Forum moved here!

Home / Can’t print password protected files


My energy supplier sends bills as PDF files with password.
No problem opening them with SumatraPDF but if I try to print, the corresponding item in the File menu is grayed out and reads Print… denied instead.

Incidentally, if I open those files with FoxitReader I’m able to print normally.


It’s probably not about being password protection.

Most likely the PDF file is marked as non-printable by whoever generates it and Sumatra honors that.


[Edited/Updated as Much has changed over Time]

SumatraPDF 3.2 menu should show print as greyed out e.g Print … (denied) when security flag is set correctly
Such file should in FoxitReader Properties Security tab show as “Printing: Not Allowed”

In “commenting” mode, additions and other restrictions may be relaxed.
Both Foxit and SumatraPDF 3.3 pre-release can allow annotation and related actions including those affecting printing.

In such cases closing the file may require the password to confirm saving the modifications and again on reopening the file, Thus still respecting “User” rights.


Foxit Reader allows me to print such files absolutely normally.
It is an official release (9.0).

It may not be a bug of FoxitReader:

  • it’s understandable why the energy company adds a (simple) password to bills: to add some privacy to users;
  • it’s not understandable why would the company try to prevent clients to print their own bills - in fact, bills are sent through the post too.
    It may be a bug of SumatraPDF instead - if you provide me an email or other means, I could send you a sample to investigate.

Can you open the original unaltered bill PDF in Sumatra, press Ctrl+D and share a screenshot of what the File Properties dialog shows?


Probably a screenshot won’t be needed - it’s stated clearly:
Denied Permissions: printing document, copying text

So it’s not a SumatraPDF issue, but lousy programming on their side, right?


If by “their side” you mean the Foxit programmers, it may be a bug allowing the program to bypass PDF restrictions set by the document authors, or it may be a documented/undocumented feature. I dumped Foxit many, many years ago for Sumatra and haven’t touched that bloatware since, so not sure and don’t really care.

BTW there are lots of programs (free ones too) that will enable you to permanently disable these document restrictions. Just search the net and you’ll find tons.

Utility (or other) companies doing stupid sh*t in the name of being “IT enabled” is unfortunately hardly a surprising phenomenon…


not wishing to expand too much on such a gray area
however I corrected my post at the time to confirm this was an oddity of current foxit-reader
and (possibly by request) they had seemingly removed from download sites products that exhibited similar behavior of bypassing security in the past. one “feature” they have retained in reader is the ability to replace the disturbed signature thus I would not be suprised to see a verified copy of the time machine signed by H.G. Wells in 1895 even though computer clocks only go back to the future of 1/1/1900
Whilst on the topic of false security alternative products that boast stronger security and load data into memory CAN be bypassed once you give the reader the right to view, it’s open data and pointless thinking otherwise


Warning: Statements below are off-topic.
Looks like you don’t like FoxitReader too much - me neither; in fact I exclusively use SumatraPDF to view PDF files, but…

  • Being currently involved in a legal dispute I’ve used FoxitReader in a few occasions to annotate documents sent by my lawyer for review;
  • FoxitReader installs by default a PDF printer which yields much smaller but equally good documents if compared with Windows built-in printer.
  • It allowed me to print my own electricity bill ASAP when I needed to days ago.
    So I can’t just dump it yet.
    Any suggestions welcome.

Foxit was good IMO but became way too bloated for my taste. But hey, if it does what you want then use it. It’s your PC after all.