4 Easy Solutions of How to Password Protect A PDF on Mac


How to password protect a PDF free on Mac? When a PDF file concerns confidential content, we might need to encrypt the file to prevent it from being seen or used without permission. Especially when you're sharing a confidential PDF file with others via the internet.

Adding a password to a PDF is quite easy. In this post, we'll share 4 simple solutions to password protect a PDF including using the built-in Preview app, EasePDF Online PDF Protector, PDF Expert, and PDFelement.

1. Password Protect PDF Free with Mac Preview

The default document opening program on a Mac computer is Preview if you don't have other PDF processor software installed. Therefore, using the Preview app on Mac to password protect PDF is the most convenient solution. You can password protect a PDF with Preview in two methods.

Method 1. Use the "Save as PDF" function

Step 1. Right-click on the PDF you want to protect, and choose "Open With" > "Preview".

Step 2. Go to the "File" tab on the top navigation bar, then select "Export".

Mac Preview PDF Export

Step 3. On the newly pop-up window, set the file name for your new encrypted PDF and choose a location to save. Tick the "Encrypt" option at the bottom, then enter the password you want to set twice on the two blank boxes. At last, hit the "Save" button and you've successfully password protect the PDF.

Mac preview Export Encrypt

Tips: To remove the password you set, you can open the PDF with the password, then go to the "Encrypt" option to cancel the encryption selection. Or you can use the Unlock PDF tool on EasePDF to remove the password.

Method 2. Use the "Print" Option

If you need to set separate passwords for opening, copying, and printing your PDF, you'll have to use the "Print" option on Mac.

Step 1. Open the PDF with Preview.

Step 2. Choose the "Print" option on the "File" menu.

Step 3. A new dialog will pop up. On the left bottom corner, click on the "PDF" tab beside the "Hide Details" button. Then select "Save as PDF".

Mac preview Print Save As PDF

Step 4. On the next pop-up window, open the "Security Options".

Mac preview Print Save As PDF Security Options

Step 5. There are three kinds of passwords you can set for your PDF file. If you tick on the first option "Require password to open document", people will need a password to open your encrypted file. The second option is "Require password to copy text, image, and other content" disable copying contents from your PDF without a password. And people can't print your PDF without a password if you choose the "Require password to print document".

You can choose any of these three options, or choose all of then. When you set the passwords and verify them, click the "OK" button.

Mac preview Security Options Enter Passwords

Option 2. Password Protect PDF on Mac with EasePDF

Using the online PDF protecting services is the best way to break the limitation of devices and operating systems because they're cross-platform supportive. Today we'll demonstrate how to password protect a PDF on Mac with one of the representative online PDF service - EasePDF Online PDF Protector.

Step 1. Go to the EasePDF homepage and choose "Protect PDF".

Step 2. Click the "Add File(s)" button to choose and upload the PDF file on your Mac computer, or you can drag the PDF and drop it to the upload area.

EasePDF Protect PDF

Step 3. Enter and confirm a password for your PDF file. When you enter a password, the system will remind you of the password strength. A strong password is recommended. You'll have to enter the same password twice before the "Protect PDF" button is unlocked and activate. Then press the button to start processing. Your PDF file will be protected by a 256-bit SSL encryption.

EasePDF Protect PDF Enter Passwords

Step 4. When your PDF file is successfully protected with a password, a download link will be given on the result page. Just click the "Download" button to save it to your Mac computer.

EasePDF Download Protected PDF

Tips: For a huge PDF file, it will be time-consuming when you upload it to the server. Therefore, you can compress PDF before uploading it to shorten your waiting time.

Option 3. How to Password Protect A PDF on PDF Expert

PDF Expert is a professional program for Mac to read, annotate and edit PDFs, and of course, password-protect PDFs. Now let's see how to password protect a PDF on PDF Expert.

Step 1. Free Download PDF Expert for Mac.

Step 2. Open the PDF with PDF Expert. Then go to the "File" menu on top, and choose "Set Password".

PDF Expert File Set Password

Step 3. Enter the password you want to set for the PDF twice, then click the "Set" button. When PDF Expert finishes encrypting your file, there will be a new interface reminding you "This document is password protected".

PDF Expert Set Password

Option 4. How to Password Protect A PDF on Mac with PDFelement

PDFelement is an all-in-one solution for most common and basic PDF-related problems such as PDF editing, converting, creating, password-protecting, unlocking, merging, splitting, etc. How to password protect a PDF on Mac with PDFelement? This solution is quite simple, let's do it together.

Step 1. Download PDFelement (Mac version) for free, and install it on your Mac computer.

Step 2. Open the PDF file with PDFelement. You can click the "Open File" link on the main interface, or simply drag and drop the file to it.

PDFelement Open File

Step 3. On the top toolbar of the program, click the "File" tab. Then choose "Protect" > "Encrypt with Password".

PDFelement File Encrypt with Password

Step 4. Enter your password for certain restrictions. If you want to prevent others from opening your file without permission, set the "Document Open Password". If you don't want people to edit and change your PDF, just set a password on the "Permissions" option. You can also set a password for "Printing Allowed" or "Changes Allowed". Moreover, you can customize the "Encryption Level". When you finish, hit the "OK" button and the program will encrypt the PDF as you request.

PDFelement Encrypt with Password


In conclusion, you can add password to PDF files on Mac for free with the build-in application Preview or with EasePDF Online PDF Protector . PDF Expert and PDFelement are two desktop PDF editing programs that can help you password protect PDF on Mac as well. All the solutions we mentioned in this post are very simple and practical that you can use them right away.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know by leaving a comment or contact us.

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