Remove Password Security from Multiple PDF Files by Adobe Acrobat

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This article focuses on how to remove password security from multiple PDF files by Adobe Acrobat program. Sometimes it is essential to access the stored data items and to print, edit as well as copy content from Portable Document Format files in absence of the person who actually added password security onto the PDFs. Moreover, erasing passwords from one file at a time is both tiresome and troublesome.
However, before discussing the method, it is necessary to know the types of password protection that can be applied to PDF documents. Then it is easy to devise ways to remove them. In the section below are discussed the types of passwords that are usually imposed as security on Adobe Acrobat portable files.
Kinds of Password Protection on PDF Files
The types of password that can be added in PDF files are:
  1. Document Open Password – Known as user-level protection password, it restricts unauthorized users from opening the PDF file and accessing the stored data items. With the Document Open password applied to the portable files, only users who know the user-password only can open the file.
  1. Permission Password – Permission password is also known as owner-level password. This kind of password actually restricts everyone except the owner of the document to print, edit or copy text, images or other content from the PDF file. The permission password, or Usage Restriction password also limits commenting on the Acrobat PDF files.
  Removal of Passwords from Acrobat PDFs in Batch 

When the query is how to remove password security from multiple PDF files then the use of Acrobat Pro, passwords can be removed from PDF files in batch. However, the kinds of passwords put on the documents must be known to make unlocking successful. A user can put both Document password and Permission password either individually together. Hence, while removing password securities from the PDFs it is essential for the user who is removing the passwords to know which kind of password was be used.
Case 1: When security on the documents are Open Password and not Usage Restriction password, then the Open Document password must be used.
Case 2:  When the security is Permission password and not user-level protection then the password that should be used to remove the security restriction is the Usage restriction password.
Case 3: When the Acrobat PDF files are protected by both the kinds of passwords that are user-level and owner-level then the password that should be used to erase the restriction is owner-level password.

Forming Batch Sequence to Remove Security from Multiple PDF Files
The following steps must be followed to unlock PDF documents in bulk using Acrobat Pro. At the beginning users shall have to change a preference so that Acrobat allows users to enter the password when the batch sequence is executed.
  • In Windows OS, choose Edit >> Preferences  
  • In Macintosh OS, go to Acrobat >> Preferences
  • In Preferences window, select Batch Processing located at the left
  • Then, from the drop down menu, set the Security Method as Password Security
  • Then click OK
Tip: Users might wish to enable saving warnings and errors in log file as this is helpful when Acrobat fails to process a file. In such a situation users will have a report that they can make use of. To do this user can check the box with ‘Save warnings and errors in log file’ in the Preferences window.
  • Select Advanced >> Document Processing >> Batch Processing
  • Click upon the tab New Sequence button
  • Give a name to the sequence (for instance: Remove Security)
  • Give a click on the Select Commands button
  • Then the window Edit Sequence comes up on the system screen
  • The alterations as mentioned below must be made in the in the particular window.
  • Click on Security in the Edit Sequence window as shown in the image below
  • Then click on the Add tab
  • Choose Security Method as None
  • Finally, click OK
  image003.pngTip: If nothing else in altered in the sequence, Acrobat shall prompt the user to locate the files and process them.

Running the Sequence

Although running the sequence is simple and easy, it is advised that all password protected PDF documents that are to be unlocked be collected at one place. This makes the process even more easy.
  • Select the tabs in following order: Advanced >> Document Processing >> Batch Processing
  • Click upon the sequence to be executed (here in this case it is Remove Security) and then select the tab Run Sequence
  • In the Run Sequence Confirmation window click upon the button OK
  • Enter in the password of the files and click OK
  • Locate the PDF files from which the security has to be erased
  • Finally, the files will get processed and security removed from multiple PDF files in bulk

To unlock PDF documents that are protected by user-level and owner-level password both, the latter must be entered and it must be correct. If an incorrect password is entered, Acrobat will not be able to open the file and an error will be prompted.

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