Most Windows applications require extra components and redistributable add-ons. A misconfigured or missing dependency often results in annoying errors and broken software, causing many problems for the end users. One such error is “side-by-side configuration is incorrect.” An attempt to start a program sometimes ends with the following message:
“The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect.”
The error can appear on any modern Windows version, including Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, and 11. This article will show you how to fix the side-by-side configuration is incorrect error.
Fix side-by-side configuration is incorrect in Windows
The only way to properly fix the side-by-side configuration is incorrect error in Windows 10 and 11 is to check Microsoft Visual C++ redistributables.
- Press Win + R and type control. The command will launch the legacy Control Panel.
- Click Uninstall a program.
- Find Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 and 2010 in the list of apps and delete each entry. Select it, then click Uninstall. Important: Do not touch redistributables for other years. Uninstall only 2008 and 2010.
- Restart your computer after uninstalling Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable.
- Go to Microsoft’s official website (2010 and 2008) and download Microsoft Visual C++ for 2008 and 2010. Note that the downloaded files should match your platform. Use x86 for 32-bit Windows and x64 for 64-bit Windows (applies to Windows 10 and older since Windows 11 is 64-bit only).
- Restart your computer once you are done installing the dependencies.
Fix side-by-side configuration is incorrect—more options
If the method above did not fix the problem, try the following options:
- Uninstall the misbehaving app and install it again.
- Try downloading another version of the app. An older version may have no such problem and will work as it should.
- Download the app from another software. This primarily applies to pirated software and games. Note that using licensed software is the only way to ensure everything works as it should. Also, you can try contacting software support and ask for help.
- Install available Windows updates.
- Run sfc /scannow. The command will check the system file for corruption and attempt to recover them if necessary. Press Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter. Then, type sfc /scannow and press Enter. Wait for Windows to complete the process.
- Recover your system using a System Restore Point. This will help you fix the issues if the app previously worked as it should.
Finally, you can try running sxstrace. It is a default Windows tool that can help you find a missing dependency for the app you are trying to run.
- Open Command Prompt as Administrator and run following commands:
sxstrace trace -logfile:sxstrace.etl
- Open the problematic app and admit the error.
- Return to Command Prompt and run:
sxstrace parse -logfile:sxstrace.etl -outfile:sxstrace.txt
- Open File Explorer and go to C:\Windows\System32
- Check the log file for a missing Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable and download it from the official Microsoft website if necessary.
That is how you fix the side-by-side configuration is incorrect error.