How to Remove Metadata From PDF In Three Different Ways

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To remove PDF metadata, open the file in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Go to File > Save as Other > Optimized PDF. Set Settings to Custom. In the boxes below, uncheck everything except Discard User Data and Discard document information and metadata. Click OK and save the PDF.

You’re about to share a PDF when you have second thoughts. What if people can trace the document back to you? What if it contains hidden, sensitive information? These are valid concerns and good reasons to remove a document’s metadata.

Fortunately, there are ways to remove metadata from PDF. In this tutorial, I’ll explain how to do so with PDFelement, PDFYeah, and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

How To Remove Metadata From PDF

How To Remove Metadata With PDFelement

PDFelement is a popular PDF program that’s been used by over 100,000 companies. You can download it for free here. Know, however, that the free version places a watermark on your document.

Paid versions are available for Windows and Mac, but you can also start a free trial of PDFelement Pro.

Up to 40% OFF to get Wondershare PDFelement PDF Editor version 8 at Wondershare Software. Use coupon code SAFWSPDF during checkout.

Get PDFelement

PDFelement provides a video tutorial on how to remove metadata:

You can also follow these instructions:

1. In PDFelement, click Open Files.

PDFelement open files

2. Open a PDF.

Open a PDF

3. Go to File > Properties.

PDFelement Save as

4. In the document properties, select Description.

PDFelement Description selected

5. Delete or edit PDF metadata in the text boxes.

PDFelement Delete metadata

6. Click Apply when done.

PDFelement apply

7. Don’t forget to save your changes! If you want to replace the previous file, click Save.

PDFelement Save

8. If you want to keep the previous file as it was and save this one separately, click Save As.

PDFelement Save as

9. Change the name.

PDFelement change name

10. Click Save.

PDFelement click save

For more information on using PDFelement, read this review.

How To Remove Metadata With PDFYeah

PDFYeah is a free, online way to remove PDF metadata. According to the site, files upload over a secure, HTTPS connection and are deleted after a few hours. 

In spite of this, you may want to reconsider using PDFYeah for files with very sensitive information, like financial documents. But, I’d trust it for publicly viewable things, like recipes. 

PDFYeah is convenient if you don’t want to download software, but I find offline programs easier to trust.

To remove metadata with PDFYeah, follow these instructions:

1. Go to https://www.pdfyeah.com/remove-pdf-metadata/

PDFYeah URL

2. Click Browse…

PDFYeah browse 1

3. Find the file and open it.

PDFYeah find file
PDFYeah open file

4. Click Remove PDF Metadata.

PDFYeah Remove PDF Metadata

5. Click Download File.

PDFYeah Download File

6. To make sure it worked, click view PDF metadata.

PDFYeah View PDF metadata

7. Copy and paste the URL into another tab and hit enter.

PDFYeah URL
PDFYeah paste url new tab

8. In one tab, click Browse… and open the original file.

PDFYeah browse 1
PDFYeah original file

9. Click Read PDF Metadata.

PDFYeah read pdf metadata

10. In the other tab, repeat steps 8 through 9 for the newly-downloaded file.

PDFYeah read pdf metadata
PDFYeah newly downloaded

11. If the metadata removal worked, you’ll see metadata in the original file tab that isn’t in the newly-downloaded file tab.

PDFYeah original metadata
PDFYeah new metadata

How To Remove Metadata With Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is available for Windows and Mac users at an affordable monthly price. You can also try it free for seven days just don’t forget to cancel your trial if you don’t want to pay for the software.

To remove metadata with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, follow these steps:

1. Go to File > Open.

Acrobat file open

2. Open the file you want to remove metadata from.

Acrobat I'm a pdf

3. Go to File > Save as Other > Optimized PDF.

Acrobat optimized pdf

4. Set Settings to Custom.

Acrobat Settings custom

5. In the box on the left, uncheck everything except Discard User Data.

Acrobat discard user data 1

6. Uncheck and recheck Discard User Data to change the menu on the right.

Acrobat discard user data 2
Acrobat discard user data 3

7. In the box on the right, uncheck everything except Discard document information and metadata.

Acrobat discard document information and metadata

8. Click OK.

Acrobat click ok

9. You’ll be prompted to save the PDF. If you save it under a new name, you’ll be able to keep the version with metadata and the one without it.

Acrobat save with new name
Acrobat save with new name 2

10. To view the document’s metadata, go to File > Properties.

Acrobat file properties

11. You’ll see the document’s basic metadata (or lack of it) here:

Acrobat basic metadata

12. Click Additional Metadata…

Acrobat additional metadata

13. Click Advanced.

Acrobat advanced

14. You can expand the menu items by clicking the plus signs next to them.

Acrobat advanced plus signs
Acrobat advanced plus signs expand

15. X out when you’re done.

Acrobat advanced exit

FAQs

How to remove PDF metadata on Mac?

In Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, go to File > Save as Other > Optimized PDF. Set settings to custom, make sure only Discard User Data is selected on the left, and make sure only Discard document information and metadata is selected on the right. Click OK.

How to remove metadata from PDF for free?

In PDFelement, go to File > Properties. Select Description and delete the metadata in the boxes. When done, click Apply and save the file.

That’s How To Remove Metadata From PDF!

With PDFelement, PDFYeah, or Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, it’s easy to remove metadata so viewers won’t see sensitive information or trace your document back to you. 

Out of these, I prefer Adobe Acrobat Pro DC because it’s effective and works offline. Though PDFelement only lets you erase a few boxes of metadata, it also works offline. PDFYeah is effective, but I’d be cautious about what files I’d use it for since it’s online.

If you need yet another option, take a look at iSkySoft PDF Editor – you can read our review here.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? If so, please share it! Please also share your thoughts or concerns in the comments.

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Cole Trahan
Cole is a freelance writer and former laptop repair technician with a knack for explaining how things work. As a remote worker and millennial, software and the internet are ordinary parts of his life. Cole’s pastimes include enjoying the outdoors, meditation, and listening to creepypastas on Youtube. To learn more about Cole’s writing, visit his website colescopywriting.com.

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