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How to password protect PDF documents using Acrobat X

Learn how to password protect PDF documents to make your password protected PDF documents more secure.

By March 16, 2012


In this tutorial, learn how to password protect PDF documents created with Acrobat X to make your password protected PDF documents more secure.

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Products covered:

Acrobat X

Related topics:

Protect PDF

Top Searches:

Apply PDF passwords and permissions, get electronic signatures from others, sign and send documents


Lori Kassuba

9, 2015-07-31 31, 2015

Hi Erik,

You’ll need Acrobat and not just the free Reader in order to password protect a PDF document.



1, 2015-07-19 19, 2015

BS. It applies only to Adobe Acrobat. The title (and my search) was “How to password protect PDF documents using Acrobat X”, did you get it? Adobe Reader X, not Acrobat. Nothing on my Adobe reader X even looks like what you describe above.


12, 2014-06-19 19, 2014

Donna thank you so much, I’ve been trying to save using adobe and not acrobat.

Lori Kassuba

11, 2014-02-11 11, 2014

Hi Sohanul Islam Shaon,

Adobe Acrobat is required to set document security and not just the free Reader.


Lori Kassuba

10, 2014-02-11 11, 2014

Hi Ber,

If you have Acrobat Pro., you can secure multiple PDFs (with the same password) by using an Action. Here is a pre-built Action from the Actions Exchange that can do this:


Sohanul Islam Shaon

1, 2014-02-05 05, 2014

Your video wasn’t helpfull to me….......because In security method there is no option to change.


8, 2013-09-11 11, 2013

I have about 2000 pdf documents and they need to be password protected. How do I do this in batch?

donna baker

10, 2013-08-06 06, 2013

Hi Kristin -

What program are you using? Adobe Reader will let you see the Security settings, but you can’t make any changes.

The only reason you would have a document that doesn’t allow you to add security is if it has been applied by the document author using another method.



12, 2013-08-01 01, 2013

I published my document as a PDF.  When I go to document properties, security, there is no drop down and there is no where for me to click to change the setting.  How do I enable the PDF to allow me to change the security settings?

donna baker

2, 2013-07-30 30, 2013

Hi Adeel -

Password protection must be applied in Acrobat itself, not in Adobe Reader.



5, 2013-07-29 29, 2013

We have Adobe Reader X installed on the user system and they want to password protect the PDF files before email it to others. Can we protect the PDF files using Adobe Reader X or do we need to have an Adobe suite or writer?

joan thomas

12, 2013-06-05 05, 2013

Hi Donna,

I found that _secure only got appended when there was an existing PDF in the folder - rather than replacing the file…it created the duplicate with _secure.

Yes…software should make our lives easier, but sometimes I have my doubts! Thanks for the info.

donna baker

12, 2013-06-04 04, 2013

Hi Joan -

If you don’t want to have the suffix, open the Action and revise it. To do that, open the Actions panel, click Edit Actions, select the action and edit (remove) the step.

Using a batch mode action to remove the step added in another action would work, but you don’t need to work so hard ;)


joan thomas

10, 2013-05-31 31, 2013

When I use the Protect PDF action, _secure is added to the end of the generated protected PDF name - how can I either remove these is batch mode or prevent it from being added?

I’m looking to add a Permissions Password with settings to prevent saving out as Word security to a folder of PDFs.

donna baker

5, 2012-10-16 16, 2012

Hi Dick -

By default, Acrobat shows no security. If you select either or both of the options on the Security tab of the Document Properties, repeat the password’s entry, and then save the file, you have Password Security applied, instead of the no security.

The only reason you would have a document that doesn’t allow you to add security is if it has been applied by the document author using another method.


Dick Estel

3, 2012-10-15 15, 2012

When I attempt to apply a password to a document, the Security Method shows “no security,” and there is no drop-down option. So now what?

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