How to password protect a PDF file (2 easy ways)

This tutorial will show you step by step how to password protect a PDF file.

How to password protect a PDF file using LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS.

LibreOffice includes the following applications; Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing).

LibreOffice website

IMPORTANT: If you lose or forget the password, you will never be able to open the encrypted PDF file. That's why you should save the password using a password manager or memorize the password.

1. Open LibreOffice.

2. Click on Open File in the upper left corner.

Open File button in LibreOffice

Or click on File in the upper left corner and then click on Open.

Open file menu entry in LibreOffice

A “Open” window will appear.

3. Within this window, you go to the PDF file you want to encrypt.

4. Select the PDF file.

5. Click on the Open button.

Open a PDF file in LibreOffice

LibreOffice will now load your PDF file.

6. Once the PDF file is loaded, you click on File in the upper left corner > Export As > Export as PDF.

Export as PDF menu entry in LibreOffice

A “PDF Options” window will appear.

7. Click on the Security tab at the top.

8. Click on the Set Passwords button.

Set passwords in LibreOffice

A “Set Passwords” window will appear.

9. Type the desired password twice.

10. You can also set a permission password if you want. If you set a permission password, then people will need to enter this password to be able to edit the PDF file.

11. Click on the OK button.

Enter passwords in LibreOffice

12. Once back on the “PDF Options” window, you click on the Export button at the bottom of the window.

Export button in LibreOffice

A “Export” window will appear.

13. Select a location on your computer where you want to save the PDF file.

14. At File name, you type a name for the new PDF file. If you want to save the new PDF file in the same location as the original PDF file, then it's important to type another filename than the original file.

15. Click on the Save button.

Export PDF file in LibreOffice

LibreOffice will save the encrypted PDF file on your computer.

How to password protect a PDF file using Ashampoo PDF Free

Ashampoo PDF Free is a free PDF viewer, creator, and editor for Windows that is compatible with all PDF files.

Visit product page

1. Open Ashampoo PDF Free.

2. Click on the folder icon in the upper left corner.

Open file button in Ashampoo PDF Free

You can also click on File in the upper left corner and then click on Open.

Open file menu entry in Ashampoo PDF Free

A “Select PDF file to edit” window will appear.

3. Within this window, you go to the PDF file you want to encrypt.

4. Select the PDF file.

5. Click on the Open button.

Open a PDF file in Ashampoo PDF Free

You can also open a PDF file by right-clicking on the PDF file and then click on Open with Ashampoo PDF Free.

Open a PDF file in Ashampoo PDF Free

Or, if you've set Ashampoo PDF Free as your default PDF viewer during installation, then you can also double-click on the PDF file to open it.

6. Click on Document located in the top menu and then click on Security.

Open PDF security settings in Ashampoo PDF Free

A “Document Security” window will appear.

7. At Security Level, you click on the selection menu button and select the AES-256 option.

8. In the Passwords section, you check the Required to open document option.

9. Type the desired password.

10. In the Allow section, you can change permission settings.

11. When you're done, you click on the OK button in the upper right corner of the window.

PDF security settings in Ashampoo PDF Free

A “Verify New Password” window will appear.

12. Retype the desired password to verify it.

13. Click on the OK button.

Verify password to open the encrypted PDF file in Ashampoo PDF Free

14. Click on the “save as” icon in the upper left corner.

Save as button in Ashampoo PDF Free

You can also click on File in the upper left corner and then click on Save as.

Save as menu entry in Ashampoo PDF Free

15. If you do this for the first time, you may get asked to enter a username. If so, type a username and then click on the OK button. The username is not so important, so type any username you want.

A “Save As” window will appear.

16. Select a location on your computer where you want to save the PDF file.

17. At File name, you type a name for the new PDF file. If you want to save the new PDF file in the same location as the original PDF file, then it's important to type another filename than the original file.

18. Click on the Save button.

Save a PDF file in Ashampoo PDF Free

Ashampoo PDF Free will save the encrypted PDF file on your PC.


How to remove a password from a PDF file

How to password protect files and folders with encryption

How to burn a CD or DVD with password protection

How to password protect a document

How to rearrange pages in a PDF file

How to merge multiple PDF files into one PDF file

How to electronically fill and sign PDF forms and documents