Full Fix: Can’t Play Sims 4 on Windows 10, 8.1 and 7

By: Ivan Jenic
8 minute read

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Windows 10 offers all sorts of improvements to its users, but despite the improvements, Windows 10 isn’t a perfect operating system, and there are some issues from time to time. One of these issues is related to a video game called Sims 4, and users report that they can’t play Sims 4 on Windows 10.

How to deal with Sims 4 problems in Windows 10

The Sims 4 is a great game, but many users reported that they can’t play Sims 4 on their PC. Speaking of The Sims 4, users reported the following issues:

  • Sims 4 play button greyed out – Many users reported that they can’t play Sims because the play button is grayed out. This can be an annoying problem, but you should be able to fix it with one of our solutions.
  • Sims 4 won’t open in Origin – If Sims 4 can’t start in Origin, the problem might be your game cache. Simply clear the Origin cache and check if that solves the issue.
  • Can’t play Sims 4 because of video card – If you can’t play Sims 4 due to your video card, make sure that you have the latest drivers installed. In addition, be sure that you’re using the only dedicated graphics card to run Sims 4.
  • Sims 4 not responding, working, opening, loading – If Sims 4 won’t run on your PC, you need to be sure that you have the necessary DirectX and C++ Redistributables installed. You can install these components from the Sims 4 installation directory.
  • Sims 4 crashing, freezing – Another common problem with The Sims 4 is frequent crashing and freezing. This is most likely caused by your settings, but after changing them the issue should be resolved.

There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a video game and not being able to play it. Users report that Sims 4 stops working all of the sudden, and this can be quite frustrating, but there are few solutions to this issue.


Solution 1 – Delete lastCrash.txt and lastException.txt files from your Sims 4 folder

First thing we’re going to try in order to solve Sims 4 problems in Windows 10 is to delete a couple of files from Sims 4 saves folder. Just follow the steps above, to delete these files:

  1. Go to the C:\Users\YOU\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4 folder.
  2. Find lastCrash.txt and lastException.txt files and delete them.
  3. After you’ve deleted those files try running Sims 4 again.

Solution 2 – Update your graphics card drivers

If you can’t play Sims 4 on your PC, the issue might be related to your graphics card drivers. Outdated drivers can cause your game to crash and experience various issues. To fix this issue, be sure that you update your graphics card drivers. To see how to do that, check out our guide on how to update graphics card drivers.

Since updating drivers manually can be a long and tedious process, you might want to use a tool that will automatically update all your drivers for you. Download TweakBit’s Driver Updater Tool (approved by Microsoft and Norton) to do it automatically. This tool will help you to avoid permanent damage to your PC by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.

Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.


Solution 3 – Move Sims 4 folder

This solution is somewhat similar to the previous one. Again, maybe something’s wrong with your Sims 4 saves folder, so we’re going to completely recreate this folder. To make new Sims 4 saves folder, do the following

  1. Go to C:\Users\YOU\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4 folder.
  2. Right click the folder and choose Cut.
  3. Now go to your desktop, right click it and press Paste.

This folder contains all your saved games, and after you’ve moved it, the game will recreate it after you start it again. Unfortunately, by doing this, you’ll delete all your saved games and game progress, but the problem will be solved. However, if the problem still exists, Sims 4 saves folder is not an issue, so you can replace newly created Sims 4 folder with the one from your desktop, to get your game progress back.


Solution 4 – Turn off Proxy servers

  1. In the Search bar enter inetcpl.cpl. Select inetcpl.cpl from the list of results.
    Can't play Sims 4 because of video card
  2. Internet Options dialog should open and now you need to go to the Connections tab. Press the LAN Settings button in the Local Area Network (LAN) settings section.
    Sims 4 not responding
  3. Uncheck Use a proxy server for your LAN (These settings will not apply to dial-up or VPN connections). Click Apply and OK to save the changes.
    Sims 4 crashing

After making these changes, check if the problem with Sims 4 still occurs


Solution 5 – Exclude the game folder from your Antivirus

This is sometimes an issue with antivirus software, so the best solution is to add your Sims 4 installation directory to the exclusion list. This is different for each antivirus software, so you’ll have to find how to do it for your antivirus.

In addition, you can turn off your antivirus software temporarily. This might not be the best solution for some users, especially if you’re heavily concerned about your safety. In some cases, you might have to switch to a different antivirus solution in order to fix the problem. If you’re looking for a new antivirus, we strongly recommend you try Bitdefender, BullGuard or Panda Antivirus.


