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How to remove a password lock from a PDF

We all understand the value in password-protected documents... until you have to submit them to a third party provider for some or other reason. Typically, statements are password-locked in a similar way and the agent on the other side probably has the information necessary to unlock said documents. Unfortunately, there's the odd occasion where you need to upload those documents to a more automated system (Sars, I'm looking at you), which is where the problems arise.

Image source: Miguel Á. Padriñán from
Image source: Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

My go-to method for working around this has always been to print out the document, scan it in again and email or upload the newly-created PDF. Simple enough if you have the equipment, but rather annoying and time-consuming seeing as it wouldn't kill anyone to add an obvious "save without password" option on a free PDF viewer. However, being up the creek without a printer adds another level of inconvenience to the whole ordeal.

Little did I know there really has been an easy solution to this little problem the entire time. It's just been hiding.

Here is the (ridiculously simple) step-by-step method to remove the password-lock from a PDF and re-save it using Windows 10 - without needing to kill a couple of trees in the process:

How to remove a password lock from a PDF
  1. Open the PDF (yes, your password will obviously be required here).

  2. Click "Print".
  3. On the print window that pops up, click on the dropdown tab under "Printer" - typically where you'd select or add the printer you'd be using (see image - right).
  4. Scroll until you find the "Save as PDF" option and select.
  5. Save.

And there you go. You now have a fresh copy of the document you need, without the pesky password-lock. There are other methods depending on what operating system or program you're running, but this is a fail-safe option for Win10, without having to pay for other software.


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