This specific bug was fixed in Patch 1.52.100. Since grayed out Sims are a symptom of a bug and not a bug itself, the issue can happen again.
More details in this post: Sim stuck in work mode
My Sim appears grayed out in the household bar and is nowhere to be seen. The Icon say he’s at home and the arrow only gives me the option to Care for Self.
The cause for this issue seems to be a Sim that is in an active career (Detective, Scientist, Actor, Doctor) and blocks out the lot. Because of that, all Sims/Families that are connected to those lots appear grey.
There are two manifestations of this
- A Sim is still working on an active lot although you’re playing a different family. This happens if you close down the game while playing an active career and on reload play with a different family.
- A Sim in an active career is shown as at work although he’s home. How this occurs is unclear at this point.
To solve the issue, you need to resolve the situation. If you do so, all families should become playable again.
Find the Sim that was left int he active career. It should be a played Sim. This doesn’t happen to unplayed ones on their own. If you remember which Sim you left at work, it’s easy to find the culprit. If not, check each household in Map View. Sims that are not on the home lot appear grey and if you click on the household it will tell you in the lower left corner, where the Sim is located.
Load the family of the Sim you have found to be in this state and either play through their day with the Sim on the active lot or make him leave work early.
It’s possible that the cause is resolving itself cause the Sim comes home at the end of their shift on their own while you’re playing another household. You will get a corresponding message.
If you are playing the family with the greyed out Sims while getting this message, you’ll need to re-load their lot to make them visible again. Unfortunately this message doesn’t seem to appear all the time and you’ll need to resolve the issue using the manual method above.
Finding this Sim is a bit more difficult. You will need to load each played household to find the Sim.
Since Sims in active careers don’t have the option to leave work early on the icon, is the only option to resolve this to quit the job. This should make the Sim come home and resolve the issue for all other Sims. You can then rejoin the career.