FIX: Cannot install Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from Windows to iOS and streaming services... Read more
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  • The error installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable is triggered if your system detects an existing installation of the same package.
  • You can fix this issue by repairing the corrupted Visual Studio Redistributable installation.
  • Uninstall all the newer versions of Redistributables, and then try to install the version that is giving you trouble.
  • Try re-registering Windows Installer Service to Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 setup failed 0x80070666 error on your PC.
Cannot install Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable
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Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable packages install run-time components required to run C++ applications built using Visual Studio 2015. However, several users have reported an error installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable.

This error can occur due to several reasons, including an existing installation of the redists. Also, if you have a newer version of redists installed, check it for compatibility issues.

In this article, we have listed a few troubleshooting steps to help you resolve the error installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable issue.

How do I fix the error installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2015?

1. Remove existing Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable package 

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Type control panel and click OK to open the Control Panel.
  3. Go to Programs and click on Programs and Features.
  4. Locate and uninstall all the Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable items that you see in the installed apps list.
  5. Once uninstalled, download the Microsoft Fix It tool.
  6. Run the tool and click on the Advanced option.
  7. Check the Apply repairs automatically box and click Next.
  8. Choose the Installing option from the next screen. 
  9. Now you will be presented with a list of apps. Choose Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable from the list and click Next. 
  10. Follow on-screen instructions and apply the recommended fixes.
  11. Next, download the  Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable and 2015 Redistributable Update 3 RC to your PC.
  12. Reboot the computer and install Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable again to see if the error is resolved.

If Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable does not appear in the Add/Remove Programs list, but you still get the error 0x80070666 – Another version of this product is already installed – try installing the redistributable using the Command Prompt.

If the issue persists, try to install available Windows updates and other patches. Skip this step if you don’t want to install pending Windows updates right now.

2. Install Windows updates and patches 

  1. Press the Windows key + I.
  2. Go to Update and Security.

  3. In the Windows Updates tab, download and install pending Windows updates and other patches.
  4. Reboot the computer and check if you can install the package without the error.

After the updates are installed, check if the error while installing Microsoft Visual c++ 2015 Redistributable still appears.

3. Remove Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable through Command Prompt 

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of the Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable downloaded to your PC.
  2. Next, open File Explorer and navigate to the folder where you have saved the redistributable file. Copy the path to your clipboard.
  3. Open Command Prompt as administrator. 
  4. In the Command Prompt window, navigate to the directory where the downloaded file is saved.
  5. So, enter the following command and hit Enter to execute. Make sure to change the path in the below command:

    cd C:\Users\WindowsReport\Downloads
  6. Once you are in the directory, execute the following command depending on what you have downloaded:
    vc_redist.x64.exe /uninstall
    vc_redist.x86.exe /uninstall
  7. A pop-up will appear with an option to repair the distributable package installation. Proceed with the repair option and wait for it to complete.
  8. Once the repair is complete, reboot the computer and try to install Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable. 

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Note that it is important to change your directory to the relevant folder in Command Prompt before executing the uninstall command.

4. Reinstall Visual Studio 2017 Redistributable package 

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and click OK to open the Control Panel.
  3. Locate and select Visual Studio C++ 2017 Redistributable package.
  4. Click Uninstall and click Yes to confirm.
  5. In the Setup window, click on Uninstall again and follow on-screen instructions.
  6. Once you have uninstalled the package, reboot your computer.
  7. After the restart, download and install Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable.
  8. If successfully installed, download and install the latest version of Visual Studio 2017 Redistributable package.

If you already have the Visual Studio 2017 Redistributable installed, it may block the installation of Visual Studio C++ 2015 distributable as it is backward compatible. 

As a workaround, uninstall the 2017 Redistributable package and then reinstall again after installing the 2015 Redistributable package.

This is a workaround, but it might work if you’re getting an error while installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable.

5. Remove the temp files 

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box.
  2. Type %temp% and click on OK. This will open the Temp folder in File Explorer.
  3. In the temp folder, select all the files and delete them.
  4. Once the folder is empty, run the installer and check if the Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable installation goes through.

6. Re-register the Windows Installer service 

  1. Press the Windows key + R.
  2. Type the following in the Run box and hit enter. This command will not show anything.

    msiexec /unregister 
  3. Next, type the following the Run box and click OK to execute.

    msiexec /regserver
  4.  Again the command will now show anything but register Windows Installer service.

Once you have successfully re-registered the Windows installer service, you should be able to install the Visual Studio C++ Redistributable package without any errors. 

The error installing Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable usually occurs due to an existing installation of the identical package or newer version, but that can be easily fixed.

Did you manage to fix this issue on your own? Share your solution with us in the comments section.

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