Fix: Audiodg.exe High CPU Usage

Fix: Audiodg.exe High CPU Usage

I recently had a problem when playing movies through iTunes on a laptop. At various parts of the movie, the entire laptop would become extremely slow, causing the movie to sputter. This happened at infrequent intervals. The laptop has a dual core 1.6Ghz and 2GB of RAM, so I new it was more than capable of playing a movie.

To look into the problem, I had the performance monitor running while I played a movie. Once the movie began to slow and sputter, I viewed the performance monitor to see which process was causing the problem. When I viewed the performance monitor I noticed that a process called audiodg.exe was consuming 35-40% of the CPU. I then investigated the problem and found a probable fix to the issue.

What is Audiodg.exe?

The audiodg.exe file made its appearance in Microsoft Vista, which explains why I haven’t seen this file before. When I viewed the properties of the file, the description stated Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation, which doesn’t help explain what it does.

After doing a little research I found out that the audiodg.exe file hosts the audio engine for Vista, and from what I hear Windows 7 as well. All the DSP and audio processing is performed within this file. Vendors are able to install their own DSP and audio effects into the audio pipeline, which will then be processed by audiodg.exe.

Unfortunately, this can also lead to some problems, as I experienced. Some audio effects can consume CPU and memory if not properly coded. How do we fix the problem? Lets take a look.

Disabling Audio Effects

In order to fix the high CPU usage, I disabled the audio enhancements processed by the audiodg.exe file. To disable the audio enhancements, use the following steps:

  1. Right-click the speaker icon in the lower right corner.
  2. Select Playback Devices from the menu. A list of devices should appear on the screen.
  3. Double-click the device that has a green checkmark. The properties windows for that device should open.
  4. Click the Enhancements tab at the top.
  5. From the list of enhancements, uncheck all of them, or click the Disable all enhancements checkbox.
  6. Click the OK button to save your changes and close the window.
  7. Click OK to close the Playback Devices window.

Once I disabled the enhancements, the movie played without any issues. I also didn’t notice any difference in sound with the enhancements disabled. If I do want to use sound enhancements, I’ll stick to the the options provided in the application.

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261 Responses to “Fix: Audiodg.exe High CPU Usage”

  1. Simiciuc Ioan says:

    I have on my pc “DFX Audio Enhancer” and the WADGV takes up to 20% of my cpu, after I disabled “DFX Speakers” from “Sounds” window the WADGV proces goes to 0%.

    I need to make further research because I need DFX, is a very good sound enhancer, it makes a very big difference in soud quality.

  2. Tomas says:

    I have had this problem for 6 mounts and all answers indicated to an enhancement tab which i didn’t have so I found something like enhancement tab in my playback device.
    My problem is solved.
    I replied to my question and the steps with explanation is in this address:
    I hope your problem ‘ll be solved.

  3. Julian says:

    My solution was to lower the amount of Hz my speakers were running at. It when from 4% cpu usage to .01%.
    You can do this in the ‘Advanced’ panel of your speaker settings.

  4. roland says:

    Finally!!! Short, simple, easy to understand information. I’ve had this problem for so long and couldn’t get a decent answer. Thanks very much. Why can’t Microsoft have knowledgeable people working for them like yourself.

  5. It also affects windows 10.

    Right click the speaker icon and choose playback, sound devices or sounds.
    Click the communications tab.
    Windows 10 adjust the sound of any communication sound (I have SKYPE installed)
    Choose ‘do nothing’ and put your speakers level at 100% (mine was set on 75%)

    This killed the CPU usage.

    PS: There is a lot of CPU usage in Windows10 that you need to adjust. It took me days to figure all out.

    • Josh says:

      Worked perfectly, thanks! I applied the ‘do nothing’ option and my Disk usage instantly dropped from 100% to 0%. Now I can finally use my speakers again without absolutely killing the processing speed.

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