Summary: A PDF file can be protected by open password. When applied, the user has to enter the correct password in order to view the content. If you forgot PDF password, we will share 4 different software to recover password from PDF and it is the centeral point to be covered in this post.
Password-protected PDFs are a secure way to transfer confidential documents. Although it may seem discreet and cool initially, the situation changes upside down when you forgot the password. As the password-protected pdfs are mostly essential pieces of documents, not being able to access them may lead to panic. But there is no reason to worry because every problem has a solution, and so has this. Here is a list of tools that can recover forgotten PDF password and keep the document intact.
Also known as guaranteed PDF Password Remover, GuaPDF is a password decrypter that can be used to remove PDF restriction and recover password from a protected PDF file. This tool is very efficient and easy to use (Single-Window based application with no advanced settings). And it delivers fast result from a given PDF file. Below is a good example to demonstrate how to use GuaPDF for recovering PDF password.
Step 1. Download GuaPDF and install the application on a computer. Launch the tool and hit File -> Open option to load a password-protected PDF from the computer into it.
Step 2. The tool will analyzes the selected file immediately to check what kind of protection the file uses before taking the user's permission for decrypting it.
Step 3. Once the analyzing process is completed, it tells you what kind of encryption attached to imported PDF file. Then it starts the password recovery proess automatically and you need to wait for the task to complete. After it is done, the user is asked to select a location for saving the file.
GuaPDF, although very efficient, the free version does not work for 128-bit encryption, which is quite common in nowadays. And if that was the case, you should purchase a license key to unlock the premium features.
iSeePassword Dr. PDF is one of our favorite tools we found in recent years. It acts truly as a doctor for PDF files like its name suggests. It can not only recover forgotten password from PDF but also remove PDF restrictions (i.e. editing/printing). Unlike GuaPDF, which leaves everything at background, Dr.PDF put everything in front of user space. You can make a couple of settings to boost the password recovery process. And they are three password recovery engines underneath the core. What is more, you can use the same software on Windows PC or Mac.
Step 1. Installation
Download iSeePassword Dr.PDF and install the application. After installation, run Dr. PDF to open the interface.
Step 2. Select a Recovery Option and Load PDF File
From the two options, click the option called as "Recover Owner Password From PDF", which takes the user to the next screen for file selection. Tap "Add Files" to browse and select the password-protected PDF file.
Step 3. Password Settings
This is a crucial part of the entire process. The recommended attack type is Brute-force with Mask attack, which is much efficient than the other two. If choose, click "Setting" icon to open the settings section, where you can make a few assumptions about the forgotten password, like password length, range, prefix, postfix, etc. Try to set as many as possible. The more you set, the less time you need to wait.
Step 4. Start Password Recovery and Wait for Result
After password recovery settings, Dr.PDF starts to crack PDF password based on the above settings. You can leave the program running alone. When the password is found, it will be shown up on the screen. Then copy the password and use it to open password protecetd PDF file.
iSeePassword Dr.PDF is one of the best options to decrypt PDFs because of two reasons. First, it is sturdy and super fast, and second, the tool comes with an extremely user-friendly interface that completes the process in a few clicks.
Cain and Abel is a reliable password crack tool targeting Windows platform only. It is relatively old but is known to be one of the most effective password recovery tools and it supports recovering password from many file types, including PDF, ZIP, RAR. And although it is mostly used to recover forgotten Windows Password, the free tool is equally useful for improving PDF passwords as well.
Step 1. The official website of Cain & Abel is down and it is hard to find a legit place to download the software. After hours of researching, we finally reached a valid source and test it on our computers. It is virus free and no adware. So we host it on our server. Please download it directly from here.
Step 2. After installing Cain password recovery tool, search for "Brute Force Attack Dictionary" online and download a copy.
Step 3. Launch Cain and Abel, and on the screen, add the password-protected PDF document. The user is required to select the downloaded dictionary then.
Step 4. Hit the "Start" button to start decrypting PDF and recover the password with a Brute force attack.
Although Cain & Abel is regarded as a compelling and advanced level tool, it is prolonged and comes with an interface not very user-friendly for non-technical people.
PDFCrack is a powerful command-based tool that runs on GNU Linux. It supports the latest version of PDF standard and it is capable of recovering both open and restriction passwords. As one of the best software for cracking PDF passwords, it is lightweight and uses a brute-force attack method for password recovery. In addition, there are only two steps way to fully recover password from PDF file.
Step 1. Find a Linux machine and open Terminal app; then enter the following command to install PDFCrack on the system:
sudo apt-get install pdfcrack
Step 2. To recover forgotten password of an encrypted PDF file, enter the following command, replacing X with the password-protected PDF file name:
pdfcrack -f X.pdf
Step 3. Wait patiently for PDFCrack to find the password. After it recovered the password successfully, stop the processes with the final command:
Although powerful, the tool is not easy to use as it does not have a graphical user interface for users. Also, PDFCrack can heat the CPU, which may lead you to stop the process and save it from damage. Users with no technical knowledge may find it very difficult to use.
Compared with the PDF password recovery software listed above. The advantage of the online service website is that the entire password recovery program can be completed without downloading and installing any software or plug-ins but simply upload your file or files using your browser. It will enable you to effortlessly recover an open password from PDF file, this sounds very attractive. Yes. Lostmypass.com is such a website that can work for different file types, like PDF, Word, Excel, PPT, Zip, RAR, and 7z, so on. To use Lostmypass.com to recover PDF password online follow these simple steps;
Step 1. Using a browser of your choice go to the Lostmypass website.
Step 2. Verify identity and upload the PDF file by clicking on the "click here" button as shown on the interface box. You may also drag and drop the PDF file.
Step 3. After the file is uploaded, the page will automatically jump and start to recover password from PDF.
Step 4. The password recovery process will be displayed on the screen, please wait for the result.
Note: The website does not support uploading files larger than 100MB. If the password is too complicated, it will take at least 24 hours to work for you, or you will need to pay for it.
After comparing all the PDF password recovery tools above, it is the iSeePassword Dr.PDF that we found out it is the best option to help you out when you forgot PDF password, mostly because of its high efficiency. Beside, it also comes with an extremely user-friendly interface, which makes it convenient to use by all. Especially for those who consider themselves technologically challenged.