[Fix] "The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect" error in Windows

Question

Issue: [Fix] "The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect" error in Windows

Hello. Just recently I tried to launch my browser but I received an error “side-by-side configuration is incorrect.” Is there a way to fix this?

Solved Answer

Windows is a complicated operating system that relies on thousands of processes to keep it running smoothly. If even just one process goes rogue, users can experience various issues, like bugs, crashes, and other malfunctions. A number of people report receiving this error when trying to open various applications:

The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log or use the command-line sxstrace.exe tool for more detail.

The error is not related to a specific program as people report encountering it with different apps. One of the most common reasons for the “The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect” error is corrupted system files. The issue could also be caused by a conflict between the C++ run-time libraries and the app. Because of this, the app fails to load the required Microsoft Visual C++ files.

Side-by-side (SxS) configuration refers to the ability of Windows to run multiple versions of the same shared libraries or runtime components at the same time, on the same system. The error message is indicating that the application is looking for a specific version of a runtime library, but it is not able to find it or it is not configured correctly.

We recommend using a maintenance tool like ReimageMac Washing Machine X9 to avoid a lengthy troubleshooting process. This powerful software can fix various system errors, BSODs,[1] corrupted files, and registry[2] issues. It can also clear your machine from cookies and cache[3] which are often the culprits of many malfunctions. Otherwise, proceed with the step-by-step instructions below carefully.

The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect

Solution 1. Repair Corrupted System Files

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Use Command Prompt commands to repair system file corruption:

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator
  • Use the following command and press Enter:
    sfc /scannow

Repair Corrupted System Files

  • Reboot your system
  • If SFC returned an error, then use the following command lines, pressing Enter after each:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Solution 2. Run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter

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Windows has built-in troubleshooters that can fix minor operating system issues.

  • Click on the Start menu and go to Settings
  • Click on Update & Security and go to the Troubleshoot tab
  • Press on Additional troubleshooters

Run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter

  • Find Program Compatibility Troubleshooter and run it

Solution 3. Reinstall Microsoft Visual C++

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The “The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect” error message in Windows typically appears when a program or application is trying to use a version of a Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library that is not installed or is not configured correctly on the user's computer.

The purpose of Microsoft Visual C++ packages is to provide the necessary runtime components to run applications written using C++ programming language. These packages are often required by certain software programs or games in order to run properly on a user's computer. Without the appropriate C++ runtime components installed, users may encounter errors or crashes when trying to run certain programs.

  • Go to the app list via Control Panel, right-click each Visual C++ Redistributable Package and choose Uninstall
  • Go to the Microsoft C++ download website and download the packages you have uninstalled

Reinstall Microsoft Visual C

  • Then, install them on your machine following the on-screen instructions
  • Restart the PC and see if you still get the error

Solution 4. Reinstall the Affected Program

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If none of the above methods worked, try to reinstall the program that is causing “The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect” error in Windows.

  • Open the Control Panel
  • Open the View by menu and choose Large icons
  • Click on Programs and Features

Reinstall the Affected Program

  • Right-click on the problematic program from the app list and choose Uninstall to remove it from the computer
  • Install the same app as you did before and check if the issue persists

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Don’t pay ransomware authors – use alternative data recovery options

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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