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How to Fix Side by Side 33 Error

How to Fix Side by Side 33 Error

The Problem

SideBySide #33 Errors Causing System Crashes in Windows or Trading Applications.  This is NOT a hardware problem this is a software problem.

SideBySide errors are caused by the current Microsoft Visual C++ version not being backward compatible with the trading application that failed. The Event ID 33 error message is typically: Activation context generation failed for “program name”. Please use sxstrace.exe for detailed diagnosis. There are other similar SideBySide errors with the same problem of backward compatibility.

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The most commonly affected programs are trading applications like FXCM, Candlesticks, TradeStation, Think or Swim etc . Trading application are very finicky about using specific versions of Visual C+ , JAVA and Active X controls. We have seen it many times where a trader installs one Windows update too many and it takes down their application. (see comment below)

If the software works OK then you don’t have to fix it but if it does not or you want to get rid of this error here are a few things to try:

The Fix

  1. Reinstall or Repair (preferred if an option) the application. Often the installation package will have the version of Microsoft Visual C++ that it uses and will install it.
  2. Contact your trading software provider to find out what version of the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package version your software application needs and compare that to the one you are currently using. This will help you pin down the issue. If you need a different version of C++, that is available through Microsoft’s Downloads.
  3. Try installing a previous version to see if it works, if not then try the one before that. It is very common that the newest Microsoft C++ has issues with slightly older trading platform software.

Tech Notes

Problems like this often ‘appear’ to be a computer problem when in fact they are not. To rule it out, close your trading application and see if you still have a problem. Open any other program except your trading application or utilities used by your trading application. Usually you will find that everything works fine until your trading application is opened. This means that if you only have an issue when the trading application is open, it is NOT the computer it is your application.


  • ​Above fix from this Microsoft Forum Technical Post.
  • SideBySide errors are typically caused by Microsoft Visual C+ as mentioned above, which usually come in as part of a Windows Automatic Update (another reason why we recommend doing updates manually, and turning off automatic updates).
  • To identify which version of Microsoft Visual C+ is causing your issue look at your Windows Application Event Logs (Right click MyComputer/MANAGE) you can cross reference the start date of any SideBySide errors, with the last Microsoft Visual C+ update. If you have multiple like the screenshot below,  you would remove the last one that was installed about when your problem started.
  • Again this is an issue because Microsoft Windows updates automatically installed a version of Microsoft Visual C+ that is too new for your specific trading application to support and it causes crashes. You need to back it out and use an older version of C+ per the article above. You should also contact your trading application software vendor and ask them which version they recommend. It should NOT be older than the date that the software was written

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