Side-by-side configuration is incorrect error [Fixed]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • The failed to start error is one that can arise for a wide variety of software. When that error arises, users can't open or install the software.
  • This guide includes confirmed failed to start error fixes for Steam, Google Chrome, NVIDIA Control Panel, Avast Antivirus, and MSI Afterburner.
  • Don't hesitate to explore our Software section for other easy-to-follow and thorough guides.
  • Our detailed Fix Hub includes many more troubleshooting guides for a multitude of software options.

A lot of users have posted on support forums about a side-by-side configuration is incorrect error that arises when they try to open (or install) software.

Users have reported that issues arising for Steam games, Avast Antivirus, MSI Afterburner, NVIDIA Control Panel, Google Chrome, and other Windows software. The full error message states:

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This 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.

As a consequence, users can’t open the software that the issue arises for. Nevertheless, users have fixed that issue with various resolutions. This is how users have fixed that error for specific software.

How can I fix the error Failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect?

1. Steam application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect

  1. Click the Update now button on the Windows 10 download page to save the WUA.
  2. Open the downloaded Windows Update Assistant.
  3. Click the Update Now button.
    The Windows 10 Update Assistant The Application Has Failed to Start Because Its Side-By-Side Configuration Is Incorrect Error
  4. Press the Next button.
  5. When the update is ready, press the Restart Now button.

2. Avast application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect

  1. Launch Run with the Windows key + R hotkey.
  2. Next, enter appwiz.cpl in Run and click OK to open the uninstaller window.
  3. Select Avast Antivirus (or other software the issue arises for) in Programs and Features.
    Repair option The Application Has Failed to Start Because Its Side-By-Side Configuration Is Incorrect Erro
  4. Click the Repair option for the selected software if it has one.

3. MSI Afterburner application has failed to start side-by-side configuration is incorrect

Some MSI Afterburner users have been able to fix the issue by installing missing C++ redistributable packages.

You can download C++ redistributable packages from the website pages listed below. When you’ve downloaded the required C++ redistributables, open their executable files and follow the on-screen instructions to install them.


4. NVIDIA Control Panel failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect

  1. If the failure to start error arises for software that usually comes with Windows, such as the NVIDIA Control Panel, try restoring the platform to an earlier date. To do that, open Run.
  2. Next, input rstrui in the Run box, and click the OK option.
  3. Click Next to go to the restore point list.
  4. The System Restore window may, or may not, include a Show more restore points option. If it does, select that option to expand the restore point list.
    System Restore window The Application Has Failed to Start Because Its Side-By-Side Configuration Is Incorrect Erro
  5. Choose a restore point that will roll Windows back to a time that predates the error message.
  6. Click Scan for affected programs to check what software gets deleted for a specific restore point.
    System Restore program list The Application Has Failed to Start Because Its Side-By-Side Configuration Is Incorrect Erro
  7. Click the Next and Finish buttons.

5. Google Chrome application failed to start because its side by side configuration is incorrect

  1. Launch the Run accessory.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl into Run and click OK to open the uninstaller utility.
    Programs and Features window The Application Has Failed to Start Because Its Side-By-Side Configuration Is Incorrect Erro
  3. Select the listed Google Chrome browser.
  4. Click Uninstall and Yes to remove the software.
  5. Restart Windows before reinstalling any software.
  6. Then click Download Chrome on that browser’s website.
  7. Install the browser with its setup wizard.

The above resolutions are confirmed fixes for the failure to start error. Although they’re listed for specific programs, those resolutions can fix the failed to start error for a variety of software.


FAQ Learn more about the failed to start error

  • What triggers the failed to start error?

The failed to start error can often be due to missing, corrupted, or outdated C++ and run-time libraries. To fix it, follow the methods in this guide.

  • Will resetting Windows 10 fix the failed to start error?

Resetting Windows 10 can fix a variety of software issues. So, resetting Windows might be worth a try as a last resort.

  • Are there any other potential fixes for the failed to start error?

Running a System File Checker scan and updating .NET Framework might also resolve the error.

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