If you want to password protect PDF online on a Windows 11/10 computer, then this post is handy. This post includes some free online tools that let you add passwords to your PDF documents. There exist some free software to protect PDFs; for those who are looking for online tools, the options covered in this post will be quite helpful. Some of these tools also provide the options to set PDF permissions that help to lock PDF copying, printing, etc.
Password Protect PDF Online using free tools
To password protect PDF online on a Windows 11/10 computer, you can use the following tools:
iLovePDF brings different PDF tools to sign PDF documents, edit PDF, convert PDF to PDF/A, Excel, Word, reorder or rearrange PDF pages, and more. Among those tools, a Protect PDF tool is also there that you can use to encrypt a PDF file with a password.
Using this Protect PDF tool is pretty easy. Once you have accessed its homepage, use the Select PDF file button to add input files (maximum 2) from your Windows 11/10 computer, Google Drive, or Dropbox. The file size should not exceed 100 MB.
After adding the PDF, it will automatically upload that PDF, and provide the password field. Enter and confirm the password, and press the Protect PDF button. Finally, you can download the password-protected PDF.
PDF2GO also provides a very useful Protect PDF tool that you can try to encrypt and password protect PDF files. Its free basic plan lets you process 5 PDF files at a time and the size limit for single or multiple files is 100 MB.
Another important feature of this tool is that along with setting the opening password, you can add a password to set printing, modifying, and copying permissions to PDF.
To use this tool, open its homepage from pdf2go.com. There, add PDF files from your system, Dropbox, or Google Drive account. An online PDF can also be added by its URL. After adding the PDFs, scroll down the page to use the fields and options available to enter an opening password, select PDF restrictions, rasterize PDF, enter a PDF restriction password, etc.
When everything is done, press the START button, and wait for the conversion. Finally, you can download all PDFs in a ZIP archive or download them manually. In addition to that, you can also upload the output PDFs to Dropbox and Google Drive.
Smallpdf website is a whole PDF suite that provides 20+ PDF tools. Using those tools, you can add page numbers to PDF, split and merge PDF a document, rotate PDF, compress PDF, and more. A separate tool is there for each individual purpose. A Protect PDF tool is also present that is quite good.
This tool lets you encrypt your PDF document with 128-bit AES encryption along with a password. You can upload a maximum 100 MB PDF to add a password for opening the PDF. Its free option works pretty well but the biggest limitation is only one PDF can be processed in a day. If that doesn’t bother you, then you can try it.
To use this Protect PDF tool, open it from smallpdf.com. On its homepage, you can either drop a PDF document from your computer or add it using the CHOOSE FILE button. You can also sign in to your Dropbox account or Google Drive account to add PDF from your online storage.
After uploading the PDF, enter a password, and then re-type it. Finally, press the ENCRYPT PDF button. Wait for the conversion and then you can download the output.
Sejda service is also a PDF suite that you can use to add bates numbering to PDF, deskew PDF, add watermark to PDF, organize, edit PDF, extract pages from PDF and lots more. 40+ tools are available to use including the Password Protect PDF tool. Its free plan comes with limitations, but that would be sufficient for most cases. You can use its free plan to add a maximum 50 MB PDF (or a PDF with up to 200 pages) and perform 3 tasks in an hour.
This Password Protect PDF tool lets you encrypt a PDF using AES 128-bits, AES 256-bits, or RC4 124-bits encryption. In addition to that, you can also set which permissions to be allowed for the PDF. For example, you can allow/restrict modifying, high-resolution printing, commenting, copying text permissions, etc.
If you want to use this tool, open its homepage from sejda.com. After that, upload a PDF from your computer, OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox. Now provide the opening password and then expand the More options section to allow/restrict PDF permissions. Finally, hit the Encrypt PDF file, and then you can get the output.
Online2PDF is one of the best tools on this list. Its features are pretty good. Using its free plan, you can use it to password protect 20 PDF files at a time. But the maximum size allowed for a single PDF is 100 MB and 150 MB for all input files together.
It also lets you add those PDF files that are already protected with an opening password. The benefit of adding such PDFs is you will be able to change their passwords and set new permissions to those PDF files. But, for this, you must know the original password. For each PDF file, you can lock printing, modifying, and copying by selecting the given options. In addition to that, this tool lets you use a wizard that helps to select, reorder, and rotate PDF pages before you can process them to generate the output PDF files.
For protecting PDF files using this tool, open the tool homepage from online2pdf.com. Click on the Select files button to add PDF documents from your Windows 11/10 computer. When the input files are added, use the wizard button and enter an opening password (if already set), or leave those options.
In the middle section of this tool, select the output mode to Convert files separately so that you can get a separate PDF for each input PDF file. Otherwise, it will merge all those PDFs and generate a single output. Now, come to the bottom part of the tool where you can set the protection preferences which include lock copying, creating a password for opening, lock modifying, etc.
When all the options are set, press the Convert button. When the process is completed, it will automatically open a window to save the password-protected PDF files to a folder on your computer.
How can I password protect a PDF file for free?
There are multiple options that you can use to password protect a PDF file for free. For example, you can use Microsoft Word to encrypt and password protect a PDF. In addition to that, you can also try some free software or online tools to add a password to a PDF file. We have created a list of some good free online tools in this post to password protect PDFs that you should try.
Can you password protect with free Adobe Reader?
Unfortunately, adding a password to PDF documents is not possible with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader DC tool. This is a paid feature available in Adobe Acrobat Pro. But, you can try some other applications like MS Word or LibreOffice or freeware that let you protect a PDF document. Or else, if you have a PDF of up to 100 MB in size, then you can try some online tools for this purpose. Check this post above that includes some best free online tools to password protect PDF documents.