How To Encrypt PDF Files On A Mac

Would you like to encrypt a PDF? Encrypting a PDF can be handy if you want to protect sensitive data contained in a PDF that you store on your Mac, or before you share the PDF via email, Dropbox or via some other means. Encrypting a PDF can be accomplished easily using Apple’s Preview application which comes bundled with every Mac.

Here are instructions for encrypting a PDF:

  • Go to your Applications folder and open Preview by double-clicking its icon
  • Open your PDF by dragging the icon of the PDF file onto Preview’s icon on that Dock
  • Click on the File menu and select ExportEncrypt PDF
  • Insert a checkmark in the box next to Encrypt
  • Type in the password in both the Password and the Verify boxes
  • Click the Save button

Once you’ve encrypted a PDF, when you look at its icon in the Finder, you’ll now see a padlock icon which indicates that it’s encrypted. 

If you wish to remove the encryption, do this:

  • Double click the file to open it
  • Enter its password
  • Click on the File menu select Export, make sure the Encrypt box is not checked.
  • Click the Save button
  • You’ll be creating a new copy of the file that is not encrypted. You can then throw away the encrypted copy.

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