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Keeping Your The Sims 4 Folder Tidy: Saves

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Hey guys!  Today I wanted to talk about how I like to keep my “Saves Folder” nice and tidy. I suggest printing this out because I got very wordy in my attempt to make sure I explained all the steps completely.

So, why is it important to back up your saves and have them neatly organized?  Have you ever had a save become corrupted?  Have you ever had a save inexplicably vanish?  Then you have experienced the heart wrenching pain of losing a favorite Sim (and their family).  Keeping your “Saves Folder” tidy will help prevent this from happening.   So, let’s get started!  Shall we?

Step 1: 

Open your “Saves Folder” located in your Sims 4 folder in your documents.  Next you will select everything in that folder (including the scratch folder … more on that later).  Then you will copy/paste all of this into a folder somewhere else on your computer.  If you have read any of my other tutorials, you will know how big I am on keeping things organized.  I suggest naming this folder as follows.

TS4 Saves

–Original (stick all of your stuff in here that you just copied)

–Base Saves (this is what you are about to make and I have tons of them since I’m always redoing things)

—–Unpopulated (this is for you builders out there)

———Date (or number; I actually have mine like so, WB Unpop 1, WB Unpop 2, and so on)

—–Populated

———Date (or number; I actually have mine like so, WB Pop 1, WB Pop 2, and so on)

Now that you have set things up and copy/pasted your original “Saves Folder” to this safe place, you are ready to start organizing.  It’s tedious but super easy, so hang in there.

Step 2:

Delete everything in your saves folder, do it!  You did save everything like I told you, right?  So don’t worry and just delete it all.  Next drag your mods, tray, and screenshots somewhere safe because they need to be out of there.  You are making a clean save so once you are done, delete your Sims 4 folder.  As long as you took the steps I outlined above (copied your saves, moved your mods, tray, and screenshots then you have nothing to worry about and it’s all safe).  Once you have done all that, go to Origin and click on repair game.  Finally, launch your game to generate an all new and sparkly clean Sims 4 folder.

Step 3:

Exit your game.

At this point, decide if you want a base save that is completely clean of everything or if you want one that has mods/CC in it.  If you want one clean, then leave your mods folder where you placed it.  If you want one that isn’t, drag those things things back into your Sims 4 folder (not the original “Saves Folder” though, that will not be put back).  I always make myself a base save that is mod/cc free but it’s up to you what you want to do.  I also have my own lots so I go ahead and put them and all my own NPC Sims into my tray.  Delete your localthumbscache.package (especially important if your putting your mods folder back in).

Launch the game and select a Sim to place in this save via CAS and then go live and make your changes.  I usually delete all the pre-mades and move that CAS sim out of the lot I placed them in so they’re now homeless.  Then I delete all the buildings since I like to use my own.  Once you are done and you have a completely empty world (or set up the way you want), then you will click on “save as”.  Delete whatever shows up there and name it whatever you want; mine would be WB Unpop 1.  Save again.  Alt + Tab out of your game and go to your Sims 4 Saves Folder.  Copy everything there (including the scratch folder) and then paste all that into the folder that you made previously for this save.

Now alt+tab back into your game and set up your townies (again, I’m showing you the way I do this but you might want to set up things differently).  Once they’re all in place and you have clicked on every household (with the game paused so that time stays at 8am on Sunday), then you can save this as your populated save.  Click on “save as” and again delete whatever save shows up, I will name this one WB Pop 1.  Alt+tab out of your game, copy everything in your Sims 4 Saves Folder (including the scratch folder), paste it all into your folder that you named for this save (it should be a different folder from your one above).

Step 4A:

Swapping between new saves.

Now that everything is nice and tidy, you can play this save.   Remember to every Sim week or so to save a copy of your current save to the folder that you created for it.  However, let’s say you want to start a new save?  How would you do that?  Since everything is set up already, it’s easy to do and no longer requires hours to get things ready.  Make sure you copy/pasted everything in your current save to that folder that you made for it.  Now, delete the files in your Sims 4 Saves Folder (DO NOT TOUCH THAT SCRATCH FOLDER!).  Go to your base saves folder and copy/paste whichever one you want (the unpopulated one or the populated one) into your Sims 4 Saves Folder (except the scratch folder).  There should be nothing in there other than these files (and the scratch folder that you DID NOT DELETE).

Launch your game, look around and make sure it’s all there as you want (because if you deleted that scratch folder, chances are good that it won’t be).  Set up your new game and then do a “save as”.  Delete whatever shows up and name it whatever you want.  Alt+tab out of your game and go to your Sims 4 Saves Folder.  Delete everything in there (DO NOT TOUCH THAT SCRATCH FOLDER!).  Alt+tab back into your game and do another “save as”, name it what you had named it a second ago.  Do TWO MORE SAVES!  Then alt+tab out of your game and check to make sure that the game generated at least 6 files (not counting the scratch folder).  Copy/paste all of this into a folder that you make outside the Sims 4 folder for this save.

Mine would look like so:

Jackson Family

—-Start (This is where I will put the files from above when I first started this save, go ahead and put a copy of that scratch folder in here.)

—-Week 1 (Copy/paste all the files labeled slot into here but not the scratch folder and so on for the following weeks.)

—-Week 2

—-Week 3 Child

Step 4B:

Swapping between existing saves.

If you want to play a different save then you will make sure that you copy/pasted everything in your Sims 4 Saves Folder to your folder named for that save (remember each save grouping needs to be in a different folder).  Then you will delete everything in your Sims 4 Saves Folder (don’t you touch that scratch folder!).  Next go to the folder of the save you want to play (the latest save) and copy/paste all of that (except the scratch folder) into your Sims 4 Saves Folder.  Launch your game and take a look around.  If you did things right, it should all be there and ready to go.

Don’t forget to copy/paste the files from this save to your folder outside the Sims 4 folder that you created (every save grouping should have it’s own folder).

A word on the scratch folder.  This folder contains all your lot information.  Consider it pre-loading.  It’s there so when you go to the lots you don’t have to wait for them to load to your game.  If you delete this folder then you will could lose all your lots.  They will not be there when you load your game.  The reason I am having you copy this when you set things up is so that it’s there if things go wrong later.  When you are swapping between saves, you shouldn’t need to do a thing to that scratch folder in your Sims 4 Saves Folder.  You copied it just for protection in case something happens.

Have any questions? Reach out to me on Sims Community Social!

Thank you Ashleighanne90 for helping me test this out.

About the author

Tatiana

I’m Tatiana AKA HarmonySims/Simlish and Dreams on Tumblr. I’ve always been interested in graphic design, photography, and computers. I played Sims Freeplay for years before discovering Sims 3. An obsession was born when I pushed myself to become a better builder and learned how to make CC and mods for Sims 4.