How to Encrypt a PDF File for Secure Email Sharing: A Comprehensive Guide

December 7, 2023 564 views

In an increasingly digital world, protecting sensitive information is non-negotiable. Welcome to a comprehensive guide on encrypting PDFs for secure email sharing. Whether you're a novice or seasoned pro, this guide is your roadmap to digital fortification. Join us on a journey to empower yourself with the essential skills to safeguard your documents. Let's dive in and ensure your information stays confidential and secure.

How to Encrypt a PDF File for Email Online

To Encrypting PDF Files for Email, please follow these steps:

Step 1: Access Adobe Acrobat Online Services: Navigate to the Adobe Acrobat online services website using your preferred web browser.

Step 2: Initiate File Upload: Locate the "Select a file" button and click on it to initiate the file upload process.

Step 3: Choose the PDF File: Browse through your computer's file system and select the PDF file you intend to encrypt.

Step 4: Confirm File Selection: Once the desired PDF file is selected, click the "Open" button to proceed with the upload.

Step 5: Establish Password Protection: In the provided "Password" field, enter a strong, secure password that will serve as the key to decrypting the PDF file.

Step 6: Verify Password Input: To ensure the accuracy of the password, retype it in the "Confirm Password" field.

Step 7: Secure the PDF File: Click the "Set Password" button to apply the password protection to the selected PDF file.

Step 8: Initiate File Download: Locate the "Download" button and click on it to download the encrypted PDF file to your computer.

Step 9: Complete Encryption Process: Once the download is complete, you have successfully encrypted the PDF file using Adobe Acrobat.

Step 10: Secure Email Attachment: Attach the encrypted PDF file to your email message, ensuring that only authorized recipients can access its contents.

By following these simple steps, you can effectively encrypt your PDF files using Adobe Acrobat, safeguarding sensitive information when communicating via email. Remember to choose a strong, memorable password and store it securely to prevent unauthorized access to the encrypted PDF file.

How to Encrypt a PDF File for Email Using WPS Office for Free

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To Encrypting PDF Files with WPS Office, follow these steps:

Step 1: Download and Install WPS Office: Begin by downloading and installing WPS Office onto your computer. You can access the free version from WPS Office's official website.

Step 2: Launch WPS PDF: Once WPS Office is installed, launch the WPS PDF application.

Step 3: Open the Target PDF File: Locate the PDF file you intend to encrypt and click on it to open it in WPS PDF.

Step 4: Access the Protect Tab: Navigate to the top menu bar and click on the "Protect" tab.

Step 5: Initiate Encryption: Within the Protect tab, locate, and click on the "Encrypt" button.

Step 6: Set Open Password: In the pop-up Encryption window, check the box next to "Set the open password." Enter a strong, secure password that will be required to open the encrypted PDF file.

Step 7: Apply Encryption: Once you've set the desired password, click the "OK" button to apply the encryption to the PDF file.

Step 8: Save the Encrypted PDF File: Save the encrypted PDF file to your computer's desired location.

Encrypting PDF files offers several significant advantages, particularly when communicating sensitive information via email:

  1. Protection from Unauthorized Access: Encryption safeguards the confidentiality of the PDF file's contents, preventing unauthorized access and protecting sensitive information.

  2. Compliance with Regulations: In certain industries, such as healthcare or finance, encrypting sensitive data is mandated by compliance regulations.

  3. Peace of Mind: Encrypting PDF files provides peace of mind, knowing that even if your email is intercepted, the unauthorized recipient cannot access the PDF's contents without the correct password.

By following these steps and utilizing WPS Office's encryption capabilities, you can effectively protect sensitive information when sharing PDF files via email. Remember to choose strong, memorable passwords and store them securely to prevent unauthorized access to the encrypted PDF files.

How to Encrypt a PDF for Email in Outlook

To Encrypting PDF Files for Email in Outlook, following these steps:

Step 1: Start a New Email: Launch Microsoft Outlook and click the "New Email" button to begin a new email message.

Step 2: Fill in the Essentials: Type the recipient's email address in the "To" field, add any additional recipients, and provide a clear subject line that reflects the email's content.

Step 3: Attach the PDF File: Click on the "Attach File" icon located in the top menu bar. Browse to the PDF file you want to encrypt and select it.

Step 4: Encrypt the PDF Attachment: Click on the "Options" tab in the top menu bar. In the "Permissions" group, find and click the "Encrypt" button.

Step 5: Choose Your Encryption Level: Select the desired encryption level from the drop-down menu.

Step 6: Craft Your Email Message: Write your email message as usual, providing any necessary context or instructions regarding the attached PDF file.

Step 7: Hit Send: Once you've finished composing your email, click the "Send" button to send the encrypted email message along with the attached PDF file.

By following these simple steps, you can effectively encrypt PDF attachments in Outlook, ensuring that only authorized recipients can access and view the sensitive information they contain. Remember to choose strong, memorable passwords when encrypting PDF files for added security and to keep your secrets safe.

How to Encrypt a PDF for Email in Gmail

Step-by-Step Guide to Encrypting PDF Files for Email in Gmail

Step 1: Open PDF: Double-click to open your PDF.

Step 2: Go to File: Click on the File menu in Adobe Acrobat.  

Step 3: Protect Using Password: Select Protect Using Password.  

Step 4: Set Password: Check the box, set a password, and save.  

Step 5: Compose Email: Open Gmail, click Compose.

Step 6: Attach PDF: Use the paperclip icon to attach the encrypted PDF.  

Step 7: Enable Confidential Mode: Click the padlock with a clock icon.  

Step 8: Set Expiration and Passcode: Choose settings and set a passcode if needed.  

Step 9: Send: Finish your email and click Send.

Additional Tips for Enhanced Security:

  • Create Strong Passcodes: When requiring a passcode, choose a strong and unique combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

  • Communicate Passcodes Securely: Share passcodes with recipients through a secure channel, such as a phone call or text message, to avoid them being intercepted in emails.

  • Monitor Email Activity: Keep an eye on your email account activity to detect any unauthorized access attempts.

By following these steps and implementing the additional security tips, you can effectively encrypt PDF attachments in Gmail, safeguarding sensitive information and ensuring its privacy. Remember that strong passwords and cautious passcode sharing practices are crucial for maintaining data security.


  • How to remove a password from a PDF file?

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Open the password-protected PDF file in WPS PDF.

Step 2: Click the Remove Password option.

Step 3: Access PDF File by entering password

Step 4: Save the unprotected PDF file.

  • How to protect PDF files with a password on an iPhone or iPad?

Protecting PDF Files with Passwords on iPhone or iPad

Step 1: Open the Files app and locate the PDF file you want to protect.

Step 2: Tap and hold the file, then select "Show Actions" and "Lock PDF".

Step 3: Enter and confirm a strong password, then tap "Done".

Step 4: Your PDF file is now password-protected.


  • Choose strong, unique passwords.

  • Store passwords securely.

  • Regularly review and update passwords.

  • Can I decrypt a PDF file after it's been encrypted?

Yes, you can decrypt an encrypted PDF file if you have the correct password or encryption key. This allows you to access the content within the PDF. However, it's crucial to remember that without the correct password, decrypting the file becomes nearly impossible. Always ensure you remember or securely store your password to avoid any potential loss of access to your important documents.


This guide covers encrypting PDF files for secure email sharing. It highlights methods using Adobe Acrobat, WPS Office, Outlook, and Gmail. It provides step-by-step instructions, password security tips, and FAQs for added clarity. Readers will gain a comprehensive understanding of PDF encryption for heightened data protection.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.