Windows 10 error: The application has failed to start…

February 7, 2018 |

greater than 4 minutes

You certainly tried opening an application and got a message that stated that the application had failed to start because the side-by-side configuration was incorrect. This error is not exclusive to systems running Windows 10. PC users running older versions of Windows are also quite familiar with the issue.

Understanding the cause of this error

The major reason this error occurs is usually due to issues associated with Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable software.

Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable packages are composed of Visual C++ libraries. They are software usually provided to a computer that lacks Visual C++. These libraries are integral in running the programs that were developed using the version of Visual C++ that corresponds to them.

When a developer creates a program in a specific version of Visual C++, the libraries for that version of Visual C++ must be available on your PC for that created program to run. This is why during installation some programs themselves tend to install additional versions of C++ in order to work. If you game a lot, you might have noticed that during installation of some games, those games themselves install other applications they require to work, and a version of Visual C++ Redistributable is often one of those programs.

The problems involving Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable often include

§ Problems with installation of the program caused by the presence of multiple versions of Visual C++ Redistributable installed side-by-side in a system or problems caused by another program using the same version.

§ Corrupted Visual C++ Redistributable or system files. A virus, malware or simply any rogue application might be responsible for this.

If there are other reasons or causes for this error not connected to issues with Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable, then this may mean the program or installation package you are trying to run is corrupted.

Fixing the problem

It is generally advisable you make a backup of your system before attempting these fixes. Then, ensure that Windows has downloaded and installed all the available updates. If the problem persists after you have done this, then this guide would prove very useful.

Now, we present solutions to every probable cause already listed above.

Reinstall the program involved:

This fix usually works when the error is caused by missing or corrupted files of the program you are trying to launch. Reinstalling the program is a fresh start required to restore those files.

Do this to uninstall the app:

  • Click on the Start icon and search for the run application. Launch it. You can also open the run app by clicking on Windows logo key and the R key on your keyboard.
  • Write control and click on OK to launch Control Panel.
  • In Control Panel, search for Programs and Features and click on the returned result.
  • Click on the application you need to uninstall and select Uninstall.

After uninstallation of the affected program, download the latest version of that program and install it.

It is recommended that you obtain software through trusted sources- the program’s official web download page or the Windows Store. If the error occurs when you try to run a program’s installer, there is a possibility that the installer or the installation package is corrupted. Try getting the program from another (or a better) source and rerunning it.

Reinstall the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable packages:

Uninstalling and reinstalling Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable packages might help you to restore the missing or corrupted files. The error message displayed lacks information regards what exact distribution package is the problem. However, this fix would attempt to solve the problem for any scenario.

To uninstall the packages,

  • Click on the Start icon and search for the run application. Launch it. You can also open the run app by clicking on Windows logo key and the R key on your keyboard almost simultaneously.
  • Write control and click on OK to launch Control Panel.
  • In Control Panel, search for Programs and Features and click on the returned result.
  • Delete every single version of Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable by clicking on them and selecting Uninstall. Take note of the version(s) you uninstalled.

Now go to the official Microsoft webpage for downloading the various versions of Visual C++ Redistributable. The only versions missing from that page are Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86) and Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package (x64).

Download and reinstall the versions you removed. Restart your system and see if the error has stopped occurring

Note: You should download and install both the 32-bit(x86) and 64-bit(x64) versions of every package if your system is running a 64-bit version of Windows.

Solve general system issues:

Deleted, missing or corrupted files are signs a virus, malware or similar program is wreaking havoc on your system. They should not be your only worry though.

You are probably using a good antivirus software (or Windows defender at least) to keep your system safe. However, this is just one line of security, and there is always the possibility that a threat evades or escapes this line of security. You certainly need a second line of defense to remain safe in this ever-threatening world. Running a proven antimalware program that does not interfere with the operations of your main antivirus is as close to maximum security as you can get.

Download and run this application to detect threats and eliminate them. This action also helps in preventing this issue from reoccurring after you eventually solve the problem.

If some damage is already done, simply follow these instructions to repair/restore missing or corrupted system files.

Reset or reinstall Windows:/h3>

The options described here are generally not recommended for most minor problems but they should be your last resort if every other fix has failed. The process below would delete all files and programs, so we recommend you make a backup of your existing applications and other valuable files.

To reset your system,

  • Click on the Start menu and select Settings.
  • In the Settings program, locate Update and Security. Click on it.
  • Click on Remove everything.

Now, wait for Windows to complete this process. When it ends, launch the program you had issues with and see if the error message is displayed again.

Completely reinstalling Windows might be a more effective fix compared to the process described above but it is extreme in terms of usage.

This is the full guide from Microsoft for doing this and performing other related actions.

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