You can reset password / pattern lock without hard resetting. A factory reset will get it done but if you know the password of the connected Google account you can reset the pattern using that info aswell.
Recover Android Device with Forgotten Pattern / Pin / Lock by Factory Reset
- Switch off your Android device.
- Press and hold the "Power" and "Volume down" buttons simultaneously. ...
- Release the buttons once your Android device is powered on.
- Scroll using your "Volume up and down" button until you find the "Factory Data Reset" option.
- Tap the "Factory Data Reset" option.
- Tap "Reset phone".
Recover Android Device Forgotten Pin / Password using Google Account
Android 4.4 and below have an integrated way to bypass your pattern, PIN, or other password if you forget it. Google removed this feature in Android 5.0 Lollipop and above, so you’ll have to use a different method if you have a device with a newer version of Android.
To find this feature, first enter an incorrect pattern or PIN five times at the lock screen. You’ll see a “Forgot pattern,” “forgot PIN,” or “forgot password” button appear. Tap it. You’ll be prompted to enter the username and password of the Google account associated with your Android device.
Recover Android Device with Lock Screen without Factory Reset
If you have a custom recovery installed or your Bootloader is unlocked than you can simply delete the files which enable the Pin / Pattern / Lock.Steps to Bypass Android Lock Screen:
- Turn Off your Android Device
- Open Custom Recovery
- Navigate to /data/system/
- Delete password.key and gestures.key
- Restart Android Device
You will not be presented with any lock screen and Android Security will be Reset.