Why is The SIMS 3 Crashing? How to fix it?

Sims 3 can crash due to corrupted cache and game data files, such as custom content, music, featured items, and SigsCache. Moreover, if there is a compatibility issue between the game and Windows, you will constantly face crashes in Sims 3. Thus, you should follow this article to stop Sims 3 from crashing.

Make sure you are not using any overclocked hardware components. If you have overlooked any of your hardware components, such as the graphics card, RAM, or CPU, reset the overclock settings to default. Incorrect overclock settings can overheat the hardware components, causing the system and games to crash instantly.

1. Delete Cache and Junk Files

Cache files are created by the application to reduce loading time. They contain data that the application frequently requires or that users often access. Hence, if they become corrupted, the application will behave unexpectedly. Therefore, we recommend clearing the cache files and junk files of the game by following these instructions.

  1. Open File Explorer, go to Documents > Electronic Arts > The Sims 3.
  2. Here, you will see different folders, each storing a different type of content. Ignore the folders and delete all the files except the Options file, which contains the game’s configuration settings.
  3. Deleting files will be created automatically when you relaunch the game.
  4. Once completed, proceed to the DCBackup folder and remove all files except for the ccmerged.package file.
  5. Then, go to the FeaturedItems folder and delete all the thumbnail files. If you don’t have the store option checked, delete them. Otherwise, leave them as they are.
  6. Once completed, go to IGACache and delete all the files.
  7. Then go to SigsCache and delete the files.
  8.  Once done, launch the game and check whether the crashing problem is fixed or not.

2. Run Sims 3 as an administrator

If you haven’t run Sims 3 with administrator privileges, try doing so, because when a user runs a program with administrator permissions, it gains full access to essential files, such as DLL files for DirectX and Microsoft Visual C++. Both are required to run Sims 3 smoothly. Therefore, make sure to attempt running Sims 3 as an administrator before proceeding with other methods.

  1. To do so, simply right-click the game and select Run as administrator.
  2. Wait for the game to run properly. Then, check to see if it is crashing.

3. Install or Update DirectX

DirectX is a collection of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that are used to facilitate communication between games and hardware components, such as graphic cards and audio devices. It is an essential component that cannot be compromised.

Meaning, DirectX contains many DLL files that store pieces of code used for various different tasks. Hence, if the DirectX DLL files become corrupted, you will encounter crashing problems. Thus, try updating DirectX using the following steps.

  1. Download the DirectX installer from the link.
  2. Run the installer once it is downloaded.
  3. Click I accept the agreement, then click Next.
  4. Again, click Next to install DirectX.
  5. You may encounter the error Setup could not download the file. Please retry later or check the network connection. Just click OK; it is just a bug.
  6. Once done, launch the game and check for the crashing problem.

4. Configure Compatibility Settings

Compatibility settings allow users to run a program with older versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, 8, and 10. So, if there is a compatibility issue with the current Windows version, you can try running Sims 3 with older versions of Windows. To do so, follow the instructions.

  1. Right-click the Sims and select Properties from the listed options.
  2. Go to Compatibility settings from the top.
  3. Here tick Run this program in compatibility mode for and select an older version of Windows, such as Windows 8, from the dropdown.
  4. Once done, click Apply and click OK.
  5. Launch the Sims 3 and see if it is still crashes.

5. Reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables

Microsoft Visual C++ is a code compiler for the C languages, which include C, C++, C++/CLI, and C++/CX. Many applications and games are written in C languages, and The Sims 3 is one of them. This game requires all versions of Microsoft Visual C++ to be installed in order to run smoothly.

Hence, if you are missing any Microsoft Visual C++ redistributable or have corrupted Microsoft Visual C++ DLL files, try reinstalling them using the following steps to fix the issue.

  1. Press the Win + R keys simultaneously to use the Run Program.
  2. Enter “appwiz.cpl” and press “Enter” to navigate to the Control Panel’s Programs and Features.
  3. Right-click Microsoft Visual C++ and select Uninstall.
  4. Once it is uninstalled, repeat this process with all versions of Microsoft Visual C++.
  5. Once done, download the Microsoft Visual C++ folder using the link.
  6. Once it is downloaded, extract it with WinRar or 7zip.
  7. Then, navigate to the extracted folder and run the install_all batch file to install all the versions of Microsoft Visual C++ at a time.
  8. Once done, launch the game and check if the crashing issue is solved.

6. Update the Graphics driver

Using outdated GPU drivers could be one of the main reasons for experiencing frequent crashes. If you don’t have a habit of updating GPU drivers, you should check for driver updates, as an updated GPU driver plays a significant role in providing smooth gameplay.

To update the GPU drivers, you can either use a GPU manufacturer’s vendor application, such as Nvidia or AMD Radeon Software, or just go to the manufacturer’s site to download the latest driver. We will stick with the first method to update the driver.

  1. Open up your GPU vendor application.
  2. Go to the driver’s section from the top.
  3. Here, click Check for updates to find the latest drivers. If the application detects the driver, download and install it.
  4. Once done, restart your computer, launch the Sims 3, and check if the crashing problem persists.

7. Perform a clean boot

A clean boot is a troubleshooting technique that can be used to determine which third-party application or service is causing the issue. For instance, if there is an application or service running in the background, interfering with the The Sims 3, and causing it to crash unexpectedly, then performing a clean boot can be used to determine and disable that application or service starting with Windows.

To perform a clean boot, follow the steps:

  1. Right-click the Start Menu and select Run from the options.
  2. Once the Run Window is opened, type Msconfig.
  3. Hit Enter to open the System Configuration Window.
  4. Here choose Selective Startup. Then, navigate to Services Window.
  5. Tick Hide all Microsoft services and click Disable All.
  6. Click Apply and click OK. Once done, go to Startup from the top and click Open Task Manager.
  7. Here you will see all the application that starts with Windows. Right-click on them one by one and click Disable. You don’t need to disable the apps that you access daily, such as Steam or Discord.
  8. Once done, close the task manager, restart your computer, and check whether Sims 3 is crashing or not.

8. Verify the Game Files

Having corruption in the extracted game files could also lead to crashes. Since we have looked into every possibility that could crash the Sims 3, none of them worked. So we can try to verify the game files as a final solution. Verifying the game files will restore all the corrupted files, which could fix the crashing issue.

The following steps may vary depending on the launcher you are using.

  1. Launch the Steam and head to your game Library.
  2. Right-click the Slims and select Properties.
  3. Then, go to Local Files and click Verify integrity of games. This might take some time, so be patient.
  4. Once done, launch the Sims 3 to check for the crashing issue.

Sims 3 Crashing- FAQs

Why does my Sims 3 game keep crashing?

Sims 3 often crashes due to having corrupted cache files and unnecessary files that are no longer required by the game. Cache files save the data that the application often needs or the user frequently accesses. Therefore, if the cache files are corrupted, you will experience crashes in Sims 3

How do I prevent my Sims 3 game from crashing?

To fix this issue, simply delete all cache and unnecessary files not required by the game. Once completed, check if the issue has been resolved.


Muhammad Zubyan

Muhammad Zubyan is a certified Google IT Support Professional with over 7 years of extensive experience. He has worked on more than 1500 computers, gaining valuable insights that enable him to detect and troubleshoot any complicated root cause of Windows-related issues and errors. In addition to managing Appuals as a Senior Editor, he is currently developing his own Game Optimization program that caters to both gamers and casual users alike.