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TS3 Clean Start for Steam and Origin (PC only)

by Seraeya Posted 27th Jan 2019 at 10:02 AM - Updated 30th Jan 2019 at 4:00 AM by Seraeya : Updates to information.
36 Comments / replies (Who?) - 8 Feedback Posts, 4 Thanks Posts
Picked Upload! This is a picked upload! It showcases some of the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
That's right, it's 2019 and I'm here to bring you a life-changing Sims 3 mod. Please read the full description!

If you've been playing Sims 3 for a while, you've inevitably run into problems getting the game to launch or load, and subsequently found the advice to delete the cache files. Ever since then, you've probably gotten used to going in and cleaning out those files when the game gets finicky, or even making it part of your routine every. single. time. you launch the game. At least, that's what I was doing.


This .cmd file was designed to automatically purge your unnecessary cache files, which lessens the inevitable savegame bloat and helps reduce load times. The file as-is ONLY works for Steam on PC. Big thanks to mrcnlbyrk, who told me how to redeem my CD Keys in Origin. There is now an Origin version! It doesn't matter where your game is installed, but the program assumes your "Electronic Arts" folder is under your user profile, which is the default on Windows. It should look something like this: "[your username]\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3" This program absolutely will not work on Mac, sorry.

I've had a few people express interest in a version for an out-of-box game. I'm going to look into this as soon as I can find my CD copy (and an external CD drive...), but for now I have uploaded a version that only cleans out the files and does not open a launcher. You will have to manually launch the game after running the NoLaunch .cmd. If you have Steam or Origin installed, please read the instructions below to choose which version is best for you.

The attached images are the entirety of the code for this file. No more, no less. I know how scary it is to use new program files, so I want this to be as transparent as possible. You can use your favorite text reader program to open and check it yourself. I use Notepad++, and regular Notepad is another great option.

Installation/how it works:

Step 0: Make sure you have Steam or Origin running!

1. Extract the file from the .7z. You'll see a single file called "CleanStartSims3Steam.cmd" or "CleanStartSims3Origin.cmd"
2. Navigate to wherever you installed your game and put the .cmd into the "\game\Bin" folder with all the .exe files. (TS3.exe, Sims3Launcher.exe, etc.)
3. Double-click the Clean Start .cmd

At this point the .cmd will automatically delete the following items:
  • CasPartCache.package
  • compositorCache.package
  • scriptCache.package
  • simCompositorCache.package
  • socialCache.package
  • FeaturedItems
  • WorldCaches

AND, if they exist:
  • in DCCache: missingdeps.idx and dcc.ent
  • in Downloads: everything ending in ".bin"
  • in SIgsCache: everything ending in ".bin"
  • in SavedSims: Downloadedsims.index
  • IGACache
  • in Thumbnails: everything ending in ".package" and every associated thumbnail (thumb_*.png)

If you're using the Origin or Steam versions, it will then pull up the TS3 Launcher. This may take a couple minutes! Essentially, it just presses the "Run game" button you normally use through Steam or Origin, and the Launcher takes its own sweet time to pop up. This does not affect your game files in any way. In order to get it to work, you must run the .cmd directly. It can be run from the folder where you installed it, or from a shortcut placed anywhere on the computer. If you don't want the .cmd to pull up a launcher, see below.

4. Hit the "play" button in the Launcher. The game will create new, clean cache files.

For people who don't want to use this .cmd as a launcher: The game creating new cache files has absolutely nothing to do with the .cmd itself. If you'd prefer, you can download the file labeled "NoLauncher" and run it just to clean out your folders. This alternative simply removes the "run game" line from the end. The Steam and Origin versions are only tied to the game's launcher because it makes it so much easier and more convenient to remember to delete the junk files.

An additional note:

Originally Posted by jwofles
Just a little note for anyone who uses this, this will make your CAS and buymode a lot slower because it has to re-generate thumbnails every time you play. Might be worth not running it every time you play or taking those lines to delete the thumbnail cache out.

