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.

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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.

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Comments (41)

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New
Lauren Buddsays...
Hello,

In order to back up my files do I need to copy and paste all saves or just the most recent one?
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Admin
Playlotsays...
That is going to take more room than I have here to answer! Please follow the link to see what to do.
How To Back-Up My Game Files
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New
Cyreasays...
Hi! Just a simple question, do the saves folder contain my saved sims, families and houses? I can understand if this would be a stupid question, I'm just confused, that's all. Thanks!
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Senior
MrsFlynnsays...
Your Saves folder contain only your saved games.

Families, houses and rooms are saved in the Tray Folder.
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New
Mesays...
Please help! My Sims is doing weird things so I want to delete and reinstall it. But before i want to backup my families. I can not understand what i have to do. I have files named:
Slot_0000000a.save
Slot_0000000a.save.ver0
Slot_0000000a.save.ver1
to:
Slot_0000000a.save.ver4
then theres:
Slot_0000000b [theres b or c, d, e, f] .save.ver0 (0 to 4)
and the last one is:
Slot_00000013.save.ver4
What do i have to do before being sure i have all my familys when i reinstall it. ( Also when i delete my origin and sims can i be sure that i dont need to pay for it again?) Unsure
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Senior
Playlotsays...
Crinricts has a great article explaining user files
We've got a walk through on Save files and how to organize them
and the same information but this time all about the Tray Folder and it's files
We have a Technical help Board here where you will find even more info of you can post a specific question if you are still unsure about what to do.
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New
Carolinesays...
Hi,

If I backup my game on an external hard drive, does it mean that if I install Sims on another computer, I will be able to play the exact same game, as I did on my other computer? You know, will all the families I've made be there, and will they live in the houses, that I've made?
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Admin
Playlotsays...
Yes, if you save your folder The Sims 4 to an external hard drive and then transfer it to a new computer and sign into Origin you will be able to play on your new computer. All your saves will be there as these are stored inside the Saves folder within the The Sims 4 folder.
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Regular
Elizabethsays...
I keep getting error code 123:9d5d0e8f:b1dc02d, the wiki said to backup my game then to reset my files, but I have no clue how to. This does not really describe how to back up the files
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Admin
Playlotsays...
The easiest way to back up your files is to literally copy and paste the Sims 4 folder onto your desktop. It's not the best way as it is better to save only the actual folders you need but at least that way you will have all the important folders backed-up.
So the Saves folders -has all your saved games, the Tray folder- has all your houses and sims etc you've saved to your in-game library. The Options.ini File has all your player settings, which of course you can always reset once in-game anyway.
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New
Liza M.says...
Hello folks
I need some help, sorry if this has been asked. I recently set my game's language to German, which made a completely new "Die Sims 4" folder in the EA folder, right next to the "The Sims 4" one. So basically a brand new
German version of the game without my previous saves from the English one is there now. My question is: can I move my save files from the game's English folder to the German one? Also I use mods too (both CAS items and scripts mods), but I guess I can just copy and paste those in the new German save's Mods folder, right?
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Admin
Carlsays...
Hi Liza. Based on some quick google-fu I think that saves carry over just fine between languages. You'd just go into The SIms 4 and copy everything to Die Sims 4. When you start up the game it should see your saves.

Worst case you still have a backup copy inside The Sims 4 folder.
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New
Pizzasays...
How do you put theese files back into the sims After You Back them Up
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New
Pizzasays...
Whoops Didnt read Properly Soz
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New
jennysays...
So very frustrates right now. Twice now I have been playing my game like all freaking day literally and I go to shut it down and save and it fails! I noticed though that in the scratch folder a save file gets made. I understand that folder if only supposed to be temporary but do you know if I can rename that save file to one that I can use to start the game where it left off? It really ticks me off that EA made the decision to not do auto saves the way they used to. I realize that I should have made saves throughout my game but I didn't so I'm not trying to focus on that.
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Admin
Playlotsays...
The scratch folder is a temporary folder that houses your current save as your playing it, from what I understand. It has several different file associated with the save. But I don't know if any of those files can be used to be used as a backup of a saved game.
This might be better answered if you post your issue on the Sims4 Tech Forum: TS4 Tech Forum (link). I don't know why your game is failing to save. I could make guesses such as broken mods etc but if you can ask this at the Tech Forum it will also alert the devs to a possible game breaking bug.
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New
KairaSuperSayan93says...
So, I'm planning on getting a new computer in a few months and I currently have the backup from my old computer running on my current PC that has since gained three more years of data in addition to the backup file that dates back to I believe 2015. Now I'm wondering what I'll need to do to successfully merge these files together in the future, especially since the Sims now runs on Python 3.7 which has eliminated several mods over the past few months. Don't get me wrong, I'm great with computers, I just had one of those what-if moments about this.
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Regular
Rachelsays...
Is there a way to access a previous save on a ps4 console. I don't see it on here and i accidentally loaded over a previous save.
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Admin
Playalotsays...
We have a console section on our forum Forum Console Board where hopefully you'll be able to either find that answer or ask it there and get the answer from a forum member.
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New
Hanneysays...
Yesterday I lost my families. I've used the past 24 hours to get them in game again. I've checked my saved folder, and can see a saved game from 14/06 (i know that this is the last time i played with them) i can also see the same date in the tray folder. I've tried everything to get them in game again, it literally doesn't work. I'm desperate, I've played with them for way too many hours. I'm crying for help and will literally do anything to get them back ( and houses ) please help me. before they disappeared i couldn't place out doors etc. I play on mac. please write back, don´t send me to another forum again. I've read through hours and hours of solutions....
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Admin
Playalotsays...
All you have to do is rename an older auto saved file and then remove the current save file from the same folder and your game will be the older save. Any file within the Saves folder that ends in ".save.ver0" or any other number at the end... are older saves of your game, auto saves. Depending on how often you save your older version of your save with your family in it can be renamed and played. It's like turning the clock back.
Documents>Electronic Arts>The Sims 4>Saves
For example in my Saves folder I have 4 versions of save game 'e'. To play an older version I remove "Slot_0000000e.save" to a safe place on my desktop and then rename "Slot_0000000e.save.ver2" to "Slot_0000000e.save" by removing the ".ver2" off the end.
This will make the game now play this older version.
We have a clear How-To to help you do this. How To-(click)
Before going back into Origin and playing your now older version of your game it is important to delete the localthumbcache.package file from your The Sims 4 folder.
If you are still having issues please post on the forum where we can talk you through the process as there are limited characters here. Forum
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New
Hanneysays...
I tried this, doesn't work. I share my game with my sister and all her families are there, but none of mine. All of them lived in newcrest. it is like there are two separate maps... i dont know. I'm losing faith soon :( I have built all the houses myself, everything is gone. is it possible that there are two maps?
also, when i rename the files, are they suppose to still be in the same save folder with all the other files?
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New
Hanneysays...
I can see now that i only have 5 original saves. (without the 1.ver.1 etc) i only have all the saves with (save 10,11,12,13....) not without the numbers... so does this mean i have no chance to recover them?
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Admin
Playalotsays...
@Hanney, out of room to reply directly but yes, if you have no back up saves (the ones with the 'save2.ver0' etc) it means you have no files to revert to. If all you have is the primary save files (slot00000003.save for example) then you have nothing to recover. Sorry, but from what you are saying it seems that your family is lost for good. Sad
To stop this from happening gain you need to learn how to save your game so that it will make auto back up saves (save2.ver0 type files).
When saving choose the save file that you are playing and save over it. This creates backup files. We have a whole tech help section on Saving Games (click)on the forum so perhaps reading through this will help you to understand the process. If you need any further help post on the forum and we'll be happy to help you.
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New
Jodiesays...

