The Sims 4 Help & Troubleshooting

Fixing Broken Games when It Won't Start & Backup/Restore Saves

The Sims 4 Cache Files that are safe to delete
Clearing your cache can prevent gameplay issues and help when the Sims 4 game won't start.

Sometimes things go wrong with a cache file, particularly after a new patch is released for The Sims 4. Cleaning up the cache files can improve performance and allow the game to start when it will not otherwise work. It's a good idea to do this once in a while in order to ensure stability, because while the Sims 4 is a rather stable game, things sometimes go wrong and many issues we can't identify. Deleting cache files is one way to fix a lot of problems.

Clearing The Sims 4 Cache

The Sims 4's game cache is located at Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 4/ on both PC and Mac.

1. Delete the localthumbscache.package file in this directory. This helps to "fix" some gameplay bugs.

2. Go inside the cache folder and delete all files that end in .cache, but do not delete the actual directory.

The .jpg files as well as the .dat that you find in the cache folder are safe to delete. These come from viewing households/lots from the gallery. If you play with the Online Access Feature turned off, or play offline, you may not have anything in this folder.

3. Go back, then to the cachestr folder. Delete all files here, but again do not delete the actual directory.

* It's okay to delete the spotlight.package file.

4. The onlinethumbnailcache folder is safe to delete IF it is present.

If you play in offline mode, you may not see this folder. However, if you forget to turn off Wifi before starting the game, you will see the folder. Same if you have the Online Access Feature turned off or play offline.

If you have an older Sims 4 folder that still has the cachewebkit file and lotcachedata folder you can delete them. They're no longer needed.

If It Still Won't Work Check Crinrict's Blog for info on Clearing Origin Cache and follow her instructions carefully.

Other Fixes: Restoring Saves and Factory Resets

How To's

When deleting game cache files don't quite help the game start correctly or you need help managing your save games (backup/restore), try these troubleshooting steps located on our Forum.

  • How to Backup Save Games: here
  • How to Save Installation Files here
  • How to Restore a Saved Game here
  • How to Find Missing Saved Games here
  • How to Move Saved Games for Backkup here
  • How to Restore Missing Load Game from the Main Menu here
  • How to do a Factory Reset (start from clean install) here
  • How to Start a New Game without a factory reset: here




Stopping and Repairing The Sims 4 via Origin

Using Task Manager to Exit the Game and Origin When They won't Close
Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete keys all together to start the Task Manager. Look under the Processes tab and look for a process called TS4.exe, right-click on it and select End Task. Do the same for Origin. Look for a Process called Origin, right-click it and select End Task. Then close out of Task Manager. -- This will ensure that both the game and Origin aren't running. Now see if you can patch and/or run the game?

Repairing the Sims 4 Install via Origin

Sometimes gameplay bugs can be fixed by repairing the game. Open up Origin, Click on the Game Library tab then Right-click Sims 4 > Repair Game.

I hope this helps you get the game started. If you had a problem and found the solution, share it with others in our comments below. We cannot offer technical help in the comments here but you can Visit our Technical Help Board on the Forum in order to view more helpful documents or submit your own question. We have kind, helpful folks who can probably assist you or point you toward answers. Registration on our Forum is instant and does not require email validation.

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Comments (48)

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New
Sharni Rsays...
can I just say thanks so much ive had major save problems for a while now and this has fixed everything, thanks againLaughLaugh
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New
Esays...
In the cachestr folder is it safe to delete the spotlight package file?
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New
T.Lsays...
Don't delete the spotlight.
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
Yes, the spotlight.package is safe to delete.

Reference Link:
http://sims4.crinrict.com/en/2014/09/user-files-explained/
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Regular
Hollysays...
Is it safe to delete the file "ClientFullBuild0.package" under "The Sims 4" "FP01"?
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
These .package files are the main data files for the content packs.

