Force immediate MBAM Encryption: Why does the MBAM Agent delay most times in encrypting devices?


Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) is part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack suite (MDOP). It contains other important and business-enabling tools available for Software Assurance Customers. In this article, we shall discuss “Force immediate MBAM Encryption: Why does the MBAM Agent delay most times in encrypting devices”. Please see Why you should not use Public DNS in Production: Change DNS Server in Windows. Also, see how to fix SSO sign-in and non-routable domain issues.

MBAM allows you to configure your enterprise with the correct BitLocker encryption policy options, as well as monitor compliance with these policies.

The MBAM Client does not start the BitLocker Drive Encryption actions if a remote desktop protocol connection is active. All remote console connections must be closed and a user must be logged on to a physical console session interactively before BitLocker Drive Encryption begins.

Kindly refer to the following similar guides on BitLocker. how to fix missing BitLocker Recovery Tab in Active Directory Users and Computers, and how to enable or disable BitLocker Drive Encryption on Windows 10 and Virtual Machines, and how to deploy Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring Tool,

Startup Delay

By default, the MBAM client has a 90-minute random delay, upon startup, before communicating with the Administration and Monitoring server. This was designed to reduce the load on the MBAM server during the initial deployment of the MBAM client.

However, this delay can be circumvented by adding the following registry key.

Registry Key PathKey NameValueDescription
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\MBAMNoStartUpDelay1Specifies the interval in which the client communicates to the MBAM server upon startup.
Note: If this setting is to be temporary it will be necessary to remove the registry key after the fact as none of the MBAM Group Policy settings will overwrite this key.

Also, see how to Query MBAM to display the BitLocker Recovery report, and MBAM Frequent Report Errors: Understanding Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring compliance state and error status.

MBAM services via Group Policy

When configuring the MBAM services via Group Policy there are two policy timers that are configured.

Client Checking Status Frequency (Default: 90 Min)
Status Reporting Frequency (Default: 720 Min)

These timers have corresponding registry settings that can be manually changed to initiate their checks immediately when the MBAM client is restarted.

This step initiate the user prompt for starting the encryption process as well as forcing the status reporting to update. The keys and the values which should be changed to initiate their checks are listed below.

Registry Key PathKey NameValueDescription
ClientWakeupFrequency1This policy setting manages how often the client will check the BitLocker protection policies and status on the client machine.
StatusReportingFrequency1This policy setting allows you to manage the frequency of the compliance and status information to be reported to the report service.

The MBAM client doesn’t start the operation immediately after installation. There is an initial random delay of 1–18 minutes before the MBAM Agent starts its operation. In addition to the initial delay which is at least 90 minutes.

The delay depends on the Group Policy settings that are configured for the frequency of checking the client status. Therefore, the total delay before a client starts operation is random startup delay + client checking frequency delay.

Force MBAM Encryption Immediately

You would notice this from the Operational and Admin event logs as they will be blank. This is because, the client has not started the operation yet and is in the delay period that was mentioned earlier. 

To force a machine to prompt immediately. You can make a registry change to remove the 90-minute random delay and prompt the user immediately after restarting the MBAM client service.

Stop the BitLocker Management Client Service service.


Under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MBAM registry subkey, create the NoStartupDelay registry value. Set its type to REG_DWORD, and then set its value to 1.


Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\FVE\MDOPBitLockerManagement, set the ClientWakeupFrequency and StatusReportingFrequency values to 1. These values will revert to their original settings after Group Policy updates are on the computer.

Start the BitLocker Management Client Service service.

After the service starts, if you log in locally on the computer and there are no errors. You should receive a request to encrypt the computer within one minute. If you do not receive a request, you should review the MBAM Admin logs for any error entries.

You may want to see ENOENT: No such file or directory Error in Docker build, and how to check if Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring is installed on Windows.


How Does MBAM Ensure Security and Compliance?

MBAM enhances security and compliance through:
– MBAM ensures that BitLocker settings and policies are applied across devices, thereby reducing security vulnerabilities.
– It provides detailed audit reports, helping organizations meet regulatory compliance requirements by demonstrating adherence to encryption and security standards.
– MBAM centralizes the management of BitLocker recovery keys, improving security and simplifying key recovery processes.
– Through the self-service portal, end-users can recover their own devices, reducing the burden on IT support and improving overall compliance.

How Does MBAM Enhance BitLocker Management?

MBAM provides a centralized management interface for BitLocker, offering features such as:
– Simplifies the process of encrypting drives on Windows devices.
– Monitors the compliance of devices with BitLocker policies, ensuring that encryption is properly configured.
– Manages the recovery keys for encrypted devices, allowing administrators to retrieve keys for data recovery purposes.
Empowers end-users to recover their own BitLocker-protected devices or report issues through a self-service portal.

I hope you found this blog post on how to Force immediate MBAM Encryption: Why does the MBAM Agent delay most times in encrypting devices helpful? If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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