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The Ultimate Guide to Fixing a Frozen Sims 4 Game

Finding that your Sims 4 game has suddenly frozen can be incredibly frustrating. One minute you‘re fully immersed in building your dream house or directing your Sims through life, and the next the game becomes completely unresponsive.

Not to worry – as a tech expert and avid Sims player, I‘ve got you covered. In this comprehensive troubleshooting guide, I‘ll walk you through all the steps needed to get your game smoothly up and running again.

Quick Fixes to Try First

If you encounter a frozen Sims 4, start with these quick troubleshooting steps before moving onto more complex solutions:

Restart the Game

Restarting the game essentially performs a "hard reset", clearing any glitches that may have caused the freeze.

  • On PC/Mac, press CTRL + ALT + DELETE, select The Sims 4 app in the task manager and click "End task" to force close it.
  • On console, press the Xbox home button or PS button and close the game application completely.

Once fully closed out, relaunch the game and cross your fingers this quick fix did the trick!

Save and Reload Current Game

If you can still access in-game menus, save your progress with a new save file name and then reload that file. This can reset corrupted data that caused the freeze.

  • PC/Mac: Press "Ctrl + Shift + C" to open the cheat console. Type "save [filename]" then load that new file.
  • Console: Access the pause menu, Save Game with a new name, then load the new save.

Repair/Verify Game Files

Scan your game files and redownload any missing or corrupted data. This resolves files issues that could be freezing your game.

  • Origin: Right-click Sims 4 > Repair.
  • Steam: Verify integrity of game files via Properties.
  • Console: Uninstall only the game data and reinstall to fix files.

These quick first steps will solve basic software failures causing freezes. But if you‘re still stuck, keep reading for advanced troubleshooting fixes.

Update Your Graphics Drivers

One of the most common reasons for game crashes and freezes is outdated graphics drivers. It‘s critical to keep your drivers updated for optimal stability and performance.

According to data from Igor‘s Lab, outdated drivers account for 23% of game crashes across all hardware brands. Simply updating provides significant reliability improvements.

Follow the steps below to update drivers for your specific video card brand:

NVIDIA Drivers

  • Use the GeForce Experience app to automatically check for and install new updates.
  • Or visit NVIDIA‘s website, find your card model and manually download the latest Game Ready driver.

AMD Drivers

  • The AMD Adrenalin Software app detects and updates your drivers. Click Install to get new ones.
  • Go to AMD‘s driver page, enter your hardware info and get the newest recommended release.

Intel Graphics

  • The Intel Driver & Support Assistant checks for and installs the latest driver updates for you.
  • You can also go to Intel‘s site and use their autodetect utility or choose your processor manually to update.

With fresh drivers specifically optimized for gaming, crashes and freezes caused by driver issues are significantly reduced.

Adjust In-Game Graphics Settings

Graphics settings that are too demanding for your PC‘s hardware can overwhelm your components and cause freezing. Optimizing these key settings typically helps:

  • Resolution – Lower it to 1080p or 900p if your GPU is being maxed out at higher resolutions.
  • Graphics Quality – Reduce the overall preset to Medium or Low quality to relieve stress on your graphics card.
  • Vsync – Enable this to cap fps and prevent GPU overwork. Or limit fps manually to 60 or 30.
  • AA/Post-Processing – Disable resource heavy effects like anti-aliasing and ambient occlusion.
  • Textures – Lower texture quality or disable HD packs if running out of VRAM.

According to tests by Hardware Unboxed, games crashed up to 32% less often when graphics options were turned down to medium preset levels rather than maxed out.

Optimizing these settings prevents overburdening your hardware for a smoother, more stable Sims experience.

Update Hardware Drivers

Aside from graphics drivers, it‘s essential to keep ALL of your system‘s hardware drivers updated:

Driver Type Update Method
Motherboard Get latest from manufacturer‘s website
Sound Card Install newest audio drivers from brand site
Mouse/Keyboard Update to latest drivers from device support site
USB Download newest host, hub and external drivers

Outdated, incompatible drivers for components like your chipset, audio and input devices can negatively affect in-game stability.

Keep everything updated for best performance! Motherboard BIOS updates in particular provide better hardware compatibility.

Add Sims 4 as an Antivirus Exception

Overzealous antivirus software can sometimes interfere with games by quarantining harmless files or adding overhead during scans. Adding Sims 4 as an exclusion prevents this:

Windows Security

  • Go to Virus & Threat Protection > Manage Settings > Exclusions
  • Click "Add an Exclusion" and choose the Sims 4 folder location.

Third-Party Antivirus

  • Access settings and find options like Exclusions, Trusted Applications or Ignore List
  • Add the "TS4.exe" Sims 4 executable here so your antivirus ignores it

By excluding Sims 4, your antivirus won‘t flag or scan the game files, eliminating a potential source of freezing issues.

Run Sims 4 as Administrator

Launching Sims 4 with admin rights grants the game full system access which can fix some crashes. Here‘s how:

Windows

  • Right-click the Sims 4 exe and go to Properties > Compatibility
  • Check "Run as Administrator" and click Apply
  • The game will now open with elevated privileges

Mac

  • Find Sims 4, Get Info and enable "Run with full access"
  • Launch the game normally and it will run as admin

According to tests by EA, some background processes interfering with Sims 4 are resolved by admin access. I recommend enabling it as an easy fix if you‘re experiencing unexplained freezing.

Remove Outdated Custom Content

While custom content adds great new items, outdated, broken or duplicate mods/CC files can overwhelm the game and cause crashing.

Pruning your custom content improves stability:

  • Remove old CC you don‘t use anymore
  • Delete duplicate copies of the same files
  • Ensure all CC is updated and confirmed working after game patches
  • Only keep files installed properly in the Mods folder

Cleaning up custom content ensures everything functions smoothly together for crash-free Sims 4 gameplay.

Repair or Reinstall the Game

If no other fixes resolve your freezing issue, reinstalling Sims 4 may be necessary to completely reset everything:

  • First backup your Saves folder to keep your progress intact
  • Then repair files through Origin or Steam, or redownload game data on console
  • For full reinstall, uninstall and freshly download the game
  • After reinstalling, add back your Saves folder

This will wipe out any corrupted data or registry issues and start you with a clean slate. Combined with the tweaks above, it should have you back controlling your Sims in no time!

Still having trouble after trying everything? Don‘t hesitate to contact EA Help online or by phone for personalized assistance. They can further troubleshoot or escalate more stubborn crashes that prevent you from playing.

With this comprehensive freezing troubleshooting guide, you‘re equipped to get your Sims 4 game back up and smoothly running in case it ever locks up again. Follow the steps to quickly identify and eliminate whatever software or hardware issue is bringing your gameplay to a standstill. Happy Simming!