The Sims 4 Save Files

Backing Up Sims, Creations, and Game Saves

The Sims 4 Save Game Data
Many players have a lot of save files. Backing these up can avert loss of Sims and prevent a lot of heartache.

Losing your save game in The Sims 4 can go from a minor annoyance to devastation depending how much time you've invested in the game. Saves are stored locally, so hard drive failure and errors can cause you to lose them unless you've backed them up. If you've got to reinstall the game, you may need to do this as well. This is a tutorial to teach players how to properly ensure the safety of their Sims 4 save files - from the game data itself to mods and screenshots.

Where are Saves/Sims/Mods Stored?
If you know about backing up and just wonder where saves are stored, they're in Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 4/Saves. Mods/CC are located in the Sims 4/Mods directory, and Sims, Lots, and Rooms you've made are stored in the Tray folder. There are also Recorded Videos and Screenshots folders here. These five folders contain everything most players would want to backup. If you need more info, read on...

Copying the save files to a safe location
My saves are now safely stored on another hard drive. USB thumb drives are cheap these days, should your desktop computer or laptop lack a second hard drive.

Basic Information: Copy
If you're a total newbie at computers, you need to know about copying. Dragging and dropping files can be useful, but it doesn't make a copy. Open Windows Explorer or Finder (Mac). Navigate to Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 4 and click on Saves to highlight it. Highlighting something and pressing Control + C will make a copy of that file or folder (Command + C on Mac), which you can then put elsewhere with paste. You can also right-click a folder to get a menu and select copy. Holding Control and left-clicking can let you select multiple folders at once. Be careful not to drag them!





Paste
Once you've told the computer to copy, you are now ready to paste. Navigate to a new place by clicking a drive to the left. There are better places to store files, but for now let's say C: because everyone has one, and right click in blank space to select New Folder, name it Sims 4 Saves Backup. Go into that new folder by double clicking it and press Control + V (Windows) or Command + V (Mac) to paste the file there. You will see the saves folder appear, and all your data will go with it. If you want, you can also make backups of Houses/Sims, screenshots/videos, and Mods you've downloaded by using the information above to copy those particular folders. If you backup regularly, you'll need to tell the computer to copy and replace files so that the new files write over the old ones.

Best Places to Store Saves
A safe location is typically another hard drive, because if one piece of hardware fails, you've got it stored on another device until your computer is repaired. So, I recommend a USB thumb drive for this or another hard drive on your computer. You can even burn a copy to DVD if you have the rewriteable kind and know-how. It's good enough to just make a copy and store it somewhere other than the Sims 4 folder on your drive, in a place you can easily access later.

Restoring your Saved Games
If you've got a new install of The Sims 4 or have somehow lost save game information, you can now head to your backup folder and copy the save folder. You can paste it inside The Sims 4 and choose yes to overwrite all files in the save folder. Be careful though, if you have other games that have not been backed up recently you may not want to overwrite them. In this case, go inside your save backup folder and choose the files related to the save you want to restore by dragging a box around them - again press Control + C to copy. You can then go to The Sims 4/Saves folder (where you'll see all save games listed) and paste that individual file. They are named in a strange way, but you may be able to tell which is right by looking at the last modified date on them.

Backup Sims Downloads

Your downloads from Origin can be backed up in order to avoid downloading them again. Here's a great post by Flynn on the Forum, which explains the process. The game always needs patched after installing anyway, so this will save a lot of time in the process of reinstalling the game. Just invest the time once to backup the game downloads, and you'll be free from redownloading them again. This applies to everything from the base game to expansions and stuff packs.

Share Tips and FAQs (73)

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1 2 3 > Last
noémie
hey I have a little problem with backing up, I can't find the save folder anywhere. also my The Sims 4 folder isn't in Electronic Arts but in Origin Games, is this a problem?
27th October 2016 2:40pm
MrsFlynn
There is suppose to be a Sims 4 folder in Origin Games. However, it should be just the install files/folders. Not the user folder where game saves and saved Sims/houses etc are suppose to be.

The user folder should be in:
\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\

If it's not the game won't know where to find the game saves or saved Sims/houses etc. So yes, that is a problem.

In the post linked below you'll find more information on how to fix this.

My Sims User Folder or Install Files are Missing?
http://www.carls-sims-4-guide.com/forum/index.php?topic=21899.msg431335#msg431335

In short - If you do not have a Sims 4 user folder, you'll need to load the game once to create one in the Documents folder.

If your user folder is not in the Documents folder, but found to be some where else on your hard drive. It can be safely moved back to the Documents folder.
27th October 2016 7:46pm
Alice
Excuse my ignorance, but is there a reason why drag and drop its not advised to be use? What's the difference between copy and paste and dragging and dropping saves into another folder?
29th October 2016 6:06pm
MrsFlynn
Copy/paste ensures you don't accidentally erase the original files.
29th October 2016 10:00pm
Aymin
I've done everything except I don't know how to paste it into my sims 4 game. Where exactly do I do this?
21st November 2016 5:18pm
Playalot
If you are meaning a saves folder with all your saved games, just right click-paste it into The Sims 4 folder.
21st November 2016 7:27pm
Aymin
I guess I should clarify first. So my problem is my computer crashed and we got it fixed. My sims 4 and origin went away, so I re-downloaded origin and had to re-download the sims as well. Now that I did that, my saved family is gone. Are these steps for that, because I have the sims 4 folder with 2 saves. Now I'm still confused as to how to load them into my game
21st November 2016 8:00pm
MrsFlynn
Your saves are there, they just need to be renamed. As the auto save feature messes up from time to time.

