This article will cover how to recover a PDF password for free. This is an important subject, mostly because so many people rely on PDFs as their primary form of protection and are often disappointed when this security measure fails them.
The “how to open password protected pdf without password” is a question that has been asked many times. There are several ways to recover the password for free, but you will have to do some work in order to get it done.
How to Recover Protected PDF Passwords Easily for Free Using PDFCrack and Lostmypass.com is a step-by-step instruction. To learn more about them, keep reading.
Because most PDF files are password-protected, we may forget the password for protection over time. A password-protected PDF file can only be opened and cannot be copied or printed. So, if you’ve forgotten your password and want to recover it, you’ll need to discover a free program or buy a password-breaking tool.
So, what should we do if we forget our security password? The first thing that springs to mind is to keep trying to guess the password. Is there any other option?
Today, I’ll show you how to utilize PDFCrack, a free tool that can break the owner or user passwords of PDF files. On encrypted PDF files, this application employs brute force assaults. It also allows dictionary, mask, and combination attacks in addition to dictionary attacks.
What is the difference between a user and an owner password?
Before we get into what PDFCrack is, it’s important to understand the distinction between the user and owner passwords.
- User Password: If the PDF file’s developer has only included a user password, that implies you won’t be able to access it. And after you have the password and access the PDF file, you may copy, paste, modify, or print the PDF file with ease, provided you have the user password.
- Owner Password: If the creator of the PDF file has inserted an owner password, you will not be able to open, copy, paste, modify, or print that PDF file.
What exactly is PDFCrack?
PDFCrack is a GNU/Linux utility for recovering password-protected PDF files. PDFCrack is a tiny terminal command line utility that does not need any additional libraries. The password recovery technique used by PDFCrack is brute-force. Dictionary and wordlist assaults are two further techniques.
The following functionalities are supported by PDFCrack:
- Recovers the passwords that are necessary to access the file at the user level. Permissions or access control passwords are other names for these passwords.
- Recovers the owner-level passwords needed to modify the file’s security settings. These passwords are sometimes known as master passwords or constraints.
- Recovers 40 bit and 128 bit RC4 encryption keys (the normal or “weak” encryption used by Adobe Acrobat 3.x and below, and the strong encryption used by Acrobat 4.x and above).
- Attempts various character combinations in a “brute force” assault.
- Attempts to guess user passwords using terms from a user-supplied dictionary (“dictionary” attack).
- Only for user passwords, this attack tries all printable characters in various combinations (“mangled wordlist” attack). If a wordlist file is provided, it will be used instead of the built-in one (for more information, see below).
- It is an open source terminal program that may be used to completely decrypt a protected PDF password.
- It can practically decrypt any PDF password generated by Adobe Acrobat.
- It’s very simple to set up and operate, and it works quickly.
PDFCrack’s drawbacks include:
- It isn’t compatible with Windows.
- It doesn’t have a graphical user interface.
- There is no GPU acceleration.
How to Recover a Password from a Protected PDF
Step 1: Download and install PDFCrack.
As previously stated, PDFCrack is not available for Windows, however it may be used under a Virtual Machine with Windows 11. So the first thing you need to do is download VirtualBox or VMware Player and install it on your Windows machine. In my instance, I am an expert user of VMWare Workstation Pro, thus I have previously downloaded and imported a working version of Kali Linux into VMware.
I’m assuming you’re running Kali Linux in a virtual machine on your Windows 11 PC right now. Please also make sure you’re signed in as the root user. To install PDFCrack, open a terminal and run the command below.
pdfcrack sudo apt install
Step 2: Recover your PDF password if you’ve forgotten it.
Before I teach you how to recover your lost PDF password, keep in mind that depending on the sort of attack you use, it might take hours or even days to just retrieve your forgotten password. I’ll use a word list to recover the PDF password since I’m simply here to show you how to utilize PDFCrack to recover your protected PDF forgotten password. Type the command shown below.
pdfcrack -f -c -f -c -f -f -f -f -f -f – input the password for your wordlist
123456789 /home/kali/Desktop/12.pdf pdfcrack -f
When you run the command, PDF crack will use the word list you provided to guess the password for that encrypted PDF file. It will also supply you with the password once it has discovered it.
┌──(root💀kali)-[~] └─# pdfcrack sudo apt install 1 ⨯ Reading package lists… Done Building dependency tree… Done Reading state information… Done pdfcrack is already the newest version (0.19-2). 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 93 not upgraded. ┌──(root💀kali)-[~] └─# pdfcrack -f /root/Desktop/12.pdf -c 123456789 PDF version 1.7 Security Handler: Standard V: 2 R: 3 P: -1060 Length: 128 Encrypted Metadata: True FileID: ba672ae6a204794888e2e8466e1296cf U: d245eec0f0de5461c6142fe897d8e19600000000000000000000000000000000 O: c431fab9cc5ef7b59c244b61b745f71ac5ba427b1b9102da468e77127f1e69d6 found user-password: ‘123456’
Install PDFCrack to get your PDF password back.
If, on the other hand, you can’t recall a guessing password for the PDF file, you’ll have to delete the word list and hit enter. To determine the password, PDFCrack will employ a Brute-Force Attack, which might take hours or even days. So, please be patient.
pdfcrack -f -f -f -f -f -f -f -f –
/home/kali/Desktop/12.pdf pdfcrack -f
Trying to Remember the Password
This is how we can simply and for free recover protected PDF passwords using PDFCrack. If you are certain that your lost PDF password is a weak password, I suggest utilizing Lostmypass.com instead than PDFCrack. Also, make sure you are not submitting any secret documents to our site; instead, I urge that you utilize PDFCrack.
“Unlock pdf” is a tool that allows users to recover the password for their protected PDF file. The tool can be used on both Mac and Windows computers. Reference: unlock pdf.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I recover a PDF password for free?
A: You can use a tool called PDF Password Recovery to recover it. This is available for free on the Microsoft website at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8457
Can I bypass PDF password?
A: Unfortunately, PDF passwords are not bypassed. However, it is possible to use the Export function in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC or later versions to export a copy of the document with the password removed/changed for safekeeping purposes and then re-importing that file back into your account.
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