15 Best Free Software To Unlock PDF

Here is a list of best free software to unlock PDF. Using these PDF unlocker software, you can unlock PDF user password and master password. Some of these software display the PDF password, which can be saved for later use, and some of them simply unlock PDF files for you without any restrictions. Some software also let you bypass the functions of owner password of PDF, like: deny copy text, extract text, extract images, and print PDF. These software let you perform these actions even when the owner password is set and you forget the password. You can also create a new unlocked PDF from an existing password protected PDF, which will be the copy of the locked PDF without restrictions, even if you do not know the password.

These software provide different options to unlock PDF files, like: Brute Force Attack, Dictionary Attack, Network Search, Mask Attack, and Key Search attack options. There are various methods in attack that can be deployed, like: simple method, complex method, and hybrid method. Different options can be set for attack, like: characters and numbers to be included, password length to be scanned, etc. More complex the PDF password is, more time is taken to unlock PDF.

My Favorite Software to Unlock PDF:

Out of these software to unlock PDF, I like Free PDF Unlocker the most. It is due to the fact that it is quite simple and effective while you unlock PDF. Also there is no limitation on the number of characters that are to be scanned to crack password of PDF file. It can perform both Brute-Force attack and Dictionary attack to unlock PDF files. You can also choose which characters are to be included while scanning from a defined set. You can also use your own character set. An unlocked PDF file is created at a specified location.

Also check out the list of best free Software To Password Protect PDF, Password Generator Software For Windows, and Password Manager Software.

Free PDF Unlocker



Free PDF Unlocker is a free software to unlock PDF. It makes use of Brute Force Method to find password of PDF. You can also set the option to try passwords from a Dictionary that is saved in TXT format. You can also add your own words to the dictionary.

You can specify password length range or exact password length. The characters can also be filtered to use only letters, use only numbers, use numbers and letters, or use custom character set. It is advised to specify the best range into which the password may lie and if possible, provide the exact length. You can also make sure to set only those characters which are used while encrypting the PDF file.

How to Unlock Encrypted PDF File using Free PDF Unlocker:

  • Add the encrypted PDF file which is to be unlocked.
  • Choose whether to use Brute Force Method or Dictionary option.
  • Set the parameters for unlocking the PDF, like: password length and password characters in case of Brute Force method.
  • Set the dictionary file from which the passwords are to be tried, in case you choose Dictionary.
  • Click on the Unlock button and the process of unlocking PDF begins. Based on the parameters entered and the password entered, it may take some time to unlock PDF. So it is necessary to have patience and let the software do its job. If the PDF file is not unlocked within specified parameters, then change the parameters, i.e. password length and characters.
  • Once the PDF is unlocked, a copy of the file with removed password is created at a specified location, and the original copy remains as it is.
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PDFCrack



PDFCrack is a simple command line PDF unlocker to crack and recover user password or owner password of PDF files. It is quite simple and easy to use.

There are some options that can be specified while you extract password from PDF file. Some of them are:

  • Use characters in string as charset.
  • Use file as source of passwords.
  • Specify minimum password and maximum password.
  • Run quietly.

Then open Command Prompt and browse to the location where your PDF is located. Then type and run the commands specifying the parameters to unlock PDF and after some time, the password is displayed.

Command:

pdfcrack -f listoffreeware.pdf –s

extracts the password of listoffreeware.pdf file.

You can take a look at other commands in this image.

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Recover PDF Password



Recover PDF Password offers a Demo version of the software that can be used to unlock PDF. You can perform Brute-Force Search, Dictionary Search, or Network Search to unlock PDF password.

Using Network Search, you can make use of system resources to process the task faster. This process adds remote computers to perform recovery mutually.

In Brute-Force Search, you can choose recovery method by password length, by template, or exhaustive search. Different charset options can be selected to include lowercase Latin letters, uppercase Latin letters, digits, space, special symbols, and user defined symbols.

In Dictionary Search option, you can select your own dictionary and select the type of search from the options: simple method, complex method, and hybrid method.

