How to Disable Audio Enhancements in Windows 7

A popular post on Technically Easy is where I recommend disabling audio enhancements on Windows Vista to help reduce the CPU usage of the audiodg.exe process. Depending on the enhancements that were enabled, this can have a large effect or no effect on the CPU usage.

While the above post covered how to disabled the audio enhancements on Windows Vista, the same steps apply to Windows 7 as well, unless you have hidden the speaker icon from the system tray. If that is the case, you can use the steps outlined in this post to disable the audio enhancements from Windows 7.

Disable audio enhancements

To disable audio enhancements on Windows 7, you can use the following steps:

  1. Click the Windows icon in the lower-left corner and then click “Control Panel”. The “Control Panel” window will open on the screen.
  2. From the “Control Panel” window, click the “Hardware and Sound” link.
  3. Windows 7 - Control Panel
    Windows 7 - Control Panel
    (Click to enlarge)
  4. From the “Hardware and Sound” options, click the “Manage audio devices” link under the “Sound” section. The “Sounds” window will display on the screen.
  5. Windows 7 - Manage Audio Devices
    Windows 7 - Manage Audio Devices
    (Click to enlarge)
  6. Select the device you want to change the audio enhancements for, and then click the “Properties” button in the lower-right corner. The properties window will display on the screen.
  7. Windows 7 - Sounds Window
    Windows 7 - Sounds Window
    (Click to enlarge)
  8. Click the “Enhancements” tab at the top, and then disable any audio enhancement you don’t want to enable by unchecking the enhancement and clicking “Apply”. You can disable all audio enhancements by checking the “Disable all enhancements” checkbox and then clicking apply.
  9. Windows 7 - Disable All (Audio) Enhancements
    Windows 7 - Disable All (Audio) Enhancements
    (Click to enlarge)
  10. Click “OK” to close the properties window.
  11. If you want to disable enhancements for other audio devices, repeat steps 4-6 for other devices.

Some people may notice a decrease in sound quality, while some may not notice a difference at all. Keep in mind that the enhancements enabled under the “Enhancments” tab are artificial software enhancements. If you prefer to use enhancements, you should choose to use any that are included with your sound card software instead as they are usually more advanced and provide more settings to adjust the sound quality. You can always enable any enhancements that you disable if you don’t like the sound quality.

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