I have a PDF file that has been password protected. I know the password. The password's only use, in our case, is to protect the PDF during email transmission. Now that I have the PDF, I'd like to remove the password, as it is annoying to have to look-up and type it in every time I want to use the PDF.

In a pre-Lion version of Preview, I was able to print and "Save As PDF" to create a copy of the file that didn't have a password. However, when I try the same maneuver in Lion, the "Save as PDF" entry is greyed-out.

Is there some other software (preferably free) that would let me save the PDF without the password? Some other thing I can do to the file to enable Preview to "Save as PDF"?

4 Answers 4


Open the document in Preview, select File > Duplicate, enter the file location and save a copy.

You can do a similar thing with File > Export.

  • It keeps asking me for password saying "Without the owner password, you do not have permission to duplicate this document". I am on Mountain Lion, btw.
    – ilight
    Apr 30, 2013 at 6:21
  • 5
    Does not work for me. A workaround that actually works : Open the PDF in Chrome (or Firefox) and then Print it to PDF as destination. Jul 16, 2014 at 4:23
  • 2
    @NitishUpreti for the love of god add that as an answer. That totally worked for me. I used Chrome btw.
    – JoeMoe1984
    Apr 20, 2016 at 18:51

Workaround (Working for most people) : Open the PDF in Chrome (or Firefox) and then Print it to PDF as destination.


try "print to file" option :-)


Open in Preview but instead of trying to create a duplicate or export it (which will also result in a locked PDF), just select print / PDF.

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