How to fix Windows C++ redistributable installation problems

Niklas Klein
2 min readFeb 15, 2021


If you are trying to install software, that relies on certain Windows C++ redistributable dependencies on your machine but only receive cryptic error messages, this guide is for you.

Generally, to troubleshoot these kind of issues, you are advised to uninstall every C++ runtime from your system, reboot, manually execute the Windows Updater and finally install the “Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019” package.

This is good advice, but while trying to install the “vc_redist.x64.exe” or “vc_redist.x86.exe” package I experienced error messages like the one below after a Windows update:

The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable.

Click OK to try again, or enter an alternate path to a folder containing the installation package ‘vc_runtimeMinimum_x64.msi’ in the box below.

Screenshot of the error message “vc_runtimeMinimum_x64.msi” missing

Luckily, the solution to this is quite simple. If you have already tried to uninstall all “Microsoft Visual C++ runtimes” from your system, try again. But this time do it with the troubleshooter tool that is provided by Microsoft.

Visit the “Fix problems that block programs from being installed or removed” page and follow the download link. Start the software and specify that something went wrong while uninstalling software. You should now see a list of apps that may be fixed. This list should contain further “Microsoft Visual C++” related entries that you could not see in the Windows apps & features overview. Select one of them and let the troubleshooter uninstall it properly.

Repeat the step above with the troubleshooter tool until all “Microsoft Visual C++” entries are gone before rebooting your computer.

Then continue by manually triggering the Windows Updater and reboot again if necessary.

Now you should finally be able to install the “Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019”. If you haven’t already downloaded it, visit the page and pick the exe that matches your system (vc_redist.x64.exe, vc_redist.x86.exe or vc_redist.arm64.exe). If you are unsure which one to pick, try the “x64” first.

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