November 2016 - last edited August 2019
The Unknown Error message is now affecting a huge amount of Mac users who are trying to play Sims 3. This error has always been around and can be caused by a variety of different issues but recently it seems to be linked to users running macOS Sierra and El Capitan and the Late Night, Ambitions, Fast Lane and Outdoor Living Packs. Please read @corey_0414's accepted solution below for a workaround for this issue. They have also posted a very helpful video which I have linked below:
- If you have downloaded the game through Origin you should not need to use Origin to play, launch the game from within your Applications folder. This is only applicable to the Mac version of the game.
- If you encounter a message stating that the game is a more recent version than expected just ignore it and carry on installing. This is because the installer is expecting a lower patch level than 1.67.
- If you are having issues with Packs not showing as installed in the Launcher please read the guide here on solving the issue.
Please bear in mind that the game is not compatible on most post-2013 Macs due to unsupported Intel/AMD graphics resulting in an Unknown Error message for just the base game. You can check whether your Mac is listed in the stickied thread here - http://answers.ea.com/t5/The-Sims-Mac/CURRENT-ISSUE-The-Sims-3-Issues-playing-on-newer-post-2013-Mac... However, applying this workaround for the Unknown Error issue as well as editing the .sgr files may make the game playable.
If none of the above suggestions work please post with the details of your Mac, including the version of macOS you are running, which EPs/SPs work/don't work and what steps you have taken to resolve the issue.
Solved! Go to Solution.
Hello, I have been experiencing the same issue you have for days for the same exact game so I can understand how frustrated you are. Luckily, I just found the solution. Bear with me, it might be kind of confusing but i'm going to try and explain this to you as easy as possible. Go to Applications > Sims 3> right click on Sims 3 and hit show package contents. Within Show package contents, Go to contents> Resources> Add ons. All of your installed expansion packs should show, even the ones not working. Right click under the ones not working for you (So late night or ambitions) Within THAT folder, I want you to right click on Late night/ambitions and again right click and go to Show Package Contents. This time, I want you to go to Content> Resources> Transgaming. Inside Transgaming, open Program Files> Electronic Arts> and within that should be folders for your expansion packs. Copy the WHOLE FOLDER of the game that isn't working (Late Night/Ambitions)
With your copied folder, go back to Applications> Sims 3> Show package contents> Resources> Add ons. Normally, when your launcher opens, its an icon of one of your expansion packs. For me, that is Island Paradise. So, I right clicked on Island Paradise>Show Package contents>Content?Resources>Transgaming>Program Files> Electronic Arts> and you will find yourself at the folders with expansion packs. Notice how Late Night/Ambitions is not there? PASTE the folder you copied into there. Once both Late Night and Ambitions is working, try relaunching the launcher and you should be good to go! I hope I helped!
Ok here's the situation:
I'm installing all my old games on a MacBook Air and I got through all my expansion packs except Nightlife and Ambitions. When I get to either of those, all the sudden the launcher won't launch. Specifically the error reads "Unknown error occurred" during the launch sequence:
I'm sort of at my wits end here, help :'(
Perhaps, but my Mac isn't listed in the "affected models" list. I have a MacBook Air 3,2 with NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics chip.
And I don't have any problems with the base game. Only the Nightlife and Ambitions expansion packs. So if it is a graphics issue, would I modify the program files for the base game, or just for the expansion packs?
Unfortunately Ambitions and Late Night now seem to be causing problems for a broader range of Mac users. Have you recently upgraded to macOS Sierra?
I can't seem to reinstall The Sims 3 or any of its EPs on my Mac (the same computer on which I had it running about a year ago).
I uninstalled it many months ago, and have tried to make sure that I didn't miss any folders or text files associated with TS3 when I uninstalled the application. Now, when I try to (re)download it via MacGameStore - where I originally purchased it - or Origin, it won't work.
Via Origin, it will go s far as to say it's downloaded successfully and is Ready To Play. However, when I try to open the game, I immediately get a message saying "Unknown error occurred." Nothing further. The game won't launch.
Via MacGameStore, trying to download it typically brings me to an error message (Error 208) instead. Once it's shown me Error 211.
Once or twice (in my repeated attempts to get this running again) it's almost managed to download it, only to have an Unknown Error pop up in the final stage of installation. When that occurs, I can't open the game to play it - the only option I have is to install it. When I click on the install option, it cautions me that I've "already installed it" and proceeding would rewrite the files; do I wish to continue? Clicking "continue" brings me no further, though, and I end up with error messages anyway.
I'd like to note that when I reattempt to install it, I try to completely remove it from my drive first (using an uninstaller app like CleanMyMac to make sure all files are removed) so that no corrupted bits and bobs are left behind. Still won't work though! Perhaps I'm missing some files? I'm not sure if I used an uninstaller app the first time I removed TS3 from my computer (all those months ago) so any old files associated with that installation could still be lurking in my drive. If that's the case, where should I go to find them? My Mac is on El Capitan, which intentionally masks a lot of pathways and folders so that users can't tinker too much...
What (other) steps should I take in order to be able to play this game again?
I've played the Sims 3 on my current laptop (MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch, Early 2015), and was originally running it off an external hard drive. I no longer have said hard drive, so I can re-downloaded the Sims 3 base game, and am having no problems running it.
The minute I install any expansion packs (I own Late Night, Ambitions and Pets) I get a message "Unknown Error Occurs" and cannot get into the game any further.
I have done 3 clean uninstalls, and to no avail.
I understand Late Night and Ambitions are the most problematic, so I have kind of made my piece with that. But I would really love to be able to use Pets.
I've tried EVERYTHING I can find on the net - The Ultimate Fix, Different Patches, Running through bootstrap and am getting nowhere.
My current system on my Mac is macOS Sierra Version 10.12.1
Does anyone have any further suggestions?
Not really too sure what you mean by 'running through bootstrap'?
Late Night and Ambitions are the most problematic, and it doesn't help that your integrated Intel graphics are not supported in the game.
I would cleanly uninstall everything then install the base game, patch manually, then install Pets. If it's working you could then try LN again.