Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation, identified as Audiodg.exe, is a background process to handle distinct sound effects in Windows. This service is isolated from the actual audio service of Windows to improve audio stability. But sometimes, it runs into a problem and begins to consume a higher CPU.

Generally, this process should consume no more than a few percent of your CPU, but processing the digital audio signals can sometimes go complex and cause higher CPU usage. With higher CPU consumption, the processing power of the CPU will not be enough to handle other applications making your PC slow.

In this article, you will learn how to fix if the Audiodg.exe process has high CPU usage.

Table of Contents

Probable Causes of the Issue

  • Viruses running in the background
  • Enabled Cortana service
  • Use of audio enhancement features
  • Outdated audio drivers
  • Giving exclusive control to applications
  • Using a high sample rate and bit depth

Fixes for Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation High CPU Usage

If the Audiodg.exe process has a high CPU usage, it can adversely affect the entire performance of your computer. There are a few minor fixes that you can use to troubleshoot the issue.

Here, we have compiled a list of 7 fixes you can use to solve the high CPU usage of the audio device graph isolation process.

Perform a Virus Check

Most of the time, when the Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation process has a high CPU usage, it has been found that a virus has camouflaged itself as the legit Windows services and runs in the background. This process is not harmful on its own.

If you are confused about if the process actually is consuming a high CPU or is the virus, you can perform a virus check and see the legitimacy of the process.

Follow these steps to check if the process is a virus or the legit one:

  1. Hit Ctrl + Shift + Esc at the same time on your keyboard. It will open Task Manager for you.
  2. On Task Manager, under Background processes, scroll down to find Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation process. Processes are listed in alphabetical order so that you will find them easily.
  3. Right-click over the process name and select Open file location from the context menu.
  4. If a new window opens with C:\Windows\System32location, you can ensure that this process is from Windows and a legit one.
  5. If you see audiodg.exefile in a location other than System32 or do not see it, it is possible that it’s a virus hiding itself and is trying to consume resources on your computer.

If you find out that the process is created by a virus, you need to remove it as soon as possible to be safe from potential threats. If you have an antivirus installed on your computer, run a full scan of your computer. It will help find and remove the virus from your computer.

You can also run a built-in scanner on your Windows if you don’t have one. Here’s how:

  1. Press Windows + I key simultaneously. It will open Settings on your computer.
  2. Choose Privacy & Security from the main menu in the left section.
  3. Then select Windows Security in the right pane.
  4. Choose Virus & threat protection option listed under Protection areas.
  5. Click on the Quick scan button. It will run a quick scan of your computer. It will take some time to run a scan. After the scan is completed, it will remove potentially threatful files like viruses and fix the issue if it is a culprit.

Disable Cortana Service

Cortana is an AI-based virtual assistant service provided by Microsoft on Windows computers. Based on your voice commands, it can help you do a bunch of tasks like answering your questions, opening applications on your computers, and setting alarms.

Since this is also an audio-based service, it can also be the reason for high CPU consumption. Many users even reported that Cortana ate up their CPU to 30%. The same might be the case for you, so you can try disabling it.

You can not uninstall it since it’s an in-built service on Windows, but you can disable it.

  1. Right-click the Start button and choose Task Manager from the available options.
  2. While on Task Manager, navigate to Startup tab.
