How to remove password from PDF File in Linux [Tip]

PDF_LogoAt some point in your life you have secured any PDF file which may contain some sensitive information with safe and lengthy password so no wrong person can access what it is protecting. If you do not want to enter it every time and you came down to the decision that you don’t need it anymore and decided to put it down for good from your copy of document, then this topic will be useful to you.

The following topic will let you know different methods in Linux to remove a password protecting a PDF file

Using the PDF Toolkit

PDF Toolkit is a good and easy is used quite often in Linux for manipulating PDF files.


Before we get our hands dirty with it, we need To install it for that simply press Ctrl + Alt + T at once to open the Terminal window and them type following command.

sudo apt-get install pdftk

If asked type password of your account and click Enter.

The installation will begin shortly after showing some system details and how much space is required for it. Then it will to continue just type y and click a moment when installation finishes type following command in command prompt.

pdftk /home/lori/Documents/secured.pdf input_pw password output                       


If we break it down then above syntax simply means:

Pdftk basic command used
/home/lori/Documents/secured.pdf Path and name of the password-protected PDF file.

After typing above command hit enter. The unprotected PDF file will be generated and saved.

Using QPDFqpdf

QPDF is also a command-line program designed for Linux which basically converts PDF files preserving contents of your file. This tool also allows you to encrypt, decrypt, and split and merge PDF files together.

If by any chance you are using latest version of Ubuntu it is likely that QPDF is already installed on it. If it is not the case, press Ctrl + Alt + T at once to open Terminal window then type following command.

sudo apt-get install qpdf

Type account password if asked.

Once installation of QPDF is done is installed type following command in the terminal and click Enter.

qpdf –password=password –decrypt /home/lori/Documents/secured.pdf


Decoding of above command is as follows:

qpdf Basic command employed
–password=password Enter the password after equals sign.
–decrypt /home/lori/Documents/secured.pdf Path and name of PDF file from which you want to remove password.
/home/lori/Documents/unsecured.pdf Specify path and name for unprotected and newly generated PDF file.

Using password is important because it involves security and safe way for our contents and allow us a more trusting environment. Password are used to make sure that our data is not used by someone that is not supposed to be using it. It helps us make our privacy leak-proof.

But as in some cases, we don’t want to simply protect any file any longer and certainly don’t want to waste time typing long and hefty passwords again and again above mentioned tools can help you remove the password for you.

Just follow the steps carefully and you will achieve your desired result.

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