Football Manager 2022 – The Game Could Not Be Saved

I’ve been playing FM now since 1997/98 – back in the days of good ol’ Championship Manager. Yes, I am that old!

It’s a whirlwind of a journey and, as many FM addicts (sorry, I mean fans) will tell you, it can and will eat hours of your lives for fun. It is, some would say, a full time job. However, alas the £150,000 a week Manchester City are paying you to lead them to the Champions League final is not :(.

Anyway, I digress. One of the most devastating things in older versions of Championship Manager and then, later, Football Manager were the jolly crashes that the game loved to do – particularly after you’d performed an amazing feat of promotion, cup or league glory against all the odds. Nowadays, with later versions of Football Manager this is mercifully quite rare (thank you developers!).

However, the most infuriating part of Football Manager now must be when the game doesn’t save. You’ve put in blood, sweat and tears and all of a sudden, seemingly for no reason whatsoever, the game won’t save.

I recently purchased FM 2022 (yes, I’m late to the party!) and had been merrily playing along when boom – I was faced with this hideous sight:

OK, cards on the table, that’s an artists impression. I believe a very accurate one but at the time I was obviously HYSTERICAL! The last thing I was thinking of was doing a screenshot and writing an article. I was wondering what would happen to the last 30 mins of gameplay (praise the lord for auto save). As any FM enthusiast will tell you, losing progress is not an option!

If you’re finding yourself in an equally distressing situation, read on…

1. Don’t Panic

I know, you’re career is going down the toilet but all is not lost. In later versions of FM, including FM 2022 we now have cloud save. As the problem is certainly local to your computer, save your game in cloud storage – at least temporarily. Remember the key priority is to preserve progress in some form – and the cloud is probably safer anyway.

Choose FM -> ‘Save As’. Then choose the ‘Cloud’ option from the dropdown menu or the tab buttons (depending on your skin). You can use the same file name, hit the big, bad, usually purple save button and start to breathe again:

2. Fix the local problem

FM usually wants to save your games inside the Sports Interactive folder in your Documents. Usually no issue. From Windows 10 onwards however there’s some very handy hijack projection that attempts to stop malware screwing with your documents. Unfortunately, sometimes it prevents you from saving anything there via a third party application – like FM.

You might think that this problem would be immediately obvious when you try to create your save. Strangely though, it rarely presents straight away and appears ‘randomly’ – in my case over 2 days later. Presumably Windows Security has sat in the background doing a bit of analysis on fm.exe and hasn’t liked what it’s seen. Maybe it’s dug into your documents one too many times (remember autosave?). Maybe big bad Bill enjoys watching the trauma of soccer fans with their heads in their hands? We’ll probably never know, however the fix is quite easy.

Windows Security – Give FM 2022 a Pass

Firstly, go to the start button (with the Windows flag) and type ‘Windows Security’. Open the app that it finds:

Click on ‘Virus & threat protection’:

Then scroll to the bottom of the window and click on ‘Manage ransomware protection’. And yes, before you ask, Windows does kinda think that FM 2022 is trying to hold you hostage for bitcoin. And yes, we do understand the irony that it’s actually Windows at this point that is holding your FM save to ransom.

Controlled folder access is a godsend – no really. Particularly if you’re not always the most careful about the websites you visit or the apps you install. You’ve likely switched it on, as recommended. But, fear not, you don’t have to disable this vital protection. Click on ‘Block history’:

Here you can see all the times Windows has saved you from various baddies – and also, some goodies like FM. Look through your protection history and click on each event for further details. You’re looking for one that identifies the program blocked as being ‘fm.exe’. You will need to click on a row (i.e. ‘Protected Folder access blocked’) to expand it – the first time you do this you may be asked for your password courtesy of Windows User Account Control.

Once you’ve found a mention of ‘fm.exe’ you need to go to the actions drop down at the bottom of the now-expanded row:

Once clicked press ‘Allow on device’:

And, hey presto! You’re finished! Don’t worry if you’ve had multiple events mentioning fm.exe – you only need to press allow on one of the them as it’s applied to the application (fm.exe) and not to each notification or event.

Return to Football Manager 2022 and try to save your game locally again to your games folder and all should be fine. If you had saved it to the cloud and just press ‘save’ it will continue to save there. To be able to choose your local folder again remember to go to ‘Save As…’.

Happy managing!

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