Fujitsu ScanSnap - Automatically Password Protect PDFs

Fujitsu ScanSnap – Automatically Password Protect PDFs

Password lockWhether you are storing your documents locally or uploading them to the cloud, more and more people are wanting to password protect or encrypt their sensitive documents. There are ways to do this manually, but with the Fujitsu ScanSnap, it can be done automatically.

As usual, how you do it depends on the platform that you are using.


The Windows ScanSnap Manager software has the ability to password protect PDFs built right in, but the option is a bit hidden.

To do this, you can’t scan using the Quick Menu. You have to set up a ScanSnap Manager Profile. If you have no idea what the Quick Menu is or how to set up a Profile, I invite you to check out my Unofficial ScanSnap Setup Guide.

Once you are in your Profile, go to the File option tab and click on the Option… button.

ScanSnap Manager File Option Tab

In the window that pops up, there is a Password section. Check Set a password for PDF file.

ScanSnap Manager Password

When you scan using your ScanSnap, it will prompt you to enter a password.

ScanSnap Manager Password Prompt

If you want to use a fixed password for all documents scanned using this Profile, you can check Use a fixed password and enter your password in the Profile.

Once this is set up, any document you scan using this ScanSnap Manager Profile will be password protected.


Unfortunately, on the Mac things are not so simple. For whatever reason, the Mac ScanSnap Manager does not have password encryption built in.

One option is to use Automator which is built into the Mac. You can scan using your ScanSnap to a folder, and then use this awesome Automator action to highlight and encrypt the documents.

If you want things a bit more automated, I adapted the action to be a Folder Action instead of a Service. I created a folder called ToEncrypt and then told Automator to watch it.

Encrypt PDF Automator Folder Action

If you’d like, you can download my Automator action here.

This works for me, but if anyone has any other clever options for automatically password protecting PDFs on the Mac, please drop them into the comments.

Do you password protect your scanned PDFs? How do you do it?

(Photo by Scott Schiller)

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 10 comments

Greg - February 9, 2015 Reply

Brooks, I have set up the script in Automator exactly as you wrote it. It won’t run though, the log gives a warning that each action “was not supplied with the required data.” I have rewritten 3 times, then checked my work against yours. What am I doing wrong? Thanks,

    Brooks Duncan - February 9, 2015 Reply

    What version of OS X are you running?

      greg - February 10, 2015 Reply

      Mac OS 10.8

How to Automatically Password Protect PDFs on Mac or PC with ScanSnap - August 27, 2014 Reply

[…] Check out this post from Brooks Duncan, here. […]

Ray - June 10, 2014 Reply

Sorry to be a pain, but it was my mistake not understanding the workflow. The PDF was encrypted and moved to the other folder. I was looking in the wrong folder… Thanks again.

    Brooks Duncan - June 10, 2014 Reply

    No worries Ray, glad you got it working and thanks for the heads up about the broken link. Fixed now.

Ray - June 10, 2014 Reply

Good article. I checked to see if there were any Hazel ways to automatically encrypt a PDF and came across this one.

    Brooks Duncan - June 10, 2014 Reply

    Cool thanks Ray! I think I even pointed to that (great) article before, either here or on the newsletter. I can’t remember in my old age. For this article I wanted to avoid using any non-stock software, but yeah Hazel and PDFpen would work well. You could probably use Hazel with the Automator action too and avoid doing it as a folder action.

      Ray - June 10, 2014 Reply

      I found your article really interesting and enjoy your emails. I learn a lot from them. I did have one problem with this and it may be because I duplicated your automator action instead of using the downloaded one. I did set the folder action for the folder but nothing happened when I scanned the PDF into the folder. I will try again with your action and then with Hazel.

        Ray - June 10, 2014 Reply

        Brooks, I tried to download your action but get an error “Failed – Sever problem” I tried in Safari and Chrome with the same results, nothing downloaded.

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