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How to Sign a Secured PDF in Adobe? Complete Guide

Published By Ashwani Tiwari
Tej Pratap Shukla
Approved By Tej Pratap Shukla
Published On April 9th, 2024
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading

In today’s world, online security needs to be enhanced, whether you are sharing information for personal or business use. Signing secure PDF files is necessary to control who can edit, view, or print your data. This article will cover how to sign a secured PDF in Adobe and how to quickly sign a read-only PDF.

Electronic signatures (or e-signatures) can be used to sign important documents, such as protected PDFs. The easiest way to sign is to enter your password or decryption key and add your signature using your application of choice. Some files may require additional permissions to convert to PDF. In this case, you need to get information about the permissions of the file’s owner or remove the password.

User Query:

“Hello, guys! On an urgent basis, I need to sign some PDF documents. While moving to add a sign, it shows that the Fill & Sign tool is not working or is disabled. Later, I got to know that the file was restricted. So, now I am looking for a solution to sign a protected PDF. How can I unlock the PDF file?

As per the above query, the user wants to unlock the PDF file in Adobe so that they can easily sign the PDF files. This is due to the fact that without the owner-level password, no one can sign the PDF file. So, to make this possible, we came up with the best solution, which we have explained in this article. So, to sign a locked PDF file, read this post and make the appropriate decision.

But first, we should know what the restrictions in the PDF file are.

What is Sign a Secured PDF in Adobe?

A secure PDF is a password-protected or encrypted PDF. Their security settings limit who can access and modify them, making them ideal for legal and business transactions.

Lock PDF documents using:

  1. You can protect PDF files with two types of passwords: an open password and a password password. The “open” password only allows you to view a secure PDF file, while the “permission” password allows you to change settings and edit the PDF file.
  2. You can also encrypt a PDF with an algorithm and unlock it with a decryption key. We will focus on how to digitally sign a password protected PDF.

What Restrictions Apply to Adobe PDF Files?

Sometimes the user might think that the PDF file is not opened properly because they are not able to add a signature to it. Below, we have mentioned the method to find out the applied restrictions and enable the option to sign a locked PDF document.

  • In Adobe Reader, open the PDF file and press on Properties.
  • Now under the Security tab, press “Document Restrictions Summary”.
  • A list of all permissions will be visible, showing “Allowed” and “Not Allowed”.
  • By looking at the list of permissions, users can see which options are restricted and which can be used in that PDF fil

How to Sign Secure PDF files without Password on Windows

First, let’s explain how to add a signature to a PDF file on Windows without a password.

There are three methods below.

1# Use Google Chrome

Follow these steps to sign secure PDFs in Google Chrome:

  • Open File Explorer and right-click on the password-protected PDF. Click Open with and select Google Chrome. Your portable document format will open as a web page.
  • Type the Ctrl + P on your keyboard to open the Print dialog.
  • Select Save as PDF from the Destination menu. select file name and destination, then hit Save to save the unlocked version of the PDF.
  • Add your signature to documents using your solution.

2# Use of Google Drive

You can sign PDF files locked on Google Drive using the following methods:

  • Upload your secure PDFs to your Google Drive account.
    Right-click your PDF file, then click Open with Google Docs.
  • Then click Share & Export > Save As and select a PDF file (.pdf).
  • Click OK to save the file again without password protection. Now you can sign documents using the software of your choice.

How to Sign a Secured PDF in Adobe on Mac

Now, how do I sign an electronically protected PDF on a Mac? There are two main methods:

3# Use Preview Option

  1. To sign secure documents in Preview, follow these steps:
  2. Right-click the secure PDF, then click Open with > Preview.
    Enter the PDF password and press Enter to open the file.
  3. Press File > Save, and uncheck the Encrypt option in the Save dialog.
  4. Click Save, and then add your signature using Preview or your software.

How to Sign a Protected PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader

The last method we will see is how to sign a secure PDF in Adobe PDF Reader:

  • Right-click on your PDF form. hit the “Open With” and choose Adobe Acrobat Pro or “Adobe Acrobat Reader DC” (whichever you are using).
    Click Tools > Protection > Encryption, and select Wipe Security.
  • Save the document, then reopen it and click the Sign button on the toolbar. You can also click Tools > Fill and Sign.
  • Select Add a signature and create an electronic signature.
  • Select Apply and click the area where you want to add a signature. Then save the document you signed.

Expert Suggested Solution to Sign a Secured PDF in Adobe

If the user has a Password-protected PDF file and is not able to add their signature. Then, they can use the PDF Restriction Remover Tool, in which the user isn’t required to enter the password, and it removes the restriction easily.

It can also remove copy protection from PDF files, allowing them to be printed, edited, extracted, etc. Moreover, it allows commenting on the locked PDF. Windows, as well as Mac OS users, can download this software and use it. This software preserves data integrity while unlock PDF for printing without change the original format of the PDF document.

Step1: Download the software to your system.
Step2: Select the Add file or folder to upload PDF option.
Step3: Choose the Save or Print option as needed.
Step4: Click the “Unlock” button and start the PDF unlock process.

Working Steps of this Software

  • Initially, on the system download the tool and run it to add signature to secured PDF.

PDF Unlocker

  • Add File(s) / Add Folder(s) to insert PDF files to sign a locked PDF file.

add PDF files

  • Choose the option to either Save or Print by selecting it in Destination Path.

sign a secured PDF in adobe

  • Now hit the Change button to set the location to save, then press the Next button.

set the destination to save unlocked PDF

  • After setting the path for saving the unlocked PDF. Press the Unlock button to unlock & sign a protected PDF.

press the button to unlock pdf


Nowadays, people do receive PDF files that are secured. And if it needs to sign a secured PDF in Adobe and doesn’t know the user-level password, Then it becomes an issue. If the user has the password, then for them, we have mentioned the solution using Adobe Acrobat DC. On the other hand, if the user doesn’t know the password, they can use the software that we have explained in this article to add a signature to a protected PDF.


By Ashwani Tiwari

I am an Expert Technical Analyst, specialized in assisting users with complex technological challenges. Through my blogs and articles, I offer expert guidance to help tackle these technical issues effectively. My true passion lies in providing valuable insights and simplifying complicated technicalities, enhancing user understanding and confidence.