PDF is one of the most used document formats out there. The main benefit of working with a PDF is that you can add a password to it, which comes in handy for those who want to protect their personal data from prying eyes.
However, there are times when a password-protected PDF becomes a cause of annoyance. In reality, if you forgot or lost the password of a PDF file unfortunately, then you can not open that PDF for sure. Luckily, there are a couple ways to help you crack PDF password, so you can regain access to it for both viewing and editing purposes. And this is what this tutorial is all about.
Before we get started, there are a couple of things you need to know about password protecting a PDF.
Two PDF Password Types
You can set two password types on a single PDF, which makes sure your personal data won’t fall into the wrong hands. These include owner password and open password. They are different in how people access your file.
Basically, you can set an owner password for a PDF to prevent other people from printing, copying, and modifying. However, you still can view the content inside that PDF file. Open password, on the other hand, keeps other people from viewing or opening PDF. We recommend you keep two password types enabled for maximum security level.
As mentioned above, there are many apps that crack password from a PDF file, but not all of them are equal, as some only can crack a user password while others trade in removing an owner password.
Lostmypass.com: Crack PDF Password Online
This is an online service for cracking PDF password, which should come in handy for those who don’t want to install any additional software or program. However, this approach is basically free for all users, but you can access more advanced features if you are willing to pay.
The paid version offers strong password recovery mode coupled with a brute force attack mode. This guarantees a high level of success. If you have some clues about the last password you used, then stick with the free offer.
To crack PDF password at Lostmypass.com, head over to its official page, then upload password-protected PDF file, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
The process takes several minutes. It only takes 3–4 minutes to crack a weak password and it is completely free. However, you have to pay 39 USD and wait for more time for strong password recovery.
[Our Review]Then entire password cracking process is straightforward and the only thing you need to do is to upload PDF file to its server. However, this is not recommended if there were confidential information in your PDF file. When the password is cracked, a copy is left on the server, which may be a big issue of data security.
iSeePassword Dr.PDF: Best Desktop Software to Crack PDF Password on Windows PC and Mac
Dr.PDF is an advanced PDF password recovery software designed for Windows and Mac users. As the name suggests, it cracks any PDF password with 3 configurable attack modes, including Brute-force Attack, Brute-force with Mask Attack and Dictionary Attack. In addition, it has a built-in engine for CPU and GPU acceleration, which makes the password cracking speed much faster than normal PDF password recovery software. This could save a lot of time on this task.
Like LostMyPass PDF password cracking service, Dr.PDF is also able to instantly remove restrictions imposed on a PDF, so you can freely edit, modify or copy it.
Dr.PDF offers both free and paid versions. The free version is limited to cracking 3 password length, while the paid version offers more options including the ability to crack long passwords. Here is how to use Dr. PDF to crack PDF open password.
Step 1: Visit its official webpage and download Dr. PDF. It works on latest Windows 10 and macOS Big Sur.
Download link for Windows: https://www.iseepassword.com/downloads/pdf-password-recovery.exe
Download link for Mac: https://www.iseepassword.com/downloads/pdf-password-remover.dmg
Step 2: Now open it on your machine and select Recover Open Password from PDF from the main interface.
Step 3: Click Add to select a PDF file you wish to recover the password for and select an attack type.
Step 4: Now hit the Start button and the process should begin.
To remove an owner password from PDF, select Remove Owner Password from PDF from the main menu, then import the file, and hit the Start button. The restriction password will be removed in seconds.
[Our Review] Dr.PDF is a more secure password cracking solution than LossMyPass.com as it won’t upload your document into cloud. Besides, you can crack as many as PDF files within a single license. Lastly, the password cracking speed is quite amazing!
GuaPDF: Free PDF Password Cracking Software with Limited Function
GuaPDF is another great tool for cracking PDF password. Like Dr. PDF, it can quickly remove restrictions from any PDF document, so you can edit or print it. The app is compatible with all platforms out there, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
With GuaPDF, you can remove any type of password and encryption imposed on your PDF. What sets it apart from Dr. PDF lies in its greater speed. In fact, the process is super-fast and your password is safely removed without damaging your content. All is made possible by its full support for your GPU and CPU processing power.
Note: You can download the free demo of the app before deciding to pay for it.
Step 1: Launch the app on your PC and then click on the File menu
Step 2: Hit the Open tab and browse your PDF file you wish to crack the password.
Step 3: Once you are done, the app will start cracking the password and the process takes around 2 minutes.
[Our Review]GuaPDF is really simple to use, which only has a single alone window. All the options can be found in seconds. One of the main drawbacks is that it lacks advanced settings like Dictionary or Mask Attack. And the feature is very limited in free demo version. However, it still offers a high level of success.
Hashcat: Crack PDF Password for Free with Command-Line Based Interface
Hashcat is an open-source PDF password cracker. The coolest part is that it is totally free (no subscription required) and supports multiple platforms out there. It basically gathers your passwords in a folder called hash and decrypt it. The app also supports multi-hash cracking at the same time.
Like Dr.PDF, it supports CPU and GPU acceleration to speed up the PDF cracking process. One major downside is that it still needs some polishing as it is an open-source app. Developers have been working on it, so you may encounter some glitches and bugs during the process. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Extract crackable hash information of target PDF file. You can do this from this page (https://www.onlinehashcrack.com/tools-pdf-hash-extractor.php), by simply uploading PDF file to it. It will generate a hash text upon success. For example:
Step 2: Save the hash value in a text file (e.g. hash.txt).
Step 3: Now enter this following command to crack PDF password from hash value with Dictionary mode.
hashcat -m 10500 hash.txt -a 0 /root/wordlists/1000000-password-seclists.txt — force
· m 10500 : PDF (1.4.-1.6) format
· a 0 : Dictionary mode
Step 4: You will see a progress bar indicating how it goes. When the password is cracked successfully, it will be displayed on the screen.
[Our Review]Hashcat is one of the most powerful password recovery software. It supports various file formats and incorporates different hash cracking algorithms. However, it is an advanced tools that needs more time to figure out how the command works.
Cracking PDF password is easy with above suggestions. They are designed for different scenario. Simply put, there is one software that could recover password from all PDF files. If one does not work, please switch to another. However, iSeePassword Dr.PDF is most recommended based on our test result.