After the PDF password is found, it is displayed and can be noted for later use. Successfully recovered password can also be viewed under History tab later.

However there are some limitations of the Demo version. Using Demo version, you can recover PDF file password if it is not longer than four symbols while performing brute-force search or network search. In case you use dictionary search, password of any length can be recovered, but only the first and the last symbols are shown. Only the first page is decrypted and watermark is added to the PDF file.

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Appnimi PDF Unlocker



Appnimi PDF Unlocker is available as a free version that lets you unlock the PDF files for free using Dictionary method. The free version doesn’t lets you perform brute force attacks on the files. The inbuilt dictionary doesn’t contains many words, but you can choose your own dictionary file in TXT format. You can also set the minimum length and maximum length of password, but the maximum length can only be set to 5 characters in the free version.

When the process starts, you can see the time elapsed, words/second, words processed, time remaining, and words remaining. After the password is recovered, it is displayed. In case the password is not found in the dictionary file, the information is displayed citing that the password cannot be displayed.

After you download and install the software, you need to enter the registration code. The free registration code can be accessed by registering with your Email address.

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PDFMate Free PDF Merger




PDFMate Free PDF Merger is a simple freeware that can be used to merge and split PDF files. If the PDF file contains master password that prohibits users from taking a printout or copy the text or images, this freeware can be used to remove the password constraints as it makes a new PDF file without any such constraints.

You can also change output settings, like: PDF layout and any security permission if required. You can also set your own password to open PDF files, and set permission to allow editing, copying and printing.

How to remove PDF password using PDFMate Free PDF Merger:

  • Add the PDF file from which you wish to remove password.
  • Set the output settings, layout, output folder.
  • If required, you can also set the security options to set user password or master password.
  • Clicking on Build button creates a new PDF file that is free from any restrictions. Password is only applied if you choose the option to do so.
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QPDF



QPDF is another command line tool to remove password from PDF.

How to extract unlock PDF using QPDF:

  • Extract the contents of the downloaded software.
  • Open Command Prompt and browse to the location where qpdf.exe is located.
  • Copy the PDF file to unlock the same location where qpdf.exe is located.
  • Type the commands and then the new PDF file is generated without password.

Command:

qpdf --decrypt input.pdf output.pdf

Above command creates a new PDF, output.pdf from input.pdf without any password restrictions.

qpdf --password=PASSWORD --decrypt input.pdf output.pdf

This command creates a new PDF, output.pdf from input.pdf without any password restrictions where PASSWORD is set as the password.

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PDF Technologies PDF Password Remover Tool




PDF Technologies PDF Password Remover Tool is a good tool that can be used to remove owner passwords from PDF files. This helps you create a copy of the PDF which does not let you copy text, edit, and print PDF. The copy thus created is free of any such restrictions. This freeware however doesn’t work if you have a User password set.

How to Unlock PDF using PDF Password Remover Tool:

  • Open PDF file that you wish to remove the password from.
  • Select output file location and name.
  • Click on Convert button and your job will be done.
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PDF Split and Merge Basic Edition



PDF Split and Merge Basic Edition is a free software that can be used to merge PDF, split PDF, split PDF by bookmarks, create alternate PDF mix, rotate PDF pages, extract PDF pages, and split PDF by size. Using this, you can create a new copy of PDF file that has been protected with Owner password. In case the PDF files are encrypted with the user password, it needs to be entered in order to carry out the process.

How to remove password from PDF files using PDF Split and Merge Basic Edition:

  • Click on the Merge button, and add the file from which you wish to remove the password.
  • In case the PDF is protected with user password, enter the password.
  • Set the output options and location.
  • Click on the Run button, and the PDF file is saved to the specified location. If required, you can also open the PDF file by clicking the Open button, or process other tasks, like: split, split by size, split by bookmarks, rotate, or extract PDF.
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Weeny Free PDF Password Remover



Weeny Free PDF Password Remover is a simple software to remove owner passwords from PDF. It can also batch remove PDF password. This software doesn’t lets you remove User password. In case you know the user password, you can enter the user password and then the password removed version of the file is generated which is free of all restrictions, like: open permission, print permission, copy permission, etc.

