Sims 3 crashing to desktop

Every simmer hates this, i hate it. Well here’s some things you can do to prevent it. Now for the reasons for this can be many.

  1. System Requirements Fail
  2. Custom Content Incompatibility
  3. Memory Problems
  4. Data Execution Prevention
  5. Disk Space
  6. Mods
  7. Graphic Cards
  8. Custom Content Corruption.
  9. Compatibility Platform

Now before doing anything you need to backup your saves.

Let’s continue.

System Requirements Fail and CC incompatibility is covered and can be read from the blog itself. So i’m going to explain 3,4,5 and 6.

Memory Problems

Sims 3 needs 3GB Minimum RAM to work. If you have less than 3GB you need to get more RAM.

If you have 3GB  or more please follow the step by step walkthrough on how to do so. This is how this works, let’s say you have 8GB RAM but for your game the system will not use whole 8GB. So the fix below will assign a decent amount of more memory to your game. Make sure you don’t run any background applications when playing the game after this. Click on the memory guide for more info.

Also some people have luck increasing their Virtual Memory- this is something that shouldn’t be attempted. Some people classify it to be safe, there’s a microsoft article giving you the instructions on how to do that.

Ultimately Increasing UserVA worked for me, but you need to Have 4GB of memory or higher. This is because Sims 3 is originally set to run with 2GB maximum so when you reach beyond that limit the game will crash. So doing this enables the game to use more than 2GB but is very risky.

The best thing you can do is to get more memory for the PC or laptop. Setting UserVA and increasing virtual memory is like playing with your RAM which I do not recommend in anyway.

Thus i am not going to hand out links on how to do this.

Memory Guide

Data Execution Prevention

Another great tweak, refer to Mod the sims link for a complete guide.

You should know that TS3W.exe should be added and all the game expansion executable s too.

Disk Space

Your saves directory is generally and almost always is in C NTFS (in my documents) So don’t place all your latest downloads and install games into the C:// directory. Free more space. by emptying recycle bin, moving folders to other drives or compress folders.


Sims 3 is officially designed for Windows XP. So it can cause some crashes with Vista and Windows 7. Remember to always run your game as administrator. And change the compatibility levels to Windows XP here’s how.

1.Right click TS3W.exe>Properties>Shortcut Tab>Advanced> check Run as administrator

2.Right click TS3W.exe>Properties>Compatibility>Run this program in compatibility mode for>Choose WIN XP from the drop down list.


There are some mods you can use to battle this error- hopefully it might work. If you don’t know what a mod is click here. All mods are done by Tawallan or Nrras(are they the same person? :O

Master controller: Used this to disable memories which might stop the crashing.

Porter: Moving your family to a new neighbourhood might stop the crashing. Use this one to move your family while keeping all the relationships of co-workers or friends.

Overwatch: This one can reduce the game file size by deleting unnecessary elements of the game like gnomes/useless gnomes/cars thus making it more less likely to crash.

Saver: Prompts you to save in cycles- so even if it does crash you have saved right?

Graphics Card

If you’re a decent gamer you usually get a good graphics card, however Sims 3 is not designed to run with the latest Graphic cards being Nvidia or any other brand that is probably the very latest so follow this Wiki article to find out how to make your game recognize your Card.

Custom Content

CC’s are also a cause of crashing- especially if you have so many content and expansions. An outdated CC which is not compatible with the game version(usually the patched version) or CC which are corrupt might crash the game.

Diagnose your error.

As there are many type of errors, there’s a useful tool called The Sims 3 Crash Log Analyzer for finding what type of an error you have. It eventually lets you know of the fixes after diagnosing.



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