I would hazard to guess anything in the game install folder:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 4 (64-bit-Windows)
C:\Program Files\Origin Games\The Sims 4 (32-bit-Windows)

Are files that should not be deleted at all. As it may end up messing up the game. It would need to be reinstalled. Origin may try to actually install what was deleted as well.
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New
Kylie millersays...
For some reasomn my computer says there is nothingn in the cache files
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Admin
Playalotsays...
That's ok. Just play for a while and then you will see data in there.
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New
Elin P.Fsays...
uhm. i have played fo over 1400 hours but still there is nothing in the cache file. why is that? I play online via origin
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Well, seeing as your game is working as you're able to play I guess everything is fine!
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New
thorby115says...
Same for me!
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New
Necisays...
Which cache folder is referred to in #2?
Lotcacheddata? That's the only cache folder I have except cachestr.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
There should be a folder named 'cache' and one named 'cachestr' inside The Sims 4 folder.
If you are having game problems posting on the technical board would be a good idea.
Technical Help on the Forum
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New
sersays...
my The sims 4 folder doesnt have a cache file. just a 2 folder named with cache, lotcacaheddata and cachestr.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
That's what the cache files are. Smile
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New
Goodneighborsays...
I only play the sims 4 offline and have packs until Get Together. There's no folder named 'cache' in my The sims 4 folder. Is that mean if I play offline I don't have any *.cache file?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
I'm really not sure. I would have thought that despite playing only off-line you should still have a cache folder. Try posting this question on our tech thread on the forum where our tech moderators can answer this question much better than me!
Technical Help - Forum
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New
Goodneighborsays...
Okay thanks anyway for your help Smile
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New
GraceHeartsays...
my cache file have '.jpg' . is that what i should delete ? i dont have any '.cache Sad
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Don't delete those. Not sure what they are or where you are looking but the localthumbcache.package is directly in your The Sims 4 folder.

Documents>Electronic Arts>The Sims 4.... then when you look down the list of all the folders etc you'll see 'localthumbcache.package' file, it looks like a word document... you know, like it has a 'piece of paper' icon as opposed to a 'folder' icon

If in any doubt don't delete. Smile
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New
GraceHeartsays...
i found the localthumbcache.package . what i meant is inside the cache file is full of .jpg . there is no any .cache Sad . ive delete both but it still kinda laggy and every time i go career in detective i always crash . i really wanna try all the career MadMad
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Admin
Playalotsays...
I understand what you are looking at now. That is all safe to delete per Carl's instructions. They are there because you have been onto the gallery at some point. Smile
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New
Janelle Ryansays...
Hi, thank you so much for this! It really helps. I have a question though. What do you do with the copies of the original save file that you have made? Do you delete them or keep them? I would really appreciate your help!

-Janelle
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
I'm one of those crazy Simmers that usually keeps game saves, lots and households backed up on an external hard drive in case I want to play with any of them in the future. *Snicker*

It's easy to do:

1. Go to your Sims 4 folder
C:\Users\<Username>\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4
2. Right-Click on your Saves folder and copy it to the external hard drive.
3. Do the same with your Tray folder, if you want to save your household and lot files.
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New
Alalinnsays...
Hi! Thank you for this guide, my game freeze sometimes and I hope this will help! But can i delete the files in the lotcacheddata folder? Unsure
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
Yes, it's fine to delete the files in the Lotcacheddata folder. Just don't delete the folder itself.

More information in the link below:
Sims 4 User Files Explained

We also have some tips that may help with your game freezing and crashing. See links below:

Intermittent Lagging/Freezing

General Crashing Issues
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New
kaysays...
4. Right-click your saves folder and select copy. Pick an empty space in the same folder and pick paste. You'll get a copy of the saves folder.

5. Go into the original save folder and then to scratch directory. Delete everything here.

Huh so..after these steps, do I keep the saves - Copy folder and the original saves folder? or do I delete the saves - Copy folder later on and repeat these same steps if I want to clean it again? or do I delete the original if I want to do it again?
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
It depends on if you're wanting a "fresh/new" game. If you're wanting a fresh/new game then you can delete all content in the saves folder.

