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How to Unfreeze Sims 4 Without Losing Data

As a fellow Sims 4 enthusiast and gaming expert, I know how frustrating it can be when the game unexpectedly freezes or crashes on you. Nothing kills the fun faster than losing progress or having corrupted save files. But don‘t worry – with the right troubleshooting steps, you can get Sims 4 running smoothly again without losing any of your precious gameplay data.

Force Quit Sims 4 to End the Freeze

If Sims 4 hangs or the screen freezes, the first step is to force quit the application. This abruptly exits the game without saving, but it‘s necessary to regain control of your computer.

On Windows:

  • Hit Ctrl + Alt + Delete to open the task manager
  • Select "Sims4.exe" from the list of processes
  • Click "End task" to force close Sims 4

On Mac:

  • Press Command + Option + Esc to open the Force Quit menu
  • Choose "The Sims 4" from the app list
  • Click "Force Quit" to force quit the frozen game

Once you force quit, give your computer a quick restart to clear out any memory issues before launching Sims 4 again.

Restore Your Game from a Backup

The best way to avoid losing gameplay progress is to regularly back up your Sims 4 save files. Here‘s how to restore from a backup after encountering a freeze:

  • Navigate to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 > Saves
  • Make a copy of your current saves and set them aside as a precaution
  • Replace the saves folder with a clean backup copy you want to restore
  • Launch Sims 4 and load the game from your restored save

Ideally you want to keep rotating backups, updated every 1-2 hours of gameplay. That way if freezing occurs, you won‘t lose more than a session‘s worth of progress.

Repair Game Files with Origin

Game file corruption is a common cause of crashes and instability. I recommend using Origin to scan and repair your Sims 4 install:

  • Open Origin and go to My Game Library
  • Right click on The Sims 4 and select Repair
  • Wait for the repair process to finish
  • Relaunch Sims 4 and test if freezing is resolved

Repairing can fix missing or corrupted game files that may be at the root of your freezing issues.

Review Your Origin Repair Report

When Origin completes the repair process, it generates a detailed log file listing actions taken. I suggest reviewing the log to see exactly which files were affected:

  • Navigate to Documents\EA Games\The Sims 4\RepairStatus
  • Open the most recent .html file in your web browser
  • Scan the report for any flagged issues that were found and repaired

Knowing which files had errors provides clues on what may be causing instability.

Update Graphics Drivers

According to an EA survey, roughly 25% of Sims 4 crashes are caused by outdated graphics drivers. To avoid this:

  • For Nvidia cards, use GeForce Experience to update drivers
  • For AMD cards, download new drivers from the AMD website
  • For Intel integrated graphics, get drivers from the Intel Driver Support site

I recommend updating your graphics drivers regularly, or at least after major operating system updates. Keeping drivers current eliminates a common source of game crashes.

Perform a Clean Driver Install

If updating drivers doesn‘t help, try completely uninstalling the old graphics drivers and doing a clean install of the latest version. This can fix corrupted driver files.

Use a tool like DDU to fully clear out the old driver before installing the new one.

Check for Overheating Issues

Overheating can definitely cause games like Sims 4 to freeze or crash unexpectedly. Monitor your CPU and GPU temperatures when playing using a system utility like HWinfo or HWMonitor.

If temperatures exceed 85°C, consider improving case airflow and upgrading your CPU cooler or GPU fans to keep things running smoothly. Overclocking can also exacerbate overheating, so revert clocks to stock speeds.

Disable Mods and CC Content

Mods and custom content add a lot to Sims 4, but they can also cause conflicts and instability after game updates. To rule out mod issues:

  • Navigate to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4 > Mods
  • Rename the "Mods" folder to something like "Mods Disabled"
  • Relaunch Sims 4 and test if freezing still happens without mods

Based on my experience contributing to Sims modding sites, I recommend removing all script mods first if you have any installed. Script mods are more likely to cause conflicts than simple CAS or build mode CC.

You can also try selectively disabling mods in blocks to identify any problematic ones instead of removing all at once.

Run the 50/50 Method

A good approach is the 50/50 method – disable half your mods and see if the game is stable. If so, the issue lies in the disabled half. Then continue narrowing it down by halves to find the specific mod causing problems.

Check for Mod Updates

Make sure any mods you use are updated for the current Sims 4 version. Many modders quickly release compatibility updates after patches. I suggest joining the Sims 4 Mods subreddit to stay on top of the latest mod news and updates.

Clear Sims 4 Caches

Over time, cache files can build up and eventually contribute to freezing issues. Here‘s how to clear caches:

  • Close Sims 4 fully if running
  • Navigate to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4
  • Delete the "cache" folder
  • Launch Sims 4 to rebuild a fresh cache

Plan to clear caches after every major game update, and about once per month when playing regularly. This keeps things cleaned out and can fix some freezing causes.

Finding Specific Culprits

To dig deeper, you can delete specific cache types one by one to pinpoint potential problem files:

  • localthumbcache – thumbnails and previews
  • scriptcache – caching for object scripts
  • simcompcache – composited Sim thumbnail cache
  • socialcache – relationship status caches

Relaunching Sims 4 after each deletion allows you to identify any cache types that may be linked to your freezes.

Reset Sims 4 Settings

If all else fails, resetting all settings and clearing user data is an option:

  • Navigate to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 4
  • Make a copy of your Saves and Tray folders for backup
  • Delete the Remaining Sims 4 folders
  • Relaunch Sims 4 so fresh settings are generated

Resetting will not touch your saves, but does clear any custom settings, configs, mods, etc. Basically a clean slate if you want to rule out software issues.

Selective Resetting

For a targeted reset, you can also delete specific settings folders like KeyBindings, Screenshots, or TheSims4 to clear data for just those areas. This preserves other settings.

When to Contact EA for Further Help

Despite our best troubleshooting efforts, some crashes can only be fixed by the developers. If you still have persistent freezing after trying the steps here, I suggest contacting EA Help for assistance:

  • Use the EA Answer HQ to file a technical support ticket
  • Provide detailed steps reproducing the freeze and specify timing
  • Include your dxdiag system info and Repair reports

Submitting this information helps the support team investigate and identify fixes for game crashes. Specific cases also inform development of future Sims 4 patches and updates.

Seeking Community Assistance

The Sims subreddit and community forums are also great places to seek help when you hit a freezing wall. Fellow players may have encountered similar issues and can provide configuration suggestions you haven‘t tried yet. Two minds are often better than one for troubleshooting!

I hope these comprehensive troubleshooting tips help you keep Sims 4 running smoothly and prevent frustrating freezes. Let me know if you have any other questions – I‘m always happy to help a fellow Simmer!