Delay in computer start-up caused by Sophos Management Communication System

  • Article ID: 120019
  • Rating:
  • 3 customers rated this article 5.7 out of 6
  • Updated: 14 Apr 2016


After installing Sophos software which includes the Sophos Management Communication System (MCS) component, e.g. a UTM or Sophos Central managed client, you experience a delay in system start-up between 3-5 minutes. In the Windows event log, the following message can be found:

MCS Client service hung or starting

First seen in
UTM Managed Endpoint (Windows 2000+)
Sophos Cloud


During start-up of the 'Sophos MCS Client' service (McsClient.exe) with auto-proxy detection enabled (default), it determines the relevant proxy for each server.  The first time WinHttpGetProxyForUrl() is called, it can take a considerable amount of time to return; this makes it appear to the Windows Service Control Manager that the MCS client service had hung.

What To Do

This issue is fixed in Management Communication System (MCS) version 1.5.3 and later, which was released to customers on Friday 24th January 2014.

Note: Prior to the fix being made available, the following workaround was recommended.

Set the 'Sophos MCS Client' service to have a start-up type of 'Automatic (Delayed Start)'.  To set this follow the steps below:

  1. Open Windows services, to do so: 'Start' | 'Run', type: services.msc and hit 'Enter'.
  2. In the list of Windows services, locate the 'Sophos MCS Client' service.
  3. Right-click on the service and select 'Properties'.
  4. Change the "Startup type" to be 'Automatic (Delayed Start)' and click 'OK'.
  5. Restart the computer to determine if the issue is resolved.

If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

Rate this article

Very poor Excellent