A backup is a copy of your folders and files to an external drive, an different place on your computer, a flash drive or a DVD.
Backups are used to go back to an older state if the existing one is not working or your computer is failing.
- Before reinstalling your game
- Before moving everything to a new Computer
- Before installing a patch or a Expansion/Stuff Pack
- Before trying out new Custom Content or Mods
- Save games should be backed up after ever game play. It’s good to save your games in circles of about 5 games and save under a different name before big events like getting married or moving.
Backup all files in Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4. That should include everything you need.
The following folders/files are most important.
- Saves –> Your save games.
- Tray –> The households/houses/rooms in your library
- Mods –> Package-files (Mods, clothing, object, …), which you copied in here yourself.
- Screenshots –> Your screen shots.
- Custom Music –> Custom music if you have any.
- Options.ini –> So you don’t have to re-set your options each time.
Further info on this folder and files can be found here: User files explained.
There are two methods to backup your save games. Most of the time it’s best to use method 1. Method 2 is best to be used if you are playing the game and want to backup your save game before a big event in your game (like moving) and you want to be sure nothing goes wrong.
Save games can be found in this folder: Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Saves
To backup your save games, all you have to do is copy the file Slot_<Number>.save and maybe Slot_<Number>.save.ver<Number> to a save place (external disc, flash drive, other place on your hard disc, DVD, …). You could create a folder SimsSaves for this.
Hover over the little folder icon to find out which save is which file.
Since the save games do not have names that tell you what is what, it is best to create a folder for each of your games and put the current save game and it’s backups in there. Use a name you can remember for the name of the folder. I do not recommend renaming the files itself since you would need to remember to name them back.
You can also use the save as option in game to give the game a new name. This way you don’t overwrite the old one. The save game gets a new slot number.
In most cases it’s enough to simply overwrite the new data with the backup to recover your old status. Sometimes it’s better not to overwrite everything or the new files might still be useful somehow.
Because of this, it’s best to rename the new folder to Sims 4_broken and then copy the complete old folder back into documents. Afterwards you can individually put the files back you want to keep.
It is very helpful if you made a backup in case your save games corrupt for various reasons (Mods/Game Patches/…) or you are just unhappy with what happened in your game.
The game automatically creates up to five backups if you use the option Save to save your game. Each time you save, a new one is created and once you reach five, the oldest one is being overwritten.
The game will create a new save game each time you use Save As to save your game. These saves are getting a new name in the file system and show up separately on your load game screen. You may have as many as you like (permitting hard drive space).
To recover these backups, you have two choices.
With this method you can only recover automatic backups that are made each time you save the game. Use manual method below for backups you have made yourself.
You can restore backups directly from within the game. To do so, click on the load button on the main menu and choose the save you want to restore the backup from. Then click on the recover button.
You will get a list of all available backups that you can choose from. The date will give you a clue how old they are.
Choosing one will create a new save game with [Recovered] in the name. You can then load that save and play from there.
The manual method can be used for both the automatic and your own backups.
For auto backups
If you want to overwrite your current save game with one of the backups, all you need to do is to delete the file Slot_<Number>.save (or move if you want to keep) and then rename one of the Slot_<Number>.save.ver<Number> in Slot_<Number>.save. This will make the game recognize the save game as legit and show it in the game.
For your own backups
If you have your own backups you can also delete the Slot_<Number>.save (or move if you want to keep) and then copy your backup back in the saves folder.
If you want to restore your backups from a different computer, copy all the files from the saves folder on the old computer over to the saves folder that gets created when you first start the game. You can overwrite all existing save unless you have a save on your new computer already that you want to keep.
If you already have a save with the same name then you can rename the new one before moving. Just give it a number that wasn’t used yet. Beware that the number always needs to have 8 digits to be recognized properly. It’s easiest to just edit the exiting number with the next higher one that isn’t used.