption settings for your PDF documents are what you are looking for. This is a very good solution that PDFgear can provide for you. Therefore, if you want to enjoy the ultimate experience without paying any money, PDFgear, the all-in-one PDF editor, will be your best choice.