[CURRENT ISSUE] Sims 4 saves/user content disappearing (PC)

by puzzlezaddict
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Original Post

[CURRENT ISSUE] Sims 4 saves/user content disappearing (PC)

[ Edited ]

Overview

jump to:  Restoring missing saves

jump to:  I want OneDrive to keep syncing my files

jump to:  I don't want OneDrive to sync my files

jump to:  I want to get rid of OneDrive

jump to:  My saves aren't in OneDrive

jump to:  My saves still aren't appearing in-game

 

In Windows, the most common cause of Sims 4 saves or other user files disappearing is OneDrive.  User files are stored in Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4, and if no Sims 4 folder is present there, the game will make a new one with no content.  It won't look elsewhere for saves or other user content.

 

OneDrive syncs the contents of Documents to cloud storage by default.  This syncing may have worked fine for some time, but it can fail for one reason or another, and the result is that the user files are removed from local storage.  Then when Sims 4 is loaded, saves, Tray files, and mods and custom content are missing, with the only option being to start a new save.

 

If you have a Mac, please use this thread instead:

 

https://answers.ea.com/t5/Technical-Issues-Mac/READ-FIRST-Saves-CC-Mods-or-Library-items-disappeared...

 


Restoring missing saves

 

The first place to look for missing files is within OneDrive's cloud storage.  Go to onedrive.com, click Sign in in the upper-right corner, and enter the email address and password associated with your Microsoft account.  Please check both My files and the Recyle bin for your missing content.  OneDrive does only preserve data in the Recycle bin for 30 days for a free basic account, or 93 days for some premium accounts.  If that time has passed, the files may be permanently deleted.

 

If you find your missing files, click them to select, then right-click and select Restore:

 

restore 1.png

 

 

Once you've downloaded the files from OneDrive, you may need to rename them or move them to the correct folder, as in, the one Sims 4 is reading.  If you need more help with this process, please read this.

 

To prevent this in the future, you can change OneDrive's settings.

Or you can stop syncing or get rid of OneDrive entirely.

If you've never used OneDrive, or it doesn't have your saves, please see this.

 


I want OneDrive to keep syncing my files

 

If your OneDrive has enough space for all your files, the simplest workaround is to tell OneDrive to keep the Sims 4 user folder on your computer.  Right-click the folder and select "Always keep on this device."

 

keep on device.png

 

Please double-check that OneDrive has enough storage, or you may run into more trouble.  Right-click the OneDrive icon in the lower-right corner of your screen and select Settings:

 

settings 2.png

 

Under Account, you'll see the current and total storage:

 

free space.png

 

 

If your OneDrive is full, or your "The Sims 4" folder is larger than the storage you have, you can choose to stop automatically syncing Documents overall, or the Sims 4 folder, or some subfolder, for example the Mods folder.  (Please see the next section below.)  You can still manually upload files to OneDrive as you choose.  Or you can buy a subscription for more OneDrive storage.  However, an external drive or USB stick is a one-time purchase and a cheaper long-term solution than a subscription, so consider your options before subscribing.

 


I don't want OneDrive to sync my files

 

The first step is to make a backup of your "The Sims 4" folder, the one in Documents > Electronic Arts.  Right-click it and select Copy, then right-click the location where you want your backup to go and select Paste.  If you don't have an external drive or USB stick handy, you can paste the folder into your computer's Downloads folder, which OneDrive doesn't sync.

 

The simplest change is to tell OneDrive not to sync the contents of Documents at all.  Right-click the OneDrive icon in the lower-right corner of the screen, select Settings > Backup, click Manage Backup, and under Documents, click Stop backup, then confirm the choice.

 

backup 2.png

 

Now you can restore the backup version of your Sims 4 folder to Documents > Electronic Arts, and the game should read your data.  If you're not seeing your saves in-game, please read this.

 

If you want to get more granular, you can choose to not sync the contents of the Electronic Arts folder, the Sims 4 folder, or any folder inside.  First, make a backup of this folder; as above, you can store it on an external device, or in Downloads.

 

Right-click the OneDrive icon in the lower-right corner of the screen, open Settings > Account, select Choose folders, deselect the folders you don't want OneDrive to sync, and click Okay.

 

choose folders 2.png

 

Once you deselect the given folder, it will be removed from your computer and stored only in the cloud.  You can now restore the backup copy you made, and OneDrive won't sync it.  If you forgot to back up this folder, you can still download it from onedrive.com.

 

If you're not seeing your saves in-game, please read this.

 


I want to get rid of OneDrive

 

If you want to get rid of OneDrive entirely, first make a backup of any synced folders you want to keep.  You can right-click the folders and select Copy, then right-click where you want the backups to be and select Paste.  An external drive or USB stick is ideal, but if you don't have one handy, you can use your computer's Downloads folder, which OneDrive doesn't sync.  You can also find your files later by signing into your Microsoft account at onedrive.com.

