University Systems help center

  • Encrypt files using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (not Adobe Reader) protects files using it's Protection function. This function does not simply passphrase-protect a file, but it encrypts is using AES encryption. The following instructions were created under Windows, but the procedure is almost identical under Mac OS.

  1. With your document open, click on the Protect tool from the right pane.

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  2. From the Advanced Options or the Encrypt drop down menu, select Encrypt with Password.

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  3. Click Yes in the Applying New Security Settings dialogue box.

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  4. In the Password Security Settings window, ensure that the settings are as follows:
    a. Ensure that Require a password to open the document is selected.
    b. Under Compatibility, choose Acrobat X and later.
    c. Ensure that Encrypt all document contents is selected.
    d. Enter a strong password or passphrase in the Document Open Password field,
    and then click OK.

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  5. A dialogue box will prompt you to confirm the passphrase you have entered.  Reenter the passphrase and click OK.

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  6. A dialogue box will notify you that you must save the PDF file for the security settings to take effect. Click OK.

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  7. Save your PDF document by clicking File and then Save.
    Verify that (SECURED) appears in the title bar.

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