I recently shared my Sims 4 Technical Preparedness Plan with readers, which explains how to make complete back-ups of your game files and generally take precautions to avoid losing your progress or sims. I recommend you read and follow the steps outlined in that post, but now I can share with you how to restore your saved game from a manual or automatic back-up.
A manual back-up of your saved games is what I described in the Technical Preparedness Plan (a copy of the saved game files that you make intentionally and store in another location), while an automatic back-up is one created by the game whenever you save your game during gameplay. Automatic back-ups are stored in your Documents > Electronic Arts > Sims 4 > Saves folder. When you look inside your Saves folder, you’ll see a folder called “scratch” and another called “SerialGUID” followed by a list of files resembling the screenshot displayed below.
This is a screenshot from my Saves folder. I highlighted some files to show how you can identify the relevant files if you ever need to “roll back” your saved game, or restore your game from an automatic back-up.
I always make a lot of save game files because I’ve lost sims in earlier versions of the game (The Sims 3 was the worst offender for corrupted saved games and it scarred me), so I generally make a new save for each day in my game. If something happens to my saved game, I will probably only lose one day of progress with this method, but the game automatically keeps up to five earlier versions of every single saved game! If I wanted to restore my game from an automatic back-up, I could prevent losing an entire sim day. I might be able to restore to a version of my game that was mere sim hours before the problem occurred that caused me to want or need to restore my game from the back-up.
To “roll back” to an earlier save, or restore your game from an automatic back-up, you first need to identify the relevant files in the Documents > Electronic Arts > Sims 4 > Saves folder. The best method is to look at the date and time the files were modified. Generally, you are going to be interested in the most recently played game, but if that is not the case, you can always identify the saved game by running the Sims 4 and clicking on the “Load Game” button on the main menu. From there, locate the game you want to restore and you’ll see the date and time that game was last modified along with the name you gave to that saved game.
In my case the file highlighted in this screenshot of my “Load Game Menu” corresponds with the highlighted files in the screenshot higher up in this post. The first listing is “My Saved Game 1 (Auto)” and that was listed in my Documents > Electronic Arts > Sims 4 > Saves folder as Slot_00000001 but my latest saved game that I had named “BW Day 22” corresponds with Slot_00000029.
You can see in the first screenshot that all the Slot_00000029 files are highlighted. If I load my game, the file it actually loads would be the one listed as Slot_00000029.save The automatic back-up files are all the ones that include a version number, such as Slot_00000029.save.ver0 or Slot_00000029.save.ver4 The oldest version will always be the highest number, so the .save.ver4 file is always the farthest back you can go if you have just the one saved game to work from.
Let us suppose that my Slot_00000029.save was corrupted somehow, or a bug recently appeared in my game and I want to restore one of those automatic back-ups. I would need to move the Slot_00000029.save file to another location outside of the Documents > Electronic Arts > Sims 4 > Saves folder, delete it or rename it. (I recommend just moving it to another location.) Next I would need to rename the Version 0 file by right clicking on that file and selecting the option “Rename” then delete the .ver0 from the filename, then hit enter. Now the Slot_00000029.save.ver0 file is renamed Slot_00000029.save and the game will recognize this file as the proper file to load when I want to load up “BW Day 22” from the “Load Game Menu” the next time that I run The Sims 4.
Do not ever attempt to move, rename or delete any files while the Sims 4 is running!
If you want to restore a manual back-up, that is even easier. All you need to do is remove the contents of the Documents > Electronic Arts > Sims 4 > Saves folder and replace them with the copy you made the last time you made manual back-ups of all your Sims 4 content. Please note: I am not certain if this method will preserve the screenshot memories you may have created for your sims, as I have not tested it myself.
As stated in previous posts, I have not needed to restore my game from an automatic or a manual back-up, but I provide this information to you in the event that you run into technical problems. If these tips do not help you to resolve the issue you’re having, please feel free to leave a comment here describing your issue in detail. I may not be able to help you with the problem you’re having, but it is always possible that another reader will be able to help, or information may come to light that will help you at a later date.
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