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Evince



Evince is another open source freeware to create unprotected PDF from secure PDF. It can also be used to bypass security parameters and perform actions that let you copy text from protected PDF and print PDF. In case you wish to create a new PDF file without any security parameters, you can do so by printing the PDF file. This can be done even if you do not know the owner password of a PDF file.

Evince however doesn’t let you open PDF files protected with User password. In such cases, you have to specify the user password and then you can create a new PDF without Owner password.

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GSView



GSView is a simple software that can be used to view PDF file and various other types of files, like: PS, EPS, XPS, OXPS, EPUB, CBZ, PNG, JPEG, etc. Even if PDF files are password protected to disable printing, editing, or copying, you can use GSView to print, edit, and copy the contents of such PDF files. It doesn’t lets you work with PDF files which have User password set on them.

In case you choose to make a password removed version of a PDF file, you will have to select the option to take a printout of the PDF file and then choose the option to save it as PDF.

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Kernel for PDF Restriction Removal



Kernel for PDF Restriction Removal is a simple software that can be used to create a new PDF from password protected PDF file. The new PDF file created does not require password to let you print and copy text from PDF files. This freeware is also available in evaluation version. Using evaluation version, you can remove password from PDF files of size up to 200KB.

This freeware however doesn’t lets you remove User password. In case you wish to remove password from PDF files containing User password, you need to enter the user password. Then the copy of the PDF is created to a desired location.

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Portable PDF Unlocker by Cortezloud



Portable PDF Unlocker by Cortezloud is a free software to unlock PDF. It can be used to remove copy and printing restrictions from PDF files that are locked with master password. PDF files locked with user password cannot be unlocked.

It is quite easy to use and you just have to drag and drop the PDF file with master password enabled onto the software interface. Then the unlocked version of the file is generated at the same location. In case you drag the PDF file with user password an empty PDF file is generated.

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iSumosoft PDF Password Refixer



iSumosoft PDF Password Refixer offers a trial version of its software that lets you unlock PDF files for free. It can be used to unlock user password of PDF files. The trial version offers a limitation that let you crack PDF password of 3 characters. Passwords are recovered quite quickly. You can perform either Brute-force attack, mask attack dictionary attack, or smart attack in order to crack passwords.

You can specify Brute-Force range options to include all caps Latin, all small Latin, all digits, all special symbols, space, all printable, or some user defined characters.

You can also specify Start from, end at, and mask options.

In the Dictionary option, you can also choose your own dictionary files, select start line, smart mutations, convert to OEM encoding, or try all possible upper/lower case combinations.

Password unlock priority can be either set to background or high.

After the task is completed, password is displayed which can be copied for future use.

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Advanced PDF Password Recovery (APDFPR)



Advanced PDF Password Recovery (APDFPR) is a good and powerful software which you can use to unlock PDF files. The trial version lets you perform brute force attacks for a maximum of 4 password characters. It also has a limitation that let you decrypt only 10% of the PDF file.

You can either use it to remove user password or owner password or both. You can use either of the attack types: Brute-Force, Mask, Dictionary, or Key Search to recover PDF password. Each of them have different sets of options, and you can change the settings within the limitation of the trial version.

After the task is carried out and the password is successfully cracked, information is displayed about Encrypted PDF-file, Total passwords, Total time, Average speed (passwords per second), Password for this file (Owner), Password in HEX (Owner), Password for this file (User), Password in HEX (User), etc. The info can be saved as TXT file.

Some of the options available which can be changed are:

  • Range to specify Brute Force range, start from, end at, and mask. The range can be chosen from the options: All caps Latin, All small Latin, All digits, all special symbols, space, and all printable. If required, you can also define your own variables.
  • Minimal password length and maximal password length. You can also set dictionary, key search, and auto save options.
  • Some other options let you set priority, start attack on file select, and enable logging. Option is also available to use code optimization for different processor.

You can use it to decrypt 10% of the PDF file in trial version. You can also save the project as AFR to be used for later use.

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