If you're wanting to back up your game saves first. Then Right-click your saves folder and select copy. Then paste it to a folder outside the Sims 4 folder or to a flash drive or something along those lines.
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New
CakeTodaysays...
Hi! I'm freaking out. I went in and deleted a few caches - I followed the manual up here exactly and didn't delete anything I shouldn't.
what I did do though, is I cut/pasted the whole "electronic arts" folder from my Local Drive to my Harddrive, where I have the sims 4 on, and where I actually thought I had all my Sims 4 files on.
Anyway now when I go on the Sims 4 my saved games are completely gone, i can't even open them
In-game. I'm super sad cause I made so much progress.
I went in and did the whole 'saves' file deleting the ".ver0" file and it still didn't help. Probably my game just lost the link to the saves because I moved them from my local drive to my harddrive.... But how do I get my saved games back in-game?? Heeelp...
Btw thank you for a generally very helpful guide!
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New
CakeTodaysays...
Uhh okay, Update:
So I cut/pasted the same electronic arts folder back to where it was before. It seems like everything is back to how it was before. (PHEW!) But is there a trick to moving ALL my sims 4 data to my harddrive, without the game getting confused and losing the link to the data? I've told Origin to place all the data in my harddrive folder, but it seems like I have to do more than that. Any ideas?
Thanks in advance. X
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
When we need/want to save our Sims 4 folder, we usually just copy/paste it to our backup drive. Give it a different name for example: Sims4-Current. Then copy/paste the save files and such when we need/want them.
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New
aerialannasays...
okay. so my friend told me that once, her game had loads of bugs and stuff and then she repaired the game and they went away. she told me how to repair the game exactly like you have. yet it still won't work. i right click on the sims 4 while in the my games section and nothing comes up. nothing at all. could you please tell me whats happening, because i would really like to repair my game as i have many many bugs. thank you
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
Not sure what is happening with your game. However if you do not have the repair game feature in Origin, or it's not working correctly. It maybe a good idea to try uninstalling/reinstalling Origin to see if that helps get back the repair feature.

Also trying a factory reset maybe helpful as well. As it usually my go-to thing to do when my game is acting odd.

Uninstall/Reinstall the Origin Client

Repairing the Game

Sims 4 Factory Reset - (What & Howto)
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New
Mandysays...
how often do you probably clear your cache?
I always clear it after the size is larger than 6MB
is this ok?
if too often clearing the cache will impact the game btw?
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Senior
Playalotsays...
I usually clear mine after using a mod or some cc and also if I notice any glitching etc. I don't think it is possible to clear it too often. Smile
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New
Wendysays...
hello.

i have a quisten and im despperate. i already contacted ea and did what they told me. but nothing works. nothing. still the same. i can load the world just fine, but when i load a family, the house is gone. my cache is empty the file under cache is emty to. i deleted my thumbnail file. but it keeps coming back. could that be the problem? pleas help.

gr wendy
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
This is a common problem. The link below gives some troubleshooting tips to try:

[INFO REQUEST]Houses/Lots disappear
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New
NaruSasuLoverX16says...
Hey, Is it bad that I didn't even have lotcachedData folder, I know I didn't delete anything in the sims 4 folder and I didn't even see it and I also didn't have cachewebkit file.
But I delete the ones see and I have onlinethumbnailcache folder but there nothing in it I just left it. I think most of the files clear because I repair the game on 9/21/2016/. (if I got the wrong idea, I am not really a pc freak for games. I love gaming but I am scared to go into the folder and files. )
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Crinrict has a great section on game files here. The lotcachedData folder was removed some time ago so it is fine. Smile
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New
NaruSasuLoverX16says...
Thank god I thought I did something to it with my touchy mouse pad on my laptop. (I only go into my sims 4 folder for the mods folder.)
Ok and I am guessing cachewebkit is remove awhile ago as well??? (Because I didn't see it.)
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
If you have an older Sims 4 folder that still have the cachewebkit file and lotcachedata folder you can delete them. As they are safe to delete and no longer there by default.

