Using Terminal to locate your Sims 4 files and folders

Are you looking for your Sims 4 folder or any of its subfolders but can’t find them? Maybe because you’ve been moving stuff around on your Mac and got a bit lost or have turned off iCloud Drive and trying to find your archived Sims 4 folder locally. Whatever the reason, sometimes using Terminal to search your Mac for specific files or folders is a whole lot easier and quicker, especially as by default the Electronic Arts, and subsequent Sims 4 folder, that is created in your Documents folder when you first launch the game is hidden from a Spotlight/Finder search (more on that further down).

Using Terminal

To search in Terminal for the Sims 4 folder open Terminal (Applications > Utilities), copy and paste the following command into the Terminal window that opens then hit Enter/Return:

find ~ -type d -name "*The Sims 4*" 2>/dev/null

After a few seconds it should return the results of the search and will look something like this:

/Users/bluebellflora/Desktop/The Sims 4
/Users/bluebellflora/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs/Desktop August 19/The Sims 4 20.54.25
/Users/bluebellflora/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs/Desktop 31.01.21/The Sims 4
/Users/bluebellflora/Google Drive/The Sims 4
/Users/bluebellflora/Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims 4

The results will show the exact file path to all folders named The Sims 4 in your user account on your Mac. Each separate file path will begin with /Users/[your user account name] and then the rest of the file path. In the results above you can see five Sims 4 folders in different locations.

If the search doesn’t seem to be finding the correct Sims 4 folder you can widen it to include all user accounts and external drives by substituting the tilde for a forward slash:

find / -type d -name "*The Sims 4*" 2>/dev/null

This search may take a little longer as it is looking in more locations but it will eventually provide the results.

Once you have found the location of the Sims 4 folder you’re looking for, select and copy the line from Terminal and then in Finder, click on Go in the menu bar then Go to Folder…:

A window will pop up, paste the line into the window then click Go:

A Finder window will open in the location you pasted into the previous search window, taking you directly to the folder and its contents.

Searching for other folders using Terminal

If you are looking for another folder, such as the Mods folder, or any other folder on your Mac, simply substitute The Sims 4 in the search command for the name of the folder. For example, if we wanted to search just for the Mods folder because you moved it out of the Sims 4 folder but can no longer find it, you would enter this command:

find ~ -type d -name "*Mods*" 2>/dev/null

or

find / -type d -name "*Mods*" 2>/dev/null

depending on how wide you want to search using ~ or /

Searching for specific files such as saves and CC items

You can also narrow the search down to individual files or file types. For example, you’ve been moving save files around on your Mac but can’t find them all. For this search we need to change the command slightly to tell Terminal to look for files, not a directory as before, beginning with Slot_ which is what all save file names start with in the game.

find / -type f -name "*Slot_*" 2>/dev/null

Or you could search by file types. For saves this would be all files ending in .save:

find / -type f -name "*.save*" 2>/dev/null

Similarly, if we wanted to look for a specific Mod or CC item, and we knew the file name, we could search for it:

find / -type f -name "*BluebellFloraRugSet1*" 2>/dev/null

Or if we only knew part of the item name, or the creator we could enter a partial name:

find ~ -type f -name "*RugSet1*" 2>/dev/null

You may be thinking, why am I explaining all this when you could just do a Spotlight or Finder search? Good question! It’s because for some reason the Electronic Arts folder and contents are hidden from a search in macOS IF it is located in the Documents folder. If the Electronic Arts folder is stored anywhere else on your Mac then Spotlight/Finder will find it. This isn’t usually a problem but if you have stored any files in an erroneous location within the Electronic Arts folder, and you can’t find them, you will need to do a Terminal search.

The hidden Electronic Arts folder

If you open a Finder window and look in your Documents folder you should easily see the Electronic Arts folder:

But if you try to locate the folder using Spotlight or Finder you won’t be able to find it. If you’ve never tried it, give it a go – either click on the Spotlight icon (magnifying glass) in the menu bar or open a Finder window and type in Electronic Arts or The Sims 4.

Having This Mac selected in this search shows the Electronic Arts folder in the Library folder which is often the folder many users mistakenly use when trying to add Mods to their Sims 4 folder:

If we click on the Documents search option there is apparently no Electronic Arts folder on this Mac:

This is why using Terminal to search for Sims files and folders is so much quicker and easier, because no results are hidden from the search.

Sims 4 Lion users – do not update your game

Update December 2019 – EA have announced that Origin will require macOS 10.9 Mavericks or later. To keep playing your games your MUST upgrade your OS.


The upcoming patch on 3rd October will no longer support macOS 10.7 Lion. If you are running Lion do not update your game and make sure you turn off automatic updates now. If you update you will not be able to roll back to a previous patch level so your game will be unplayable. EA_David has posted this statement in the Sims Mac forum at Answers HQ.

How to turn off automatic updates in Origin:

  1. Click on Origin in the menu bar then Preferences, or click on your account in the bottom left corner of the Origin client window then Application Settings:
  2. Make sure you are under the Application section and scroll down to Client Update. Turn off Automatic Updates so it looks like this:
  3. You can apply Origin updates but make sure Automatic Updates are disabled after each update. I also have a slightly more in-depth article here about updates.
  4. If you have to reset Origin make sure you disable automatic updates in the log in screen:

Unfortunately this means that Realm of Magic is the last pack Lion users will be able to play as any subsequent packs will need the game to be updated. The obvious workaround to this is to update your Mac to a later version of macOS which you can do through the Mac App Store.

Feel free to ask any questions below. The following related articles may also be of interest:

Installing  macOS on an external drive
Sims 4 minimum and recommended system requirements
Disabling Origin automatic updates and startup
Resetting Origin
Fix for ActivationUI 32-bit file
ActivationUI fix rolled back due to Lion issues

EA drops support for OpenGL and goes with Metal for the Sims 4

EA Mai announced today that from June 2019 EA will no longer support OpenGL for the Sims 4, instead they will be upgrading the game to support Metal on compatible Macs. For those using a Mac that doesn’t support Metal, you will still be able to play the base game and all packs up to and including StrangerVille (all releases to February 2019) but will need to download and install a new legacy edition of the game which will be made available in June. Some important things to note about the Sims 4: Legacy Edition:

  • It will not receive any bug fixes
  • It will not receive any new content
  • The Gallery and social integrations within the game will no longer function
  • It will not be possible to add any further Expansion/Game/Stuff Packs to the game released after February 2019
  • Your installed game will not be automatically upgraded to the legacy edition if you are using a Mac without Metal support
  • Your saved games can be transferred to the legacy edition, EA will provide further instructions on how to do this nearer the time

Apple have a page on their website explaining Metal and listing supported Macs. They also have a page on their Developer site explaining it in more depth.

The following Macs all support Metal:

To find out which exact model Mac you have click on the Apple in the menu bar then About This Mac. If you’re unsure about your Mac, leave a comment below 🙂

This is great news from EA and should improve game performance for all those with supported Macs. Metal enables the CPU (processor) and GPU (graphics processing unit) to work together more efficiently to improve overall performance when playing games.

One last thing, you can ignore the other announcement made about EA dropping support for 32-bit for PC. The Sims 4 has only ever been 64-bit for macOS.