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How to print protect a PDF file using Acrobat X

Learn how to apply security to your PDF documents to disallow printing in Acrobat X.

By Lori Kassuba – December 13, 2011


In this tutorial, learn how to apply security and protect PDF documents by disallowing printing in Acrobat X.

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How to print protect a PDF file using Acrobat X

Lori Kassuba – December 13, 2011

To disallow printing of a PDF document, you’ll need to open your file in Acrobat X Std. or Pro. Click on the Tools pane and open the Protection panel. Select More Protection and click on Security Properties. This will bring up the Document Properties dialog with the Security Tab open. First, you’ll need to select Password Security from the Security Method dropdown. In this dialog you can select a password to open a document, which requires everyone that opens your file to know the password. Or, under the permissions section, you can restrict certain features in your PDF document such as printing. To disallow printing, check the Restrict editing and printing of document box. You’ll need to enter a password and then select None from the Printing Allowed dropdown. When you click OK, you’ll be prompted to re-enter your password.

You’ll also need to save the file before the security settings take effect. And then, to confirm your security settings, simply select the lock icon in the Navigation pane and look at the Permission Details. Anyone that opens your print-protected file will now see the print icon in the toolbar is grayed out and will no longer be able to use the keyboard shortcuts to print the file.

Requirements: Adobe Acrobat Std. or Pro.

Products covered:

Acrobat X

Related topics:

Protect PDFs

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Comments for this tutorial are now closed.

Lori Kassuba

6, 2016-02-12 12, 2016

Hi ijaj ahemad,

You need to contact the creator of the PDF file to get a version of the file that you can print.


ijaj ahemad

8, 2016-02-05 05, 2016

hello sir,whenever i open the file in windows 10 pdf reader and click on more and click on info it shows print permission not allowed ,
i want to print those file ,how can i ...


10, 2012-11-30 30, 2012

Got a PDF file thru e-mail. It won’t print. Updated the reader. Still won’t print. Yet,I can print other pdf’s on my hard drive.??

Hi Raoul,

Is this particular PDF file print protected? If so, you will see a lock icon in the left-hand navigation pane.

If not, you can also try check the “Print as Image” box in the Advanced portion of the Print dialog.


Sacha Zlatkova

5, 2012-01-13 13, 2012

This help note is great! I was able to enforce print protecting on my PDF document in no time and the available video is a great complement too. THANK YOU!

Thanks for letting us know.

Comments for this tutorial are now closed.