About secured PDFs

Here's why you can't upload a secured, protected, or locked PDF.

Table of contents:

User-locked PDF vs owner-locked PDF

Why you can't download edited versions of edit-restricted PDFs

Why you can't upload view-restricted PDFs

Try a password-protected PDF, but in flipbook format

An even more secure option


We take the security of your files seriously. That's why we have an antivirus scanning system in place, which checks every single file upload on Flipsnack. Any file that contains malware will not be uploaded to our servers.

While scanning, our system also detects if there's a protected PDF which restricts the viewing of the document, and it stops the PDF from being uploaded on Flipsnack. 

Difference between user-locked PDFs and owner-locked PDFs

  • User-locked PDFs with view restrictions - these require a password in order to open, view, duplicate, print, copy from, or edit the PDF. You won't be able to upload these types of files on Flipsnack. 

  • Owner-locked PDFs with edit restrictions - these can be viewed without a password, but you can't modify the file in any way. You can upload owner-locked PDFs on Flipsnack just like any other regular PDF, and it will work just fine. However, if you make any edits in one of these flipbooks, you won't be able to download the file at all. 

Now let's go over why our scanning system rejects user-locked files and why it accepts owner-locked PDFs. Also, let's talk about what to do next if your file was rejected. 

The explanations are logical.

Why you can't download edited versions of edit-restricted PDFs

By restricting the editing options, the owner of the file wanted to make sure that the PDF will remain in its original form. Our tool will allow you to add links in your file, or videos, or other elements. Flipsnack will actually layer these elements on top of your file, so technically, it's not considered editing the actual file. However, our software will block the download of the file, thus restricting the use of Flipsnack as a tool that can be used to edit PDFs.  

Again, we take privacy and security seriously, so we handle secured/ restricted PDFs with a lot of respect. If there's a password set, we will treat the PDF differently than a regular, non-restricted PDF because that's the way it should be.

Why you can't upload view-restricted PDFs

If opening or viewing a file has been restricted, it's for security purposes. By setting a password, the owner is making sure that the PDF can't be accessed by an unauthorized audience. Our system will not try to override the password request in order to display the pages of the PDF in the flipbook. 

If you are not the person that has set a password for the locked PDF, we recommend that you respect the privacy settings of the file and use Flipsnack to upload other types of documents.

Try a password-protected PDF, but in flipbook format

If you set the password yourself because you want to protect the PDF from being viewed by the general public, but you want it in a flipbook format, we can help. Remove the restriction from the PDF file, and use Flipsnack to add the required protection. We have multiple privacy settings and options, including password-protection

If you set a password in Flipsnack, our system will not display any pages unless the reader inputs the password. We recommend you also block the PDF download functionality, just as an extra security measure (in Customize).

An even more secure option

You know passwords can be shared.

Our system can do more to protect the privacy of your files by requesting authentication.

If you want to make sure only specific people will access your PDF flipbooks, you can set the flipbook to be shared with specific people, and they will be invited via email to view it. They will have to log in to Flipsnack, and our system will verify their identity. If the email address of the person trying to access the file does not match the email address that you shared the flipbook with, the file will be locked.   

These are premium options, but if security is important to you, don't overlook them. If you have any questions you want clarified, don't hesitate to contact us via live chat.