This is the most popular post here so I thought I would update it (March 2020). I presume you’re here because you would like to run your original version of The Sims on a Windows 10 computer and have run into problems. And so, I shall cut to the chase and detail how I get around it. But not before I make a couple of points.
- I can’t remember how or why I came by this workaround but it still seems to be working. I have played this game on computers running the 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 10. I’m not a computer programmer so I haven’t got the foggiest idea how/why this new exe file works. It just does.
- Download the new version of sims.exe at your own risk.
- For this, I am using a legal copy of the game, which I purchased 20 years ago. I’m sure this is exactly what you’re using too….
- Yes, Maxis/EA should make the game available legally so people can play it without having to use work-arounds like this.
- Install The Sims. If you can, install it as an Administrator
- Open Windows Explorer and navigate to either of the following locations. It will depend on what version of Windows 10 you are running.
For 32 bit, it’s C:Program Files\Maxis\The Sims
For 64 bit, it’s C:Program Files (x86)\Maxis\The Sims ◄ Most Windows 10 machines are 64 bit
- Rename the original Sims.exe file to Sims (Old) or something else. It doesn’t really matter.
- Download this file and unzip it. There should be a file called Sims.exe in there. It is a reworked version of Sims.exe which you have just renamed.
- Copy this new version of Sims.exe into either C:\Program Files\Maxis\The Sims or C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\The Sims folder
- Right click on Sims.exe and select Send To from the menu. Then choose Desktop (Create Shortcut)
- On the desktop, right-click on the Sims shortcut you’ve just created and select Properties from the menu
- Go to the Compatibility tab and choose Windows XP (Service Pack 2). And there you have it.
I have no idea if other compatibility modes are better or worse than this one. I chose Windows XP Service Pack 2 because it was the last operating system I played the original game on. Overall the game works pretty well, with the odd glitch. The most obvious one for me was the game apparently not saving the new family I created. They didn’t show up in the menu of Sims to play with, but when I clicked on their house the game continued as normal.
If you played the original game, you may have used programs such as Sims Art Studio and Sims Homecrafter. None of these are working for me and I’m not going to chase those up to see if they can be made work again. The good news is that there are still lots and lots of custom made Sims goodies (floors, walls, skins, objects) freely available online.
If the advice here doesn’t work, try the advice given on this site