How to Uninstall Sims

The Sims gaming franchise's impact on video game development and how developers and publishers view consumer demographics needs little explanation or fanfare. Still, despite its popularity and near-universal appeal as entertainment media, The Sims isn't for everyone. Users who've decided to uninstall it, either permanently or temporarily, can follow the developer-recommended steps or use more extreme measures, as necessary.

Some users also may find that uninstalling The Sims is necessary for reconsidering which expansions or other downloadable add-on content are on their hard drives – the franchise is notorious for taking large amounts of HD space with all increases. Since the developer doesn't support uninstalling individual add-ons, the best option is removing the entire game and reinstalling what's wanted, one product at a time.

Generally, users should default to the official removal or uninstall routine that the software's developer outlines. This procedure involves a second entity with The Sims: Origin, a gaming client and library manager for Electronic Arts or EA games. Last year, EA announced that it would retire the Origin Service in favor of an 'EA Play' desktop application, but for now, uninstalling EA games still goes through the Origin user-interface.

Open the Origin Client program and find The Sims shortcut on the 'My Games' tab – use the search field if necessary. Right-click the program shortcut and choose the Uninstall option. Ideally, this method removes all of The Sims components, including Windows Registry entries, except for the user's player data, such as saved characters.

Users who want to be sure that they keep their saves should navigate to the following folder and copy it somewhere safe:

Documents (or My Documents)/Electronic Arts/The Sims 4/saves

Copy this folder to a secure location, and copy it back to the original one after reinstalling the game, if desired.

Manual uninstall steps are more complex and prone to error, and experts only recommend them as part of troubleshooting failures with standard uninstall attempts. However, users that require it can delete the files and Registry entries without going through the Origin Client. Assuming that the user chose the default installation path for The Sims, go to the following directory:

C:/Program Files/Origin Games

Then, select The Sims 4 folder and delete it. As 64-bit systems are growing in prominence, many users may require navigating to 'Program Files (x86)' instead of the 'Program Files' folder. Otherwise, the location should be the same.

However, the program consists of more than files – it also includes Registry entries. Unwanted errors can occur if users delete software without removing the entries that let Windows know that the programs exist. Since inappropriate alterations to the Windows Registry carry drastic implications and can damage Windows, experts recommend creating a Registry backup before introducing any manual changes.

Type either 'Regedit' or 'Registry Editor' into the taskbar's search field and click the result. From the Registry Editor, double-click the 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE' and 'SOFTWARE' folders on the left side. 64-bit Windows users also should double-click 'WoW6432Node.' Double-click 'Maxis,' right-click The Sims 4 folder and delete it. Then, return to either 'SOFTWARE' or 'WOW6432Node,' as appropriate. Double-click Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion and Uninstall. Right-click and delete the '48EBEBBF-B9F8-4520-A3CF-89A730721917' entry.

Windows will have to restart to confirm that the Registry changes are appropriate and remove the Sims installation from your system entirely. If there are errors, restore the Registry from the backup.