Unknown Error message – Sims 3 base game only

This guide is for those who only have the Sims 3 Base Game installed. For help with the same error message on Macs with additional Expansion and Stuff Packs installed please go here.

There is no 100% fix for the Unknown Error messages countless Mac users experience with Sims 3 as it can be for many different reasons. There are however a few things you can try to fix it. The following are known to cause the error to pop up when only the base game is installed:

  • When uninstalling ALWAYS do a complete uninstall, never just use the Uninstaller as it leaves files behind which can cause the Unknown Error message after a subsequent reinstall. Full instructions on properly uninstalling here.
  • Purge RAM before launching the game.
  • If your Mac is a 2013 or later model, check your graphics card/chip is supported and add the details to the game files if necessary.
  • Go into Documents > Electronic Arts and move the Sims 3 folder to your desktop then try launching the game again. The error could be caused by a corrupted save or incompatible CC/Mods or downloads from the Exchange.

8 thoughts on “Unknown Error message – Sims 3 base game only

  1. i have done all the step except purging ram cuz thats confusing and i do not get the error message however i launch the sims and the icon comes up on the bar then disappears again, it doesn’t seem to work? i dont get it


    1. Girl same, I’m struggling though before like a few months to about a year ago it worked perfectly. I thought I was the only one struggling in 2018 with this.


  2. I am also experiencing the same issue. I have previously got it to work, but sadly I had to uninstall it because of a corrupt expansion pack. The game won’t even launch. What I did previously was to place two files (GraphicsCard.sgr and GraphicsRules.sgr) on my desktop, and delete several files, but I don’t remember what files they were or where to find them. I have a MacBook Pro 2016 13-inch, but non of the pages I have looked at have any information about how to solve it on this model.


      1. If I followed the steps in each scenario for my specific model of Mac and it still shows the same error message, is there anything else I could do?


  3. Hello, I have played the sims 3 on my 2013 macbook pro 13″ for years but now having upgraded to a 2017 pro 13″ with touchbar I get the unknown error upon trying to launch. When I first installed it onto my new mac I was able to launch the base game and the launcher would pop up (I did not run the game) but when I started downloading expansion packs in whatever order the error occurred and now I can’t do anything. The uninstaller doesn’t show any games to uninstall so I just trash everything, restart and install again but nothing. I’m sure my graphics card isn’t compatible as I tried your graphics card solution, but I don’t have the part of the code you highlighted in the GraphicsCards.sgr part. These are my specs: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) macOS High Sierra, 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 1536 MB. Please help!!


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