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).
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:
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
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.
I’ve recently discovered an amazing Simmer, Simp4Sims, who not only makes very cool stop motion build videos but has also provided an edited GraphicsRules.sgr file which will greatly enhance your in-game graphics. The GraphicsRules.sgr file is a game file that tells your game which graphics settings to load. It is nestled within the Sims4.app files but, since an update in September 2020, you can place a copy in the ConfigOverride folder in the Sims 4 folder and this will override the hidden original. Spot the difference:
It’s very easy to make this change to your game as Simp4Sims has done all the hard work for you by editing various values in the GraphicsRules.sgr file but it’s also important that your Mac has a GPU powerful enough to handle the increased demand. If you have a Mac with integrated Intel graphics only I would not recommend doing this as it will most likely slow your game to a crawl and possibly cause it to freeze. If you have a Mac with an AMD GPU with 4GB or more VRAM then go for it. You may also notice a hit on performance in-game but you should be able to play. I don’t spend much time in Live mode, for me it’s all about the aesthetic and my game still runs great after adding this file.
After testing I can confirm this will reintroduce swimming pool reflections, something Maxis removed from the default file. It also improves the shadow lines and artifacting issues.
Head over to Simp4Sims Patreon page here and download the GraphicsRules.sgr file. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a Patron, the download is freely available to all. He also helpfully explains the main changes that have been made to the file.
Navigate to your Sims 4 folder (where all your saves, Mods, Tray and other user data is saved) and open the ConfigOverride folder.
Open the Downloads folder in a new Finder window, grab and drag the GraphicsRules.sgr file you just downloaded and drop it into the ConfigOverride folder.
and that’s it! It really is that easy. If you decide to go back to the original GraphicsRules.sgr file just trash the one in the ConfigOverride folder and your game will revert back to using the hidden file in the Sims4.app.
If you like to play a vanilla game don’t let this put you off, this is NOT a Mod. It is an edited game file that you can easily make changes to yourself if you prefer. We used to have to edit the GraphicsRules.sgr and GraphicsCards.sgr files in Sims 3 all the time just to get the game to work. You can find more information on the ConfigOverride folder here.