Okay SO,
I downloaded a mod and I had decided that after the sims 4 had downloaded the new patch I couldn't be bothered to download a new patch for the mod, so I just deleted it. I went onto my sims and my family and all my progress has been deleted! although the family is still in the 'move in' section but not how I left it, it has gone from scratch. I have saves in my sims 4 folder but when I go onto sims 4 to go into my save back up and load it says there is no recovery back up. PLEASE HELP A FELLOW SIMMER OUT. I have invested so so so much into this family, years. I feel like it could be an easy solution and it could all be recovered I just need some help. If someone could get back to me asap that would be incredible x

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Admin
Playalotsays...

If you rename an older auto saved file and then remove the current save file from the same folder then your 'game' will be the older save. Any file within the Saves folder that ends in ".save.ver0" or any other number at the end... are older saves of your game, auto saves. Depending on how often you save your older version of your save with your family in it can be renamed and played. It's like turning the clock back.

Documents>Electronic Arts>The Sims 4>Saves

For example in my Saves folder I have 4 versions of save game 'e'. To play an older version I remove "Slot_0000000e.save" to a safe place on my desktop and then rename "Slot_0000000e.save.ver2" to "Slot_0000000e.save" by removing the ".ver2" off the end.

This will make the game now play this older version.

We have a clear How-To to help you do this. How To Recover A Saved Game and More...

Before going back into Origin and playing your now older version of your game it is important to delete the localthumbcache.package file from your The Sims 4 folder.

All your vanilla progress should still be there, removing mods shouldn't alter relationships, careers, skills learnt that are from the vanilla game.

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New
Aisyahsays...

Hey, I have one saved game in my new computer. I’m wondering if i can move all my old saves (including households, builds. Etc) from my old computer to the new computer without deleting the new saved game?

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Admin
Playalotsays...

Yes easily. Just drag the files out of the Sims 4 folder on your old PC and save them to a portable device, then transfer them to your new PC. Make sure the saves are numbered differently to the ones present on your new PC and then drag them back into the saves folder inside the Sims 4 folder on your new PC.

If you follow the link to our Transfer Sims 4 Game Saves or Sims 4 Folder to Another Computer Guide, you will be able to follow step-by-step

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New
Addisays...

Hey how do you actually open a save file? I don’t know what file is what and I only want to get rid of the ones I don’t like, but I don’t know which is which. It gives an option to open with an app, but no app is listed...

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Admin
Playalotsays...

You don't need to open each individual Save File, as this is really fairly technical the best way for you to get rid of game saved files you don't want to play any more is to delete them in-game.

Hit Load Game>mouse over Saves you don't want and click on the 'x'.> You'll get a pop-up window asking 'If You Are Sure' meaning are you sure you want to permanently delete this file. If you are 100% sure you never want to play this file again click the check mark.

This is a safe and tech-free way to delete saves.

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New
Emmsays...

Hi, I recently had problems with my game always freezing so I decided to see if moving the file from my documents to my desktop would help but now my game is gone I have it saved but I am confused on the part that says "paste it into the Sims 4". How exactly do I do that?? Do I just go into the sims 4 and paste because it doesn't let me lol. I'm just super confused about where I'm supposed to be pasting. This is probably a really dumb question but I'm not good at this and I just want my game back

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Admin
Playalotsays...

Which file did you move? If you moved your entire The Sims 4 folder then all you have to do is move the tray folder, saves folder and maybe the Options.ini file back into the newly generated The Sims 4 folder (which you get when you start the game).

So to find the newly generated TS4 folder...

Documents>Electronic Arts>The Sim 4

Inside the 'The Sims 4' folder is where you'd paste back the moved important folders and files.

However if it was NOT the entire 'The Sims4' folder that you moved then you will need different instructions which I can't help you with until I have more information.



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