Solution 6 – Reset the game options

To do this you need to do the following:

  1. Start Origin.
  2. Click the .. icon.
  3. Select Game Options > Laptop Mode.

Solution 7 – Exclude game files from Data Execution Prevention

Data Execution Prevention sometimes interferes with other software so it might be best for you to disable it for Sims 4.

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter system settings. Select View advanced system settings from the list.
    Can't play Sims 4 because of video card
  2. Click on the Settings button in the Performance section.
    Sims 4 play button greyed out
  3. Click the Data Execution Prevention tab. Select the Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select option and then click the Add button.
    Sims 4 won't open in Origin
  4. Add all .exe files from the C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Game\Bin.
  5. Click OK to save the changes.

After making these changes, Sims 4 should start working again.


Solution 8 – Change the Process Affinity

  1. Make sure the Sims 4 is running. You can press Alt-Tab to switch from the game back to your desktop.
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager.
  3. Optional: When Task Manager opens click the More details icon if you don’t have all options shown.
  4. Go to Details tab. Find Sims 4 process, right click it and select Set affinity.
    Sims 4 play button greyed out
  5. Process Affinity dial box should open and you need select just one CPU. Click OK and close the Task Manager.
    Sims 4 won't open in Origin

If this solution works, you’ll need to repeat it every time you start Sims 4.


Solution 9 – Change the command-line arguments

  1. Start the Origin.
  2. Go to My Games section and right click Sims 4.
  3. Choose Properties.
  4. Find the Command-Line Arguments textbox and enter -w und.
  5. Click Apply to save your changes.

Solution 10 – Modify the graphic settings

This only applies to Intel graphics cards, if you’re not using Intel graphics you may skip this solution.

  1. In the Search bar type control panel and select Control Panel from the list.
    Sims 4 play button greyed out
  2. Control Panel window will open. Now in its address bar type Control Panel\All Control Panel Items and press Enter.
    Sims 4 won't open in Origin
  3. Now all Control Panel items should be displayed. Find Intel Graphics and Media and click it.
  4. A new window will open, click Advanced settings and then 3D.
  5. Change the 3D Quality settings.
  6. Next, click on Power, and change the Power Setting to Maximum Performance.
  7. Click Apply to save the changes.

After making these changes, check if the problem is resolved.


Solution 11 – Launch the game in compatibility mode

Sims 4 should be compatible with Windows 10, but maybe there are some parts of the software that conflict with your OS. To check that, launch the game in compatibility mode, and see if it launches and works normally:

  1. Right click the Sims 4 shortcut and select Properties from the menu.
    Sims 4 not working
  2. Go to the Compatibility tab. Check Run this program in compatibility mode for and Run this program as administrator. Click Apply and then OK.
    Sims 4 freezing

After doing that, Sims 4 should run in Compatibility mode and with all necessary privileges without any problems.


Solution 12 – Reinstall Microsoft Crystal Reports Redistributable

Sims 4 relies on Microsoft Crystal Reports Redistributable, so you might need to reinstall it.

  1. In the Search bar type vcredist_x64 or vcredist_x86 depending on the version of Windows you’re using. Open the file from results.
  2. Follow the instructions to install Microsoft Visual Crystal Reports

Solution 13 – Clear Origin cache

Many users reported that they can’t play Sims 4 due to corrupted Origin cache. However, you can easily fix this issue by removing the Origin cache. To do that, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Now you need to reveal hidden files and folders. To do that, just click the View tab in File Explorer and check Hidden items.
  3. Now navigate to C:\ProgramData\Origin and delete all files and directories except LocalContent.
  4. Now navigate to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\ directory, locate Origin folder and delete all files from it. Lastly, navigate to C:\Users\ <username> \AppData\Roaming\ directory, locate Origin folder and remove all files and directories from it.

After clearing Origin cache, try to run the game and check if it works.


Solution 14 – Move your mods to a different directory

Many users use various mods while playing Sims, but sometimes these mods can cause problems with Sims 4. If you can’t play Sims 4, you need to move your entire mods directory to your Desktop. Now create a new mods folder for Sims 4, and move mods one by one or in groups from your Desktop to the new mods directory.

By doing so, you should be able to find the problematic mod that is preventing you from running the game.

That would be all, as you can see, we offered you a big list of solutions, as we hope that at least one of them will be helpful. If you have any comments, or questions, just reach for the comment section below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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