Can you password protect a PDF on iPad?

how to put a password lock on pdf files on iPhone iOS and iPadOS

You can password protect a PDF on iPad or iPhone directly from your files app.

open the pdf in the files app

Open the pdf file (in the files app) you want to lock and on the top left where you see the file name, tap the drop down arrow. You will see an option to Lock the PDF.

Can you password protect a PDF on iPad?


Set a Password to protect the pdf

After tapping on “Lock PDF”. You will be prompted for a password. I am going to set the password to “this”.

After hitting done, the file will be password protected and its icon will always show a lock on it.

How to password protect a pdf on iPad
Passworded Protected PDF file icon

Now every time I need to access or view the pdf file, I would have to type this on the password screen.

Enter this password to view the pdf

Your pdf is now password protected

This method works only for PDFs and you cannot lock any other type of file (in iPad). Lets look at some of the things you can do with the protected pdf besides viewing it.

Can you share a password protected pdf

Yes you can email or airdrop the pdf file to anyone after protecting it. The password protection will stay and the person receiving the file would have to enter this to use it. The document will still require the password even if being viewed on a different app such as adobe reader. It may not open in Chrome browser at all.

Can you print a password locked pdf

You can print a password locked pdf after entering the password.

Can you print a password protected pdf

Will copying, moving, or duplicating a locked pdf remove its security?

You can move, copy, duplicate, rename, and even delete the file, but there is no way in iOS or in the files app to remove the password protection from the file. Once the file is locked, it will always remain locked and require the password. You will have to enter it every time.

can you change the password of a password protected pdf in iOS

There is no (clean) way to change the password of a locked pdf in iOS or iPad or iPhone. You could try opening the file on a desktop using adobe or some other type of pdf viewer and try changing it from there. But keep reading, there is a workaround for this.

How to remove password protection from a pdf on iPad

Although there is no way to unlock a locked pdf and remove its password, there is a workaround for creating an unsecured password free version of the file in iOS: Print it to PDF.

After entering the password (if you still remember it), find the option to print the file. Then use the method described here to print that file to PDF. This new PDF file you create will hold all the exact same content as the locked version, except that it’s viewable without any password.

You can password protect this new PDF file with a new password and delete the old file from your iPad. Thats a workaround for changing the password of a protected pdf.