How to Lock an Adobe PDF

By James Clark

An Adobe PDF (portable document format) file can be locked and secured with a password so that no one can alter the document. This is useful when preparing and distributing legal documents such as contracts, or policy information within an organization. PDFs can also be locked to prevent unauthorized printing, such as of copyrighted images, or to prevent users from altering or reading the document.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer loaded with Adobe PDF designer software

Step 1

Open the PDF on the computer screen.

Step 2

Click the "File" tab and choose "Form Properties," then click "PDF Security."

Step 3

Create and type a password for locking the PDF and click "OK."

Step 4

Choose which features to restrict from the list of options by placing a checkmark in the box next to each. For example, to prevent users from rearranging the document, click the box labeled "Inserting, Deleting and Rotating Pages."

Step 5

Click the "Printing Allowed" list to choose which printing option will be permitted without password access. For example, to prevent any printing of the PDF document or image, click "None."

Step 6

Type and enter the password after clicking "PDF Security" to modify any restricted features.

Tips & Warnings

  • Write down passwords and store in a secure location.
  • Use different passwords for different documents for improved security.