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How to Sign PDF that is Locked? Get the Solution Here!

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On February 7th, 2024
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading
Category Adobe PDF

User Query:  “Hello everyone! I want to add a signature to some rental agreement PDF forms & it has to be submitted on an urgent basis. But, when I tried to sign with Adobe Reader DC I found that Fill & Sign tool is not working or it is disabled. Then, after discussing this query with one of my friends. He told me that the file is having restrictions due to which Fill & Sign tool is not working. So, can anyone tell how to sign PDF that is locked (restricted PDF) or how to sign a secured PDF (Permission password)?”

From the above query, we can understand that the user has a requirement to unlock signing in PDF. But, until and unless this security has not been removed users could not sign on that particular document. Hence, for the resolution of this query, we come up with this write-up and presented here the simple solution that will enable permissions to sign a secured PDF file.

Table of Contents:

How to Know What Are the Restrictions Present in PDF?

Typically, you would open the PDF and access the ‘Document Properties’ or ‘Properties’ option, usually found under the ‘File’ menu. In the properties window, navigating to the ‘Security’ tab will reveal a detailed summary of the restrictions in place. This summary might include whether editing, printing, or copying text and images are allowed or restricted.

Determining the restrictions present in a PDF is essential for understanding how you can interact with the document. Most PDF readers, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, provide an easy way to check these restrictions.

  • Open the PDF file using Adobe Reader and click on Properties.
  • From the Security tab click on “Document Restrictions Summary”.
  • View all the permissions that are written as “Not allowed” or “Allowed”.
  • From here users can clearly understand the restrictions present in the PDF file.

Unlock PDF For Signing Using Adobe Acrobat Pro

Press the ‘Lock’ image icon given at the upper-left corner of the tool. Click on “Permission Details” link. In the “Security Method‘ drop down menu, select-> No Security. Enter your Document Open password / Permission Password and click the OK button three times.

Best Way to Sign a Secured PDF

PDF Unlocker Software ultimate solution that can enable signing permissions and let users sign PDF that is locked. The tool makes it easy for users by removing security from PDF documents. It includes copying, editing, printing, commenting, form filling, etc. Moreover, it also supports removing user-level password security from PDF documents. It is available for both Windows and Mac OS users. It does not require the installation of an external program for this process.

How to Sign PDF that is Locked Using This Automated Tool

To sign a secured PDF, remove restrictions from PDF by following these steps (Also if you want to know how to sign a secured PDF):

1. Download the software and click on the Add File(s) / Add Folder(s) to insert PDF files.

download and insert PDF files

2. Click the Change button to provide a location to save the resultant PDF. Then click on Next.

setting the path to save files

3. Now, you can see permissions are disabled. Click the Unlock button & remove PDF signing restriction.

sign pdf that is locked

4. Now, you can see permissions are changed to ‘Enable’. Click on OK.

sign pdf that is locked

Read More: Can’t Edit PDF on Mac ? Here are the Best Ticks 

How to Sign a Secured PDF With Adobe Reader DC

Follow these simple steps to know how to sign PDF that is locked:

  1. Firstly, Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.
  2. Click on Fill & Sign present on the right-hand side of the Tools pane.
  3. Then, click on Sign and choose the Add Signature option.
  4. A pop-up message will be displayed providing 3 options i.e. Type, Draw, Image.
  5. Then, click the Apply button.

NOTE: The paid version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC i.e. Adobe Acrobat Pro allows users to sign PDF that is locked. But, with Acrobat Pro also, users first have to remove security and then add a signature. However, unlocking signing in PDF files or any other restrictions requires you to enter the permission password. If someone does not know this password then, this manual method will not work. In such cases, the best solution is to use the software described here. It’s because it can remove signing restrictions from PDF without asking for permission password.

Also Read: What to do If You forgot PDF Password to Edit the Document?

Why You Can’t Sign A Secured PDF?

If you’re unable to sign a secured PDF, it’s likely due to restrictions set by the document’s creator. Secured PDF files often have specific permissions that control how they can be used. These security settings are intended to protect the document’s integrity and prevent unauthorized modifications. If the PDF’s settings prohibit adding signatures, you won’t be able to sign the document unless you have the password. To sign a secured PDF, you either need the permission password or an unsecured version of the PDF.

If you want to do it without password, then simply opt for the professional method discussed above. It can easily edit a secured PDF without password as long as the PDF has permission-password and not open-password.

Note: After removing your security from your PDF your files, there may be a risk of unauthorized access. So, this is highly recommended to opt for PDF Lock Software to ensure that your information is safe. Plus, this solution is tried and tested by experts, so you do not need to worry about your sensitive content.

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As we know many people are signing their paper documents using a pen. But, now mostly all business goes online and people are using electronic signatures for signing purposes. But, sometimes people come across locked PDF files which are secured with passwords or restrictions. So, in this write-up, we have discussed the solution for how to sign PDF that is locked query. Then the professional software let users sign secured PDF without needing a permission password.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I sign a PDF that is locked or password-protected?

It depends on the password type. If the password is open-password, simply enter it when opening the file. Then sign the locked PDF. If it is protected by permission password that restricts signing, then you must first remove it. After that, sign the unsecured PDF file.

Q: Can you sign a specific page within a locked PDF?

Yes, you can typically choose the page within a locked PDF where you want to add your signature. Of course the digital signatures are applied to the whole document.

Q: Will signing a locked PDF compromise its security or encryption?

No, signing a locked PDF does not compromise its security or encryption. Digital signatures are added without altering the document’s existing security settings. The integrity and confidentiality of the document remain intact.

Q: Can I add multiple signatures to a locked PDF?

Yes, you can add multiple signatures to a locked PDF. PDF editors that supports digital signatures allows you to add multiple signatures for different signatories.