Unlock PDF file

How to unlock a secured/protected PDF file so you can copy and paste or print from it

Option 1 : Ghostscript

Download portable Ghostscript from PortableApps.com :

Install Ghostscript.

  • NOTE: it does not really “install”. It just writes files to a particular folder.
  • TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLDER! You may also change its location and name if you like.
  • We will enter this foldername later.

Start the Windows program Notepad

Copy and paste the following text

  • You will have to CHANGE the names of the input and output files after you paste into Notepad.
  • (You might have to scroll right to see/get/copy all of this)
    gswin32c -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile="OUTPUT PDF" "INPUT PDF"
  • INPUT PDF – this is the full path name to the file you want to unlock by converting
  • OUTPUT PDF – this is the full path name to the new file you want to create (the filename should not exist yet–but the folder should)
  • Example 1 of possible INPUT and OUTPUT PDF files:
    • INPUT: C:\users\johndoe\Downloads\some_file.pdf
    • OUTPUT: C:\users\johndoe\Downloads\some_file_unlocked.pdf
  • Example 2 possible of INPUT and OUTPUT PDF files:
    • INPUT: "C:\users\johndoe\Desktop\another file.pdf"
    • OUTPUT: "C:\users\johndoe\Desktop\another file unlocked.pdf"
  • If the folder path or file name contains spaces, the filename must be in “double quotes” (otherwise the quotes are optional)

Save the file as convert_pdf.bat in the bin sub-folder within the folder where you “installed” Ghostscript

  • Example save location: C:\user\johndoe\Downloads\CommonFiles\Ghostscript\bin\

Navigate to that bin sub-folder and double-click convert_pdf.bat to run it.

  • It should create an unlocked version of your file for you.

Option 2 : Upload to google drive (docs)

Then cut-n-paste from within google drive.

Option 3 : Upload to free zoho docs.

Then cut-n-paste from within zoho docs.

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