How to remove security from a PDF

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/julajp/5638996854/
Photo by JuliaJP CC BY

I recently sat through an eLearning course which involved reading through a 1300-page PDF file. Instead of deforesting the Glasgow area to provide the requisite amount of paper for printing, I thought I’d read and annotate it on-screen (something I wouldn’t recommend unless it’s to save the environment)

Annoyingly, annotation is prevented on PDFs with security applied, so I had to find a way around it.

Firstly note that if you Google it, there are several tools and methods for removing security from a PDF, but they are a slow, frustrating hassle. I wasted a lot of time on crazy methods involving re-printing the whole thing to virtual PDF printers, etc – trust me the method below is the only sane way to go about it.

So… how do I remove security from a PDF?

  1. Open your PDF in Google Chrome
  2. Save the PDF from Google Chrome

Tadaa. Unbelievably simple, but very useful.