The PGP plugin failed to initialize with PGP Encryption Desktop and Outlook
search cancel

The PGP plugin failed to initialize with PGP Encryption Desktop and Outlook


Article ID: 190223


Updated On:


Encryption Management Server Desktop Email Encryption Drive Encryption Endpoint Encryption File Share Encryption Gateway Email Encryption PGP Command Line PGP Key Management Server PGP Key Mgmt Client Access and CLI API PGP SDK


There has been reports that some users running PGP Encryption Desktop clients can no longer encrypt or decrypt messages and the plugin does not appear to be enabled even though it is installed and enabled in Outlook. 

When attempting to send an email in Outlook (various versions), the user is presented with an error message that the "PGP plugin failed to initialize".

This pop-up message is expected if Outlook launches **before** PGP Encryption Desktop as a security measure to prevent sending sensitive email unencrypted if the PGP services are not loaded.   

TIP: For information on how to improve MAPI performance with PGP Encryption Desktop, see article 153319.


There are various scenarios for this behavior.






PGP Encryption Desktop 10.5 MP1 includes a fix for this issue that will prevent the emails from being blocked when Outlook launches before PGP services are started.  If this does not resolve the issue, please reach out to support for further assistance. 

This popup is normal and as it mentions to work around the issue, close out of Outlook, and then re-launch Outlook and this error message should go away upon sending email.  If not, Close out of Symantec Encryption Desktop (Click the lock icon by the time, click Exist Symantec Encryption Service), then close Outlook.  Once you know both are closed, then from the start menu, type "Symantec" to open PGP Encryption Desktop.  Once Symantec Encryption Desktop loads, then launch Outlook and the issue should go away.


The scenarios below are other situations we've seen where this can come up when the normal functioning is not working as expected. 


Scenario 1: Outlook or Secure Boot interactions (blockMailIfInitFailed)
Symantec Encryption Desktop has a security feature that will detect if the encryption services are running. If the services are not running and a user attempts to send an email, the email will be blocked to prevent sensitive data from being sent out unencrypted.  If Outlook is starting before PGP Encryption Desktop, exit the Outlook services, exit the SED services, and relaunch SED first, and then Outlook second.  Attempt to sent the message again.  For more information on this issue, see article 172697.


Scenario 2: Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services)
If Remote Desktop Services is being used see article 179404 for more information.


Scenario 3: Bitdefender

BitDefender version has been known to block the PGP plugin from operating and when the antivirus component is disabled the plugin will operate properly.  Another possible solution is to uninstall and re-install the BitDefender antivirus to correct the issue.

This was observed with Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.4.2 MP4, but may affect other versions.


If you are running into issues and the above three scenarios is not covered, please contact Symantec Support for further troubleshooting.



Additional Information

225360 - PGP Message Blocked when sending email in Outlook Troubleshooting Scenarios

172697 - Email messages are sent unencrypted when Encryption Desktop PGP Tray is not running

248101 - PGP Offline Policy: Messages Blocked in Outlook if the PGP Client cannot reach the PGP Server

156303 - Symantec Encryption Products Current Version Available