Recent research suggests that there is an advantage for processing configural information in scenes and objects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which attention may account for this configural advantage. In Experiment 1, we found that cueing the location of change in single object displays improved detection performance for both configural and shape changes, yet cueing attention away from the location of change was detrimental only for shape change detection. A configural advantage was present for each cueing condition. Experiments 2A and 2B examined whether the configural advantage persisted in conditions where attention was distributed more widely, using a visual search paradigm. Although searches for configural changes were faster than those for shape changes across all set sizes, both types of information appeared to be processed with similar efficiency. Overall, these results suggest that the configural advantage is independent of the location or distribution of visual attention.