How to Unlock PDF on Mac | Best PDF Password Unlocker

I am currently learning AutoCAD and downloaded a free eBooks from Internet. When I was trying to open it, a password prompt shows up. Definitely, I don't know what is the password is. Hence, I have to figure out a way to unlock this PDF on my MacBook Pro.

unlock pdf on mac

In fact, A PDF file can be protected by password, which restricts it from opening, editing, or other types of activities. This is the best way to keep information secured in a PDF file. This way, when someone tries to view the file, they need to enter the correct password that's only known to you. This makes sure your confidential information is protected from hackers and any unauthorized access.

However, there are times when you need to remove password protection from PDF file so it can be viewed by everyone. Or, you forgot the password and your file turns to be useless. Removing the password protection from a PDF file on a Mac is not something challenging, but the process might be unknown to many Mac owners.

This tutorial will share you the full details on how to unlock a PDF file with or without password.

Adobe Acrobat DC - Unlock PDF on Mac with Password

Acrobat DC is the most popular PDF editor developed by Adobe System. It is packed with a lot of advanced features for PDF editing and creation. If you knew the PDF open password, then this is the best way to unlock a PDF file on Mac. This professional tool allows users unlocking PDF file in very simple steps. If you have Adobe Acrobat DC installed on your Mac, then it is a good way to go.

Acrobat DC works perfectly on the latest version of macOS Big Sur. You can download the free trial to get a quick look at how it works. However, we recommend you go for the paid version. However, this tool is not free as you need to pay a few bucks to access the premium features. Also, you can upgrade the plan to Acrobat DC, a paid subscription that helps unlock PDF file even it has printing restrictions.

How to Unlock PDF on Mac with Adobe Acrobat: Click the 'Choose File' button and load password protected PDF document. You can also import file from Google Drive, Dropbox, FTP or web location. If an Open password is required, enter it now to import the file.

Go to Tools > Protect -> Remove Security. If the PDF document was protected by an open password, then just click OK to remove it from PDF. If it was a permission password, then enter the password to unlock this PDF file.

Adobe Acrobat DC is a great option to unlock PDF file on Mac as it is reliable and easy-to-use. However, the free trial lacks some of its premium features. We advise you go for the paid version as it's really worth your shot.


Dr. PDF - The Best Way to Unlock PDF on Mac (Password Unkown)

Dr.PDF is a professional PDF password unlocker you can put trust on. It not only cracks PDF open password, also instantly removes restrictions imposed on PDF file. What sets it apart from Acrobat lies in its support for multi-core CPU and GPU acceleration. This means the password unlocking speed is much faster than other free software. If you have a maxed out Mac, then the process should be in seconds.

The latest version adds the support for macOS Big Sur. To be honest, it runs smoothly on the latest macOS operating system without a flaw. All you need to do is to import the file and let it do the rest of work.

Step 1. Now open PDF password unlocker on your Mac machine and select 'Recover Open Password from PDF'.

pdf password recovery software mac

Step 2. Click 'Add File' button located at the upper right corner to select a PDF file you wish to recover the password.

pdf password recovery software mac

Step 3. You need to choose a password unlocking mode at this time. Available ones are Dictionary Attack, Bruce-force Attack and Bruce-force with Mask Attack. Usually, we recommend Mask Attack because you have a few options to facilitate the password cracking process. Below is an example.

pdf password recovery software mac

Step 4: When all the settings are done. Please click 'Start' button to start PDF password cracking task on your Mac. You will see the speed and time frame in live state.

pdf password recovery software mac

Step 5. You have to wait untile the password is found. You will see it displayed on the screen upon success.W

pdf password recovery software mac


Bonus: Unlock PDF with Permission Password on Mac

To remove an owner password from your PDF, select 'Remove Owner Password from PDF' from the main menu, then import the file, and hit the Start button. The PDF file will be unlocked in one second at this time.

pdf password recovery software mac

Honestly, This PDF password recovery software is a more suitable option if you forgot or did not know the PDF password. It really stands out from competing products thanks to its powerful password cracking engines and attractive user interface..

Hashcat - Advanced Free Software to Unlock PDF on macOS

Hashcat is a free and advanced PDF password unlocker. The coolest part is that it is totally free (no subscription required) and supports multiple platforms out there. The process basically involves gathering all of your passwords in a folder called hash and decrypt them using stock algorithms.

Like Dr.PDF, it supports both CPU and GPU acceleration to speed up the process. However, you may come across bugs and glitches during the process as it is still an open-source and needs improvements. In addition, this is no graphics user interface for this well-kown password cracker. That's why we list it below Dr.PDF, which is designed for average users and no command.

Step 1. First of all, you have to extract crackable hash information fom PDF file. To do this, you can use this online service to extract hash from encrypted PDF. Save the output in a text file(hash.txt) and copy it to Desktop folder.

extract has from pdf

Step 2. Install Hashcat vie Homebrew: brew install hashcat. You can also download and unzip the portable binary from Hashcat website.

Step 3. Open Terminal app and get into Desktop folder.

Step 4. Now enter this following command to crack password from PDF:

hashcat -m 10500 hash.txt -a 0 wordlist.txt --force

  • m 10500 : PDF (1.4.-1.6) format. Here is a list of example hashes.
  • a 0 : Dictionary mode. You can also use other modes such as Bruce-force, Combination.
  • --force : ignore warning message
  • wordlist.txt: a dictionary file that contacts different password combinations

Step 5. Once the process starts, you will hear the noise from CPU fan. You have to wait untile the password is recovered.

unlock pdf hashcat - Excellent Online PDF Password Unlocker

If you don't want to install any additional software on your Mac, then go for an online password unlocking service. There are a lot of them out there, but we recommend, a freemium online website for unlocking PDF file. As a reputable service, you can use it on your Mac, PC or any other service with Internet connection. Plus, you can access more advanced features if you are willing to pay.

The paid version features strong password recovery mode, with a brute force attack mode. However, if you have some clues about your password, then stick with the free offer.

lostmypass online pdf unlocker

To unlock a PDF file on Mac from, head over to its official page, then pass the human verification first. After that, upload PDF file, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. The process only takes several minutes. If you go for the strong password recovery option, then the process may take up to 6 hours.

lostmypass online pdf unlocker

If failed, you will see the following screenshot and prompted to enroll its premium service to get the PDF file unlocked.

lostmypass online pdf unlocker

One major drawback lies in its speed, as it takes up to 6 hours to crack a long, complex password even you are a premium subscriber. However, this is still a good option for unlocking PDF with a simple password and it is free.

The Bottom Line

Unlocking a PDF file on Mac is super easy if you still knew the password. The process could be tough and time consuming when you forgot or did not know the password. Hence, you have to get assistance from third-party PDF password unlocking software. Both Dr.PDF and Hashcat are great choices out there for this purpose.

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Best PDF Password Recovery Tools 2021

How to Crack PDF Password

How to Remove Password Protection from PDF