I put this together from the perspective of someone who does a lot of modding, so I prioritized clearing out redundant/broken images over these load times. I've added versions that do not delete the thumbnails (check out the "NoThumbs" versions on the download page). If you'd rather not wait for the game to repopulate the images every time you launch CAS (understandable), download one of those.

If you'd rather edit it yourself, right-click the .cmd, hit "edit" or open it in an editing program, and delete the lines:

cd "%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Thumbnails"
del /f /q *.package
del /f /q thumb_*.png

Then just hit "save" and the edits are complete! Thank you for the comment jwofles.


If you decide you don't want to use it, just delete the "CleanStartSims3.cmd" and start the game however you normally start it. Running this program is exactly like going in and manually deleting all the caches and junk files, just faster and more convenient.

I've been running the game through this .cmd for months now, so I can vouch for it wholeheartedly.

Optional prettification:

This is an addition by my roommate, who likes to have things look organized and pretty. If you'd like your icon to look this this:

instead of this:

here's how:

Right click the shortcut and go to properties. Under the shortcut tab, click change icon. Browse to your sims EXEs. Choose one of them or Sims3.ico, and hit OK.

These instructions are also included in the body of the program.
Tags: #clean start, #launch, #cache

Operating System: Windows

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Sims 3
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
CleanStartSims3NoLauncherNoThumbs.7z | Clean Start .cmd that is not attached to a launcher and does not delete thumbnails

Size: 703 Bytes · Downloads: 879 · 29th Jan 2019
703 Bytes 879 29th Jan 2019
CleanStartSims3NoLauncher.7z | Clean Start .cmd that is not attached to a launcher

Size: 706 Bytes · Downloads: 792 · 29th Jan 2019
706 Bytes 792 29th Jan 2019
CleanStartSims3OriginNoThumbs.7z | Clean Start .cmd for Origin that does not delete thumbnails

Size: 725 Bytes · Downloads: 1,068 · 28th Jan 2019
725 Bytes 1,068 28th Jan 2019
CleanStartSims3SteamNoThumbs.7z | Clean Start .cmd for Steam that does not delete thumbnails

Size: 716 Bytes · Downloads: 454 · 28th Jan 2019
716 Bytes 454 28th Jan 2019
CleanStartSims3Steam.7z | Clean Start .cmd for Steam

Size: 723 Bytes · Downloads: 823 · 28th Jan 2019
723 Bytes 823 28th Jan 2019
CleanStartSims3Origin.7z | Clean Start .cmd for Origin

Size: 732 Bytes · Downloads: 1,668 · 28th Jan 2019
732 Bytes 1,668 28th Jan 2019
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Quick Guide:

1. Click the file listed on the Files tab to download the file to your computer.
2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file. Now you will have either a .package or a .sims3pack file.

For Package files:

1. Cut and paste the file into your Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Mods\Packages folder. If you do not already have this folder, you should read the full guide to Package files first: Sims 3:Installing Package Fileswiki, so you can make sure your game is fully patched and you have the correct Resource.cfg file.
2. Run the game, and find your content where the creator said it would be (build mode, buy mode, Create-a-Sim, etc.).

For Sims3Pack files:

1. Cut and paste it into your Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Downloads folder. If you do not have this folder yet, it is recommended that you open the game and then close it again so that this folder will be automatically created. Then you can place the .sims3pack into your Downloads folder.
2. Load the game's Launcher, and click on the Downloads tab. Find the item in the list and tick the box beside it. Then press the Install button below the list.
3. Wait for the installer to load, and it will install the content to the game. You will get a message letting you know when it's done.
4. Run the game, and find your content where the creator said it would be (build mode, buy mode, Create-a-Sim, etc.).

Extracting from RAR, ZIP, or 7z: You will need a special program for this. For Windows, we recommend 7-Zip and for Mac OSX, we recommend Keka. Both are free and safe to use.

Need more help?

