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How to Remove Watermark from PDFs (2024)

March 21, 2024
Last Updated
March 28, 2024
4 min read

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PDFs are one of the most used file formats today.

Everything from assignments, digital arts, and confidential documents are commonly sent and viewed as PDFs, online.

And since PDFs can include copyrighted or confidential documents, watermarks on PDFs are more useful than ever.

Applying a watermark to a PDF is a great way to secure a document, and to ensure that everyone knows the status of the document.

But, sometimes we'll need to remove a watermark on a PDF we created or received.

And this isn't always the most intuitive task to perform on a PDF.

Fortunately, it's probably easier than you may think.

In this guide, we'll cover the safest and most reliable methods to remove a watermark from a PDF.

Emphasis on "safest".

This means that we won't be showing any of the free online watermark removers that you can find with a quick Google search. This is because online tools require you to upload your PDF to their servers in order to use the tool. And once you upload a PDF to the internet, you can never 100% be sure where that document will end up, or how it'll be used.

It's for those reasons we'll focus on proven methods that we've used to remove watermarks from PDFs.

Read on to get started.

What to Know Before You Start

Here's a few tips before you start removing watermarks from your PDFs.

  • Backup Your PDF: It's good practice to have a copy of the original PDF file before you remove watermarks from it. If you ever need the watermarked version again, you won't need to make a new one.
  • Choose the Right Tool: While there are ways to remove a watermark from a PDF for free, these aren't the most reliable. For complex needs, use a dedicated PDF editor that can create, edit, add, and remove watermarks from PDFs.
  • Free Tools Have Their Limits: Online tools can have privacy and safety concerns. While the free tools mentioned in this guide have their own issues (formatting, spacing, and other layout issues are common).

Why Remove Watermarks from a PDF?

The exact reason to remove watermarks from PDF will be specific to you.

However, common reasons to remove watermarks include:

  • Declassification: The PDF is no longer confidential or protected under copyright, so the watermark is no longer needed.
  • Branding or Logo Changes: A logo, image, or font serving as the watermark is being updated, requiring the removal of the old watermark.
  • Readability or Accessibility Issues: The watermark's placement or opacity interferes with PDFs content, making the document hard to read.
  • Aesthetic Reasons: The watermark may not be well-placed or aesthetically pleasing, needing a removal or replacement.
  • You no longer need the watermark.

Now, let's go through methods to remove your watermarked PDF.

How to Remove Watermark from PDF with a PDF Editor


PDF Pro is our all-in-one PDF solution for Windows desktop. With it's intuitive layout, PDF Pro makes it east to create, edit, add, and remove watermarks from PDF. Try PDF Pro for free today

  1. Open the PDF in PDF Pro.
  2. Click the Edit tab
  3. Click the Watermark button dropdown caret > Remove watermark. (Repeat this step until all watermarks are gone).
  4. Save the changes made to your PDF.

That's it!

Your PDF is now free of watermarks.

How to Remove Watermark from PDF with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is a powerful PDF editor for both Mac and Windows. Known for its power and state-of-the-art tools, Acrobat comes at the cost of a slow software, steep learning curve, and high price tag.

  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Press Tools > Edit PDF.
  3. Click Watermark > Remove.
  4. Save the changes made to your PDF.

How to Remove Watermark From PDF with Microsoft Word (Free, kind of)

If you already have access to Microsoft Word, you can use it to remove watermarks from a PDF.

This won't work for all PDFs. Such as PDF images with a watermark on them.

If it doesn't work for your PDF, you may need to use a dedicated PDF editor that can remove watermarks from PDFs.

Using Word may also result in formatting and spacing issues within your document — which are common issues when using Word to edit PDF files, and turn them into editable Word documents.

  1. In Microsoft Word, press Open > Browse.
  2. Find and select the PDF with the watermark, then press Open.
  3. Press OK.
    (Note: sometimes opening the PDF in Word is enough to remove the watermark. If the watermark is still there, move on to the next step).
  4. Press the Design tab.
  5. Press the Watermark button > Remove Watermark.
  6. Once satisfied with the document, click File > Save As > Browse.
  7. Select PDF as the Save as type.
  8. Press Save to finish saving your document as a PDF.

How to Remove Watermark From PDF with Google Docs (Free, Online)

Google Docs can help remove watermarks from PDFs for free, online.

But, Google Docs suffers from the same drawbacks and limitations as Microsoft Word. Namely, that this method won't work on all PDF documents.

And formatting and spacing issues are common when using this method.

If this method doesn't work for you, consider using a dedicating PDF editor.

  1. Upload the watermarked PDF to Google Drive.
  2. Open the PDF in Google Docs.
  3. In some cases, simply opening a PDF in Google Docs is enough to remove the watermark. If the watermark is still there, click and delete the watermark manually.
  4. Press File > Download > PDF Document (.pdf).

PDF Editors: The Best Way to Remove Watermarks from PDF

Watermarks are useful tools to secure and protect the contents of a PDF.

But when you need to remove them, you'll need to use a tool that can remove watermarks from PDFs.

Some text editors like Word or Google Docs can work in a pinch, but they aren't perfect. Spacing, formatting, and layout issues are common when editing PDFs of any kind with a text editor.

The most reliable way to remove watermarks from PDF is by using a dedicating PDF editor.

A good PDF editor can easily create, add, remove, and edit watermarks. Which gives you more control and options when it comes to watermarking your important documents.

When it comes to Windows desktop, we recommend PDF Pro.

An all-in-one PDF solution, PDF Pro makes is easy and affordable to create, edit, convert, and secure PDF documents on Windows.

But don't just take our word for it.

See what else PDF Pro can do:

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Digital Marketing SpecialistArron Staradub
Arron is a Digital Marketer at PDF Pro, where he writes helpful and engaging articles for those that that use PDFs in their daily life. He has a knack for explaining concepts in an easily understandable way. He also loves reading and drinking too much coffee.

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