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

Nilesh Kumar | Modified: April 26, 2023 | Adobe PDF | 4 Minutes Reading

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 PDF for signing. 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.

How to Know What Are the Restrictions Present in PDF?

  • 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 Unlock PDF For Signing

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 unlock PDF for signing, remove signing restrictions 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 PDF files for signing 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?


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 SysTools software let users unlock PDF for signing without needing a permission password.