If you need more info, see:
36 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 26 Feedback Posts, 9 Thanks Posts
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Field Researcher
#26 Old 8th Feb 2019 at 5:01 PM
Originally Posted by TwistedSmiley
I don't use either of these, but you can always use the CleanStartSims3NoLauncher.7z version, then start you game as you normally do.

Thats what I ended up doing - works like a charm! Thanks for the insight
Test Subject
#27 Old 23rd Feb 2019 at 6:10 PM
This right here is a life saver! This keeps my otherwise buggy game running smoothly and mostly bug free. I had no idea that deleting folders and resetting stuff would help the game. You've saved my sims generational stories from annihilation. Thank you!!
Test Subject
#28 Old 26th Feb 2019 at 5:35 AM
Much appreciated. The chugging that was slowly killing my desire to play has all disappeared.
Test Subject
#29 Old 23rd Jun 2019 at 8:15 PM
thank you very much! I use it from the very beginning and this is a huge time saving!
Test Subject
#30 Old 6th Jul 2019 at 11:32 AM
Running this causes origin to insist I activate the 'unknown game' instead of opening the launcher. Is there a way around this?
Forum Resident
#31 Old 15th Jul 2019 at 5:51 PM
I'd like to use this, but does it overlap in any way with Kuree's Save Cleaner?

~*~ Star light, star bright, I am Starry Might! ~*~
Test Subject
Original Poster
#32 Old 12th Sep 2019 at 7:00 AM
Originally Posted by Starry Might
I'd like to use this, but does it overlap in any way with Kuree's Save Cleaner?

I looked it over, but I'm not sure what the save cleaner does, exactly. I doubt there will be a problem, since this program does not touch your saves in any way. I'd still recommend making a backup of your files before experimenting, just to be safe.
Forum Resident
#33 Old 12th Sep 2019 at 6:30 PM
Originally Posted by Seraeya
I looked it over, but I'm not sure what the save cleaner does, exactly. I doubt there will be a problem, since this program does not touch your saves in any way. I'd still recommend making a backup of your files before experimenting, just to be safe.

Looking at the page for it (I needed a full refresher, myself)...
"1. It will delete all the SNAP TS3 created for each sim in the game. However, the game itself will not delete these images even though they are no longer in use and that's part of reason why the save is so big. Don't be panic! When you play the game, TS3 will re-generate all the necessary SNAP.
2. When you travel and come back, all your memory is backup but not deleted. Consequently, your save have many duplicated pics. It will delete these duplicated images without influencing your save."

I have 1.1 (which is preferable to 2.1/2.2 since that version apparently throws errors and/or overzealously deletes pictures you take with the camera in World Adventures).

~*~ Star light, star bright, I am Starry Might! ~*~
Test Subject
#34 Old 26th Feb 2020 at 7:42 PM
A great utility.
Test Subject
#35 Old 21st Jun 2020 at 1:56 AM
If you want to use it for a manually installed game, simply replace the Steam ID/Origin ID with something along the lines of "E:\Games\"Sims 3"\Game\Bin\TS3W.exe"
Set it to your own install folder, of course, but that does it for mine. This launches the game directly and doesn't require Steam/Origin.
Test Subject
#36 Old 7th Oct 2020 at 8:25 PM Last edited by addamay123 : 10th Oct 2020 at 8:23 AM.
Thanks so much for writing this! I don't use steam or origin though and I got annoyed manually launching it each time so I added the line:
start /d "C:\Games\The Sims 3\Game\Bin" TS3W.exe
to the end of the batch file so it would launch the game from the batch file directly like it does for the origin and steam versions
Of course, the path may be different for others but it's not a bad framework. This way, you don't need to replace any info on the Steam/Origin launchers and instead can directly use the manual install version of the file.
Test Subject
#37 Old 21st Oct 2020 at 4:54 PM
Does this work on pirated version of the game? If yes, please instruct me how to install this. I'm a noob in computer and seeing these programs terrify me to change my game but this is really needed. Thanks in advance.
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