 

Right-click the OneDrive icon in the lower-right corner of your screen, select Settings > Backup, click Manage Backup, and click Stop backup for all three categories, then confirm the choice.

 

backup 2.png

The reason to do this is to move the default locations of these folders out of the OneDrive folder on your computer, which might otherwise be a more complicated process.  Next, right-click the OneDrive icon in the lower-right corner of your screen and select Settings > Account, then click Unlink this PC.  It's unnecessary to uninstall OneDrive—without a link to a Microsoft account, it has nothing to do.

 

After the above and before you do anything else, please double-check that your Documents folder is no longer in OneDrive.  Type "command" in the Windows search box, open Command Prompt, and enter this command:

 

reg query "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders" /v "Personal"

This will spit out the location of the Documents directory for this Windows account.  The file path should no longer include OneDrive, but if it does, as here:

 

cmd 2.png

 

Then you'll need to change the location manually.

 

The simple way is to right-click Documents in the left panel of a File Explorer window and choose Properties > Location, then Move, then click This PC, then choose this:

 

C:\Users\[your username]\Documents

 

Click Apply, then Yes.  You may get an error that says "Can't move the folder because there is a folder in the same location that can't be redirected."  The normal workaround is to stop OneDrive from backing up the location of Documents, as described above.  If this hasn't helped, you can change the location of Documents by editing the relevant registry entry:

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/operation-to-change-a-personal-folder-location-fails-in-wi...

 

Please be very careful when editing your computer's registry.  One simple typo can have significant consequences.  Make a backup before you do anything: click File > Export, and save a copy of the entire registry.  If you mess up the edit, just restore the backup by double-clicking the saved file.  You can check your work with the same Command Prompt command as above.

 

This also applies to the Desktop and Pictures folders if they've previously been directed to OneDrive.

 


My saves aren't in OneDrive

 

If you don't use OneDrive, or you can't find your saves there, you can search your computer for the saves.  Open a File Explorer window, click This PC in the left panel, and enter Slot_ in the search field in the upper-right corner.  When the scan finishes, if it's found any saves, click one and select the "Open file location" menu button (or right-click the file and select "Open file location"), and you'll jump to wherever the save is, which will hopefully be where the rest of your user files are.

 

find save.png

 

Move the saves and any other files you'd like to keep to the relevant subfolders within the Sims 4 folder the game is reading, as it appears in-game:

 

https://sims4.crinrict.com/eng/2018/07/how-to-find-your-user-folder/

 

If your saves still aren't appearing in-game, please read this.

 

If your content has disappeared, and it's not hidden on your computer and not in OneDrive, it's worth doing a virus scan.  This is not to say you definitely have a virus, only that it's a good idea to check.  Download Malwarebytes (the free trial is fine) from here:

 

https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download

 

Open it, click Scan > Custom Scan > Configure Scan, check all the boxes for all scans and for all your drives, and let it do its job.  This can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, so you may want to set the scan to run while you're doing something else.  If you'd like someone to take a look at the results, please start your own thread and attach the report.

 


My saves still aren't appearing in-game

 

The two common reasons your saves and other user files might not load in-game is that they're in the wrong folder or they're named improperly.  To make sure the files are in the correct folder, load the game and find the full file path to that folder, as described here:

 

https://sims4.crinrict.com/eng/2018/07/how-to-find-your-user-folder/

 

To see the full file path of a given file or folder, right-click it and select Properties > General, then look for the Location.

 

If you're having trouble opening the correct folder, click This PC in a File Explorer window instead, then double-click the correct drive (probably C), and open the corresponding folders from there.

 

OneDrive may also have renamed the saves to avoid duplicate files or folders.  For example, after changing some settings back and forth, I wound up with this in my saves folder:

 

save copies.png

 

Saves need to be named in a specific format: Slot_ followed by an eight-digit hexidecimal (base-16, so numbers 0 to 9, letters a to f) number followed by .save , with no extra characters.  Each save needs to have a unique number as well.  All of these are valid save names:

 

Slot_00000006.save

Slot_0000000c.save

Slot_00000012.save

 

In the above screenshot, for the affected saves (red arrows), I would delete the - Copy and the space and also renumber the saves, as other saves already have those same numbers.  The order in which you number the saves doesn't matter.  Choose whatever names are convenient for you, although Sims 4 has occasionally been unable to read saves that start with a digit other than 0.

 

Saves with a .verx on the end are backups of your main saves: the game saves the data from the last five times you saved your progress before the current one.  These can be renamed in the same way; once the .verx extension is deleted, the game will read these files as well.

 

The same principles apply to Tray files: they need to be named properly and in the correct Tray folder.  But because Tray file names can be more difficult to work with than saves, please start your own thread asking for help if you need it.  In that case, include a screenshot or two of the contents of Tray so that the person helping you can identify the problem.  Include the address bar, above the list of files, in the screenshot, as in my saves screenshot above.