Meaning when you create a new Sims 4 folder, they will not show up as they are no longer needed by the game.
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New
Autumnsays...
I don't have some of the files your referring to.I went into my cache folder and there wasn't anything ending in .cache, just photos.And I didn't have lotcachedata
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Admin
Playalotsays...
The thumbnails are there in the cache folder because you have been online and used the Gallery at some point. So they are safe to move to the rubbish bin.
The cachewebkit file and lotcachedata folder are safe to delete and no longer there by default, so if you do not have them in your present folder then that is just fine.
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New
Autumnsays...
I don't have any of the files you said to delete.My cache folders are empty, the only thing I have is spotlight.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
The cachewebkit file and lotcachedata folder are no longer there by default, so if you do not have them in your present folder then that is just fine. The spotlight file is something that everyone will have so that is normal too. It is safe to delete the spotlight file if you are having a clear-out.
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New
Sophiasays...
I was clearing my cache folders and accidentally deleted the lotcacheddata folder. I have MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 intel HD Graphics 4000 1024 MB. I then without out realizing emptied my trash bin and all of my lots are gone. expect one, not the one I spent five hours on though. I have not saved the game since this just exited in fear of making it worse. Is there anyway i can get it back at all that is 480 hours of remodeling buliding. things i never put on the gallery or saved to the sims cloud thing. PLEASE HELP!
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
I'm not sure exactly what you're asking about. But I do know that the lotcachedata folder has nothing to do with saved houses/lots or families/households. Those are found in the Tray folder. (Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Tray)

If you haven't saved in awhile, there may not be much you can do. However, check the auto save file to see what you might be able to find with that. Click the post linked below to learn more about restoring a previously saved game.

How-To: Restore a Saved Game
http://www.carls-sims-4-guide.com/forum/index.php?topic=21519.msg387147#msg387147

If the missing lots are in your current game, you can save them to your library/gallery for safe keeping. Though if your Tray folder is empty there isn't anyway to get the files back.
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
I'm not sure exactly what you're asking about. But I do know that the lotcachedata folder has nothing to do with saved houses/lots or families/households. Those are found in the Tray folder. (Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Tray)

If you haven't saved in awhile, there may not be much you can do. However, check the auto save file to see what you might be able to find with that. Click the post linked below to learn more about restoring a previously saved game.

How-To: Restore a Saved Game
http://www.carls-sims-4-guide.com/forum/index.php?topic=21519.msg387147#msg387147

If the missing lots are in your current game, you can save them to your library/gallery for safe keeping. Though if your Tray folder is empty there isn't anyway to get the files back.
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New
katysays...
HELPP!!
I hav been having trouble with Sims 4 for while. I have a Mac and i can't find any answers for my problems on Mac.

A few weeks ago, my game wouldn't update, it kept trying and stopping on 13% then pausing itself. The only way i could get origin to close was to restart my entire computer. Eventually it managed to sort itself out and over night the update was magically done! Since that i have bought the New City Life expansion pack and it won't let me download the expansion pack. It gets to 13% and then nothing. I have tried deleting all the Cache files, but i can't find the origin files that the guy is talking about in the link to a different site! Any help will be appreciated! I really don't want to have to uninstall origin because i will be frightened that i will never be able to get any of the games to download again :(

Thanks
Katy
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
Try either fully exiting Origin, restart the computer and try downloading again. Or uninstalling/reinstalling Origin.

As there have been reports of issues with the new Origin, and when that happens it's best to just reinstall Origin.

You might be able to find better help by going to bluebellflora's site. She's more familiar with Mac computers. :)
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New
unkownsays...
will this erase the content already on my game?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
Deleting the localthumbcache.package file will not delete any content. I do this every day and often more than once if I am using mods or testing new mod/cc etc.
The other folders (cache and cachestr) have a job to do so you can delete the contents but not the folder. If you follow the steps 1-4 in Carl's guide above then you will be fine.


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