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[CURRENT ISSUE] The Sims 3 - Issues playing on newer (post 2013) Macs
[ Edited ]

Users with post-2013 model Macs with integrated Intel graphics, possibly 15" with AMD GPUs too, are reporting a variety of issues which render their Sims 3 games unplayable. The following issues are indicative of the game not being compatible on certain Macs. This is due to the onboard graphics, notably integrated Intel chipsets, not being supported by the game:


  • If your game won't load past the blue screen with the plumbob: 

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  • If you're getting the error message  "Cannot start the process when the game is running. Please quit the game and try again"
  • If you're getting the "Unknown error" message (this message can be for a variety of reasons, not just this one)
  • If you're getting an error message saying your game has unexpectedly quit

You may be able to get past the launch screen but then your game won't run properly.


The list of Macs affected:



Early 2015, model identifier MacBook8,1, Intel HD 5300


13" MacBook Pros:

Late 2013, model identifier MacBookPro11,1, Intel Iris 5100

Mid 2014, model identifier MacBookPro11,1, Intel Iris 5100

Early 2015 model identifier MacBookPro12,1, Intel Iris 6100


15"MacBook Pros:

Late 2013, model identifier MacBookPro11,2 (2.0Ghz Intel Core i7 only), Intel Iris 5200

Mid 2014, model identifier MacBookPro11,2 (2.2Ghz Intel Core i7 only), Intel Iris 5200

Mid 2015, model identifier MacBookPro11,4, Intel Iris Pro 5200

Mid 2015, model identifier MacBookPro11,5, Intel Iris Pro 5200 & AMD Radeon R9 M370X


MacBook Airs:

Early 2015 11", model identifier MacBookAir7,1, Intel HD 6000

Early 2015 13", model identifier MacBookAir7,2, Intel HD 6000


Mac mini:

Late 2014 Mac mini, Model Identifier: Macmini7,1 (2.6, 2.8 Ghz Intel Core i5 and 3.0 Ghz Intel Core i7 models only) (Intel Iris 5100, Haswell)



Late 2013 21", model identifier iMac14,1, Intel Iris Pro 5200

Late 2015 21", model identifier iMac16,1, Intel HD 6000

Late 2015 21", model identifier iMac16,1, Intel Iris Pro 6200

Late 2015 21", model identifier iMac16,2, Intel Iris Pro 6200


This list is not exhaustive. Please bear in mind I am reliant on Mac Simmers like you to post with your Mac's specs if your game is not working due to this issue. To find out your exact model Mac click on the Apple logo, top left of your desktop then select About This Mac. In the window that appears click on System Report. Your model identifier will be in the next pop up window on the right hand side.


There is a workaround you can try which involves editing a couple of game files. For a step by step guide please read my instructions here - Some people are reporting that their game works if they only have the base game installed, others are managing to play with a couple of Expansion Packs. Late Night and Ambitions seem pretty much completely unplayable.


I will move any threads I see about this issue to this one so we can consolidate all the information in one place.


And if you try the workaround..... Good luck! Standard smile


Update 6th January 2016 - SimGuruDrake has confirmed on the official Sims forum that the Sims 3 team are still looking into this issue -


Update 23th July 2018 - If you're still struggling please see my post here asking for more information.

Using CC/Mods is at your own risk, EA are not responsible for making the game compatible with 3rd party content, the creator is. 

The Sims 3 Mac Help Thread - | - The Sims 4 Mac Help Thread -
- The Sims 3 Mac super patch 1.67 - | - Origin Reset Tool for Mac -
- I am not affiliated with EA in anyway -
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