How-To: Rename the Auto-Save File
http://www.carls-sims-4-guide.com/forum/index.php?topic=26496.msg442098#msg442098
21st November 2016 10:03pm
Aymin
I tried to rename them and it still didn't work I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
22nd November 2016 8:31am
Playalot
I just can't tell from your description. We have a technical help board on our forum where there is more space to describe the problem. Maybe you would like to post there?
Technical Help Board Forum
22nd November 2016 3:41pm
Aymin
So, basically our computer crashed for a little while, but we got it fixed. When it got fixed I realized both origin and sims 4 were uninstalled. When I re-installed it, my save file was gone and it's making me create a new character. I've tried the directions on this post but I'm not sure If I'm doing it right.
22nd November 2016 5:52pm
MrsFlynn
I'm sorry for any misunderstanding. How I read and understood it is that you had a Sims 4 folder with save game files in it. They just weren't recognized by the game. If this is still the case. They should be recognized by the game if you rename the save files.

Here's an example:

Slot_00000001.save (this is the auto-save file)
Slot_00000001.save.ver0

What you would do here is either delete or rename the .save file for temorary. Give it the name Slot_00000001a.save So that way if something goes wrong, you've got a backup.

Then rename the file with the .ver0. Give it the name Slot_00000002.save

Load the game, and you should see a playable saved game that the game can recognize.

If it's that your save games are completely gone from the saves folder and you have no backups. Then you will have to start completely over with creating a new Sim and game save.
23rd November 2016 6:49pm
Lucas
I NEED HELP Scared Scared

The game saved an old save on a current save, I LOST EVERYTHING, how do I get back this most recent save?

PLEASE I DON'T HAVE REASONS TO LIVE ANYMORE Crying Crying Crying Crying
20th December 2016 12:24am
MrsFlynn
Go to your Sims 4 saves folder:
\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\saves

1. Sort by date modified
2. Find most recent save file and make note of the name.
3. Add .old to the end of the filename.
4. Find the file with the same name that ends in .ver0
5. Remove the .ver0 from the end of the filename.
6. Open the game to verify your saved game.

Repeat steps 4-6 for any other .ver files for that save slot.
20th December 2016 5:06pm
Playalot
How To Restore A Saved Game
Extra help should you need it.
20th December 2016 5:20pm
ramirezi
I uninstalled the game and reinstalled the entire thing and I'm wondering if I can just copy and paste everything (from old backup folder) into the new game folder. I ask because I actually deleted the new copy folders and put the old copy folder in its place (mods, tray, screenshots, saves, recorded videos) and everything was back in my game except the Sims homes and everything that comes with their relationships. I understand there's a restore game feature but since I'm reinstalling basically everything, should I go about it differently? When the patch was released originally, I copied the entire folder and pasted and that's what ruined the game. So should I just paste the folders like I did previously (mentioned in the beginning of this guide) and overwrite and then should I change the save folder like it suggest? I just want to put everything back into the game where I left off but I'm not having success when I copy everything into the new Sims 4 folder. I'm just wondering if the directions are different on a fresh install with a full previous backup folder.
4th January 2017 3:44pm
MrsFlynn
It sounds like you've already answered your own question.

If you don't have a fresh-new Sims 4 folder, create one by loading the game and then exit without saving. This will create a new Sims 4 folder.

Then copy/paste your folders/files into the new Sims 4 folder from your backup and overwrite them.
4th January 2017 11:52pm
Emily
I play the sims 4 on my Mac (which is a 21.5 in late 2009 model) Its really old and Its been running pretty slow recently. Ive had it for awhile and playing sims on it is awful it runs super slow. I play on completely restarting the thing and re downloading sims. All I wanna know really is if saving these save files and putting them on a flash drive will allow me to put the save files right back into my game so I can play with the same sims and builds all in the world.
14th January 2017 6:20pm
MrsFlynn
You should be able to save your whole Sims 4 folder (\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4) Put it on a flash drive and then put it back after you've restarted your computer and are done downloading Sims 4. Copy the Sims 4 folder back into your Electronic Arts folder and you should be good to go.
14th January 2017 6:36pm
Bianca
hi all
I have somehow accidently deleted a saved game!
here's how it happened I was playing in my saved world ( one of many) and then when I wanted to exit I just went to "save as" so I could rename the world as I changed a few things while playing it ( but I didn't click save I just renamed the saved game then cancelled) then I just went "saved and exist to main menu" as I always do. but then when I wanted to play another world through load game I realised that the saved game that I was playing earlier had also override one of my other saved games.so now I have lost a saved world ( that I didn't touch earlier) that I have spent so much time and effort in. is there any explanation for this and how do I get it back ?
25th January 2017 8:35pm
Bianca
please help Sad
25th January 2017 11:26pm
MrsFlynn
You may have to look in your saves folder - C:\Users\<Username>\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\saves - to see if you have some kind of backup of the saved game that your missing.

Play's given the link to the How to restore a saved game.
26th January 2017 5:50pm
Bianca
This method did not work for me??Sad
(Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\saves)
31st January 2017 11:17pm
Playalot
I've tagged MrsFlynn to give you more detailed help but you should be able to roll back to a previous save undoing the mistake. Smile
Rolling Back a Save
26th January 2017 3:15pm
Tiegan Harris
Is there away I can backup my households so i can factory reset my game but keep the households?
4th February 2017 6:40am
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