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I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 4 of 307 (27,306 Views)

New EA app Nov. 2022 deleted my Sims save files

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

Hi! I just downloaded the new EA app & found out that none of my previously played/saved games are there. I looked at the save file in EA documents on my PC & there’s absolutely nothing in there. If anyone has advice on how to recover anything or if that’s even possible please help me out here! I tried to find a solution through threads but nothing has helped Frown thank you! 

Message 1 of 307 (28,447 Views)

Re: New EA app Nov. 2022 deleted my Sims save files

@fiersta  Is OneDrive running on your computer?  Even if you never use it deliberately, OneDrive could have synced your Sims 4 data along with everything else in Documents, so check there first.

 

You can also search your computer for any stray saves.  Open a File Explorer window, click This PC in the left panel, and enter Slot_ in the search field in the upper-right corner.  This should turn up any remaining saves.  If you find one, click on it and click the "Open file location" menu button, and you'll jump to wherever that save is.

 

In either case, move any saves you find to the local version of Documents (i.e. not the one in OneDrive), specifically Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 > saves, and they should show up in-game.  If this doesn't work but you did find some saves, please post a screenshot of the contents of the saves folder, as in, I want to see the list of saves.

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I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 2 of 307 (28,419 Views)

Re: New EA app Nov. 2022 deleted my Sims save files

★★★★★ Newbie

Thank you for this!! 

Message 3 of 307 (28,051 Views)

All of my game saves got wiped. I dont see it in my files on my computer either.

★★★ Newbie

Product: The Sims 4
Platform:PC
Which language are you playing the game in? English
How often does the bug occur? Often (50% - 99%)
What is your current game version number? 1.96.397.1020
What expansions, game packs, and stuff packs do you have installed? none
Steps: How can we find the bug ourselves? Just open the game
What happens when the bug occurs? I lost ALL of my progress on the sims 4 including a house I spent like 3 weeks on.
What do you expect to see? when you open the game and you join your recent save the house will be gone but the sims will be there, Then when you close the game and reopen it to try and see if it was just a small bug that can be fixed without help ALL of the games you made will be gone.
Have you installed any customization with the game, e.g. Custom Content or Mods? Never used.
Did this issue appear after a specific patch or change you made to your system? Neutral/Not Sure 

There's nothing to look at because I couldn't get pictures of my game before and without the house. Now it's just the "new game" screen like I'm a new player or deleted the games myself. 

Message 5 of 307 (27,244 Views)

Re: All of my game saves got wiped. I dont see it in my files on my computer eit

★★★★ Guide

What happened to you sounds like what happened to me not too long ago. I got my game saves back by using OneDrive Restore. Do you have OneDrive, and did you turn off 'sync to Onedrive', or try to move your files out of the EA games folder on Onedrive before you lost your saves?

Message 6 of 307 (27,205 Views)

Re: All of my game saves got wiped. I dont see it in my files on my computer eit

@SunnyStarz  I've merged your post with a guide for this issue.  Please see the first post, in particular the "Restoring missing saves" and "My saves aren't in OneDrive" sections.

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I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 7 of 307 (27,160 Views)

My game has reset

★ Novice

Product: The Sims 4
Platform:PC
Which language are you playing the game in? English
How often does the bug occur? Every time (100%)
What is your current game version number? 1.96.397.1020 (I think)
What expansions, game packs, and stuff packs do you have installed? Realm of Magic, Vampires, Parenthood, Seasons, Strangerville, Jungle Adventure, Dine Out
Steps: How can we find the bug ourselves? I have no idea
What happens when the bug occurs? My game acts like I just purchased it: all settings are set to default, I have no cc installed and my saves are gone.
What do you expect to see? My saves and cc
Have you installed any customization with the game, e.g. Custom Content or Mods? Yes
Did this issue appear after a specific patch or change you made to your system? No

Ever since September 18th, 2022 my Sims 4 game has been wiped clean of any and all data and progress. I can't think of anything I could've done to make this happen. I've tried everything I could on my end to get it working again and nothing has helped. I tried contacting EA multiple times but they couldn't help either. The same thing has happened to my Sims 3 game, once again, out of nowhere with no warning or reason. I'm completely stumped.

Message 8 of 307 (27,113 Views)

Re: My game has reset

@Angeline1398  I've merged your post with a guide for this issue.  Please see the first post, in particular the "Restoring missing saves" and "My saves aren't in OneDrive" sections.  The same principle applies for Sims 3 as well.

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I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 9 of 307 (27,075 Views)

Re: New EA app Nov. 2022 deleted my Sims save files

★★★ Newbie

Did you manage to get them back? I have the same problem and nothing works Frown 

Message 10 of 307 (27,066 Views)