November 30, 2023

How to Fix the “Side-by-Side Configuration Is Incorrect” Error on Windows

How to Fix the “Side-by-Side Configuration Is Incorrect” Error on Windows

It’s frustrating when you can’t launch your favorite apps and programs on Windows due to the “Side-by-side configuration is incorrect” error. While determining the exact cause of this error can be difficult, it is possible to resolve it.


In most cases, the “Side-by-side configuration is incorrect” error occurs due to a damaged Visual C++ package or a compatibility issue. However, there can be other reasons for it. So, what can you do to resolve this unforeseen error on Windows? Let’s find out.


1. Reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ Packages

Problems with the current Visual C++ packages on your PC can often result in the “Side-by-side configuration is incorrect” error on Windows. If that’s the case, you must reinstall the problematic Visual C++ package on your computer. To do so, you’ll need to find its version number using Event Viewer. Here’s how you can go about it.

  1. Press Win + S to open the search menu.
  2. Type event viewer in the search box and select the first result that appears.
  3. Use the left pane to navigate to Custom Views > Summary page events.
    Event Viewer on Windows

  4. Choose the most recent side-by-side error from the middle pane and note down the version number under the General tab.
  5. Open up your web browser and head over to the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable download page.
  6. Download and install the Visual C++ package corresponding to your version number.

Restart your PC after this (see how to restart your Windows PC) and try to launch your app or program one more time.

2. Run the SFC and DISM Scans

Corrupted or missing system files on your computer can also trigger such errors. Fortunately, Windows includes a useful command-line utility called SFC (or System File Checker) scan for such occasions. It can automatically detect any damaged system files on your PC and replace them with their cached versions.

To run the SFC scan on your computer:

  1. Press Win + X to open the Power User menu.
  2. Select Terminal (Admin) from the list.
  3. Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt shows up.
  4. In the console, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
    Run SFC Scan on Windows

Wait for the scan to complete and then run the DISM (or Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scan by entering the following command:

 DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth 

After the process is complete, exit the Command Prompt window and restart your PC. The error should not appear anymore after the reboot.

3. Run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter

If the “Side-by-side configuration is incorrect” error only appears when you try to launch a specific program, you can run the program compatibility troubleshooter on Windows. It’ll try to fix any compatibility issues with your program and help you fix the error. Here’s how you can run it.

  1. Right-click on your app or program that’s producing the error and select Troubleshoot compatibility.
  2. In the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter window, select Troubleshoot program.
  3. Mark the checkbox that reads The program worked in earlier versions of Windows but won’t install or run now and hit Next.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to run the troubleshooter and see if the error occurs again.
    Program Compatibility Troubleshooter Windows

4. Repair the Problematic App

If the Windows troubleshooter fails to find any problems, you can try repairing the problematic app on Windows. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Press Win + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to the Apps tab.
  3. Go to Installed apps.
  4. Scroll down to locate the problematic app on the list. Click the three-dot menu icon next to it and select Advanced options.
  5. Scroll down to the Reset section and click on Repair.
    Repair App on Windows

You should see a right checkmark next to the Repair button once the process is complete.

Alternatively, you can repair your apps and programs from Control Panel. To learn more about this, check our guide on how to repair apps and programs on Windows and follow the steps outlined there.

5. Reinstall the Problematic App

Repairing the app may not help much if the existing app data is corrupted or missing. In that case, your only option is to uninstall the problematic app and install it again.

  1. Press Win + S to open the search menu.
  2. Type in the name of your app or program and select Uninstall from the right pane.
  3. Select Uninstall again to confirm.
    Uninstall App on Windows

Head over to Microsoft Store and install the app again. Following this, the error should not bother you.

6. Scan for Malware

If your computer is infected with malware, you may encounter such errors when launching apps and programs. To check for this possibility, you can run a full system scan of your PC with Windows Defender. You can also use one of the best third-party antivirus programs for Windows for this.

If the scan uncovers anything suspicious, take the recommended steps to fix the issue and reboot your PC after that.

7. Install Pending Windows Updates

Microsoft regularly releases updates for the Windows operating system. Aside from new features and security patches, these updates also bring much-needed fixes for bugs and other errors. You can try updating Windows to its most recent version to see if that makes a difference.

Press Win + I to open the Settings app and navigate to the Windows Update section. Click on Check for updates to download and install pending updates.

Check for System Updates on Windows

8. Perform a System Restore

Windows System Restore performs a backup of the entire system on a regular basis. You can use it to revert your system to a point before the error first started appearing.

To perform a system restore on Windows:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type sysdm.cpl in the box and press Enter.
  3. In the System Properties window, switch to the System Protection tab.
  4. Click on System Restore.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Select a restore point before the first appeared and hit Next.
  7. Check all the details and hit Finish.
    System Restore Dialog on Windows

Windows will restart and revert to the specified restore point. Following that, the error should be resolved.

Start Using Your Apps Again

By applying the above fixes, you should be able to fix the “Side-by-side configuration is incorrect” error in no time. However, if none of the solutions work, you may have to reset your Windows computer as a last resort.