How to Unlock Secured PDF File without Password in 2021

Many PDF creators will secure the files with the use of a password. Mostly, this is to avoid any unauthorized access. Those with the passwords are the only ones that can access the secured files, but once you forget the password or want to access the PDF file that unknown protection password for other reasons, how to open your secured PDF file?

Luckily, several software programs can help solve this problem and are accessible from the internet or here. Below, we highlight some methods that will enable you to unlock secured PDF without password.

Method 1. Easily Unlock PDF File with Cain & Abel

Cain & Abel is a well-known open-source software application that can unlock different types of passwords, including PDFs and Windows OS, this software recovers passwords using methods such as sniffing, hash cracking using a dictionary, cryptanalysis, and brute force attacks, and it also removes hidden passwords by showing them in specific software packages and will indicate insecure passwords. To unlock PDF without password, please follow these steps:

Step 1. Download and install Cain & Abel by following the prompts.

Step 2. It is necessary to extract the PDF hash value, all you need to do is upload your secure PDF file online hash cracking, and And the hash value will be provided to you, copying and pasting it into a text file.

Step 3. Next, launch the program and navigate to the "Cracker" tab.

Step 4. Into a new interface, click on the "MD5" tab first, and then click on the "+" button to import the hash value. The program will now start breaking your password for PDF.

Click on the MD5 tab


Although Cain & Abel is loved by IT professionals, Cain & Abel is a bit difficult for new users. Maybe some of the following methods to unlock PDF files will be more helpful.


Method 2. Unlock PDF File without Password via Dr.PDF

Forgot your PDF password? Don't worry about it! Dr. PDF is a highly effective and advanced tool that will enable you to recover and unlock secured PD without knowing the password. The software also instantly removes the restrictions that a PDF owner may impose on printing, copying, and editing. Dr.PDF comes with a free trial so that you can retrieve the three characters password, and it will not damage your data.

As well as Dr.PDF can remove or unlock the password for multiple PDF files in batches. In addition, it also provides a GPU Acceleration feature to improve the password cracking speed, and the Continue Last Searching History Feature ensures that your history is available at all times. The following shows you how to unlock PDF without password.


Step 1. Download and Install the Program

Dr. PDF is downloadable from the official iSeePassword Dr. PDF page, and follow the prompts to install it, then launch the program to access the main interface. Click on the option "Recover Open Password from PDF."

Recover open password from PDF


Step 2. Upload Your PDF and Select an Attack Type

Click on the "Add File" icon to import your password protected PDF file. Next, select a password attack-type from the interface, as follows.

  1. Dictionary Attack - It uses an inbuilt and customized dictionary.
  2. Brute-Force Attack - It requires you to try all possible password character combinations, so it may take some time and has preset rules.
  3. Brute-Force with Mask Attack - It will let you make the proper settings to fasten the cracking process. We highly recommend this choice as it takes lesser time.

Brute-Force with mask attack


Like what I did. You can choose the Brute-Force with Mask Attack, and complete all the configurations. Finally, click on the "Start" button to help you analyze and scan for the password according to the settings earlier on.

Mask Attack settings


Step 3. Recover PDF Password

After completion, the password can be found, you will see it in the dialogue box. Use it to open the password-protected PDF file.

Remove password from PDF


If you want to know more about the function of cracking PDF restrictions, you can try the second option of iSeePassword Dr.PDF. It is called "Remove Owner Password from PDF", which can remove other restrictions on the PDF file for you, such as printing, editing, copying, etc.


Method 3. How to Unlock PDF File By John the Ripper

John the Ripper is a free password unlocking software utility. And it is understood that it was initially developed for the Unix Operating System but is now available for macOS, Windows, BeOS, DOS, and OpenVMS. It offers an amalgamation of multiple password breakers, automatically detects hashes, and has a password decoding engine that can be customized but does not offer a GUI. And you will need commands to unlock PDF file without password. Let's see how it works.

Step 1. Download and Install the latest version of John the Ripper.

Step 2. Open the command prompt and key in the command below for generating the hash file.

/john/run/ /root/Desktop/test.pdf > root/pdf.hash

John the Ripper


Step 3. Now, you have the hash file, the software will start unlocking the password by using the default wordlist, and you will get the hash value, pass the hash file into the run directory. Type the command:

./john/root/pdf.hash -wordlist /home/Desktop/wordlists.txt

Step 4. Then hit Enter. This command makes password guesses using a default library wordlist. The password will show after some time as the process takes time.

Note: Because It uses the brute force technique. More complex passwords take longer to break, and many processor resources are used.


Method 4. Unlock PDF File without Password Using Hashcat

Hashcat supports several file types, including encoded PDF files. Hashcat uses a GPU engine to unlock the password with the inclusion of Nvidia CUDA and OpenCL. It employs the Dictionary Attack and the Distributed Attack even for single and several hash files. You must extract them manually if you want to crack passwords from PDF files, and using Hashcat requires knowledge of command.

Step 1. Download the Hashcat from its official website (a .7z file). And extract your file to the current user folder.

Step 2. Now, open the command prompt. Go to the Hashcat folder and key in the command below to get the hash value:

hashcat64.exe --stdout info.txt -r C:\Users\Desktop\hashcat\rules\dive.rule -o hash.txt

Step 3. After the file with the hash comes up, you will be required to crack the password using the NTLM engine. Use the command:

hashcat64.exe -hash# hashcat -m 1000 -a 0 -o winpassl.txt win.txt

After the process is finished, the password should now be displayed for you to unlock your PDF.



Note: Be careful when using Hashcat because a wrong command can harm your system. It has no GUI interface, and it may be challenging to use.


Method 5. How to Unlock PDF File Online on is a comprehensive PDF online service website that will enable you to solve a wide range of PDF-related issues such as splitting, merging, rotation, conversion, and many more. It can also allow you to unlock permissions password from PDF when you got the open password. can work for you by supporting Mac, Windows. And can also be used with a smartphone (Android and iPhone). Now. If you are interested in unlocking PDF file online, please follow the steps below to get started.

Step 1. Visit

Step 2. This web app will feature many PDF editing tools. You have to click on the "Unlock PDF" option.

Step 3. Now, click that "Select PDF file" button to browse and upload your protected PDF file.

Step 4. Click the "Unlock PDF" button once your file is uploaded. This program will pop up a dialogue box to enter the password. Enter the password and then press the "Send" button.

Enter the open password of PDF


Step 5. iLovePDF will unprotect your PDF file and provide it for download. Click on the "Download" button to get the unprotected PDF file.

Enter the open password of PDF


Note: You will be disappointed if you got no open password for the locked PDF file, since it can only unprotect PDF when the user got the open password. Maybe Dr.PDF can do that for you if you don't have an open password for PDF!


Final Thoughts

All the above software utilities will enable you to unlock secured PDF without password. Some of them may be pretty difficult to use, especially for new users who use the commands John the Ripper and Hash Cat. If you are in search of an easy-to-use and dependable solution, go for iSeePassword Dr. PDF. It will crack all types of PDF passwords and other restrictions using its different attacks.


Related Articles

How to Crack PDF Password

How to Remove Password from PDF File

Best Solution if Forgot PDF Password

Open Password Protected PDF Document

How to Unlock PDF for Editing