How to Password Protect PDF Files with Multiple Methods

Password Protect PDF Files

Information on how to encrypt or password protect PDF files is especially important for people who sometimes send confidential data electronically. They are also useful for those who store sensitive data on disks or external media. If you want to protect yourself against their spread, it is worth knowing a few ways to properly protect them.

There is often a need to send PDF files containing confidential information by e-mail. One way might be to create secure archives as described in this post. It allows you to protect not only individual files, but also entire folders and any types of files.

However, if we need to send one file in PDF format, it is worth using the tool offered by Microsoft in Office or the SwifDoo PDF or online PDF encryption tools.

Method 1. Protecting the PDF using Microsoft Office

Since the version 2007, Office allows you to save work results as a PDF file, but in this version it is not possible to set protection for the PDF format against reading.

In the version 2013 and newer, Office allows you to protect the exported PDF file with a password, this password is required every time you try to read the content.

  • With an open document in Word that we want to protect, select File -> “Save as” and select PDF from the drop-down format list.

  • An option button will appear, after selecting it, select the last option “Encrypt document using a password” and press “OK” button.

  • Selecting the “Save” button will bring up the password entry window, the password must be a minimum of 6 characters and a maximum of 32 characters.

This file has been secured and is ready to be sent. Each attempt to open a PDF file saved in this way requires re-entering the password.

Method 2. Protecting PDF using SwifDoo PDF

If we want to protect any type of printouts other than Word, e.g. printouts from accounting systems, HR and payroll systems or files from various programs containing important data, the PDF encryption program comes to the rescue.

When looking for proven methods to encrypt PDF files, a dedicated PDF program called SwifDoo PDF comes to the rescue. It is extremely easy to use and allows you to effectively secure various types of documents.

After downloading and installing, a new program called SwifDoo PDF is added to the system. In addition to the encryption feature, the SwifDoo PDF program is also available as a dedicated PDF editor, which allows you to configure editing profiles, including file encryption options.

  • After launching it, go to the “Protect” tab.

  • If we want all PDFs to be encrypted by default, we make changes to the default profile. If we want to be able to create secured PDF files only for selected ones, we can create a new profile, e.g. secure PDF.

  • Enabling the encryption option is available in the “Protect” menu, after selecting the Encryption option, the “Require a password to open the PDF document” option is enabled. If we select the ‘Apply’ option and enter a password, it will be used for all files open under the current tag.

If we want to set a password for multiple file ourselves, use the “Batch Encryption” option instead.

Method 3. Protecting PDF using Online Tools

You can also adopt this protection practice through some free online applications. A PDF file that has an edit password set will display an appropriate message requesting the password when you try to delete a page.

Security by limiting access to the file

Another effective way to secure a PDF file is to restrict access to it. For example, you can store important documents in secure clouds or on password-protected servers. Modern document management tools also offer functions that allow you to monitor who had access to a specific file and when.

Cloud storage: Services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive allow you to not only store your files in the cloud, but also keep them secure by sharing them only with selected people. Thanks to this, you can be sure that only authorized persons have access to your document.


Securing PDF documents is extremely important, especially when they contain confidential information. Thanks to the above tips and tools, you can effectively protect your files against unauthorized access, editing or printing.

Remember, however, that no security is 100% unbreakable, so it is always worth being vigilant and regularly updating your security methods.

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