Windows 7/8.1/10: error side-by-side configuration is incorrect

[German]Sometimes users of Windows (from Windows 7 up to Windows 10) are receiving an error message "side-by-side configuration is incorrect" during installing a new software. Here a few hints, what's causing this error and how to fix.


What is WinSxS?

The folder WinSxS has been introduced in Windows XP as a subfolder of the Windows folder. According to this Technet article, this folder stores components of the operating system (.dll, manifests, catalogs). A component in Windows is one or more binaries, a catalog file, and an XML file that describes everything about how the files should be installed.

Ordner WinSxS

Components are grouped into logical units, and these units are used to build the different Windows editions. Each component has a unique name that includes the version, language, and processor architecture that it was built for. The WinSxS folder is the only location that the component is found on the system, all other instances of the files that you see on the system are "projected" by hard linking from the component store. Further details about WinSxS may be found at Joseph Conway's Technet article, within WikiPedia, within this WindowsClub article and at

What's causing an 'side-by-side configuration is incorrect' error?

The error message is thrown, if a registry entry, pointing to WinSxS folder, has been deleted or is invalid. Also missing manifest files or broken links are causing this error. Windows can't resolve the reference to the component (DLL file, manifest etc.).

How to fix an 'side-by-side configuration is incorrect' error?

In a first step I would let Windows check the system for damaged system files. This can be done, using the instructions given within this blog post Check and repair Windows system files and component store.


In Windows 7 only sfc /scannow can be used. Further checks and repairs may be done using the System Update Readiness Tool for Windows 7 (KB947821).

If this checks reports errors that cant be repaired, go to this article and try to repair. If that did not work, try a repair install using a Windows Inplace Update (just execute Windows setup from within Windows and select Upgrade option). This keeps your data and installed apps.

Try to uninstall and reinstall affected programs

If the error message "side-by-side configuration is incorrect" occurs, the message reports application. Then a one approach to repair a side-by-side issue is to install the application and re-install it again, using Windows control panel.

Tip: If the name of an application is unknown, fire up event manager (via start menu). Perhaps there are entries reporting the application causing this error. This Technet article discusses how to use Sxstrace.exe to find further details.

Repair Visual C++ Redistributable

In many cases Visual C++ 2008/2010/2012 etc. runtime Redistributable installations re damaged.

1. Go to Windows control panel and then navigate to Uninstall a programm.

2. Search the entry for Visual C++ Redistributables, right click the entry and select Uninstall.

Proceed to install all Visual C++ Redistributables via control panel. Then goto the Microsoft web site The latest supported Visual C++ downloads and download all Redistributables that just has been deinstalled. The re-install the Visual C++ Redistributables. Reboot Windows afterward and check whether the error has been fixed.

How to clean up WinSxS?

The folder WinSxS can be come huge, several GB. You should not delete files manually within this folder.


This MSDN article, this Technet article and this MSDN article contains instructions how to use clean manager to shrink WinSxS. But you should use that only in rare cases to regain free spaces, because deleting some WinSxS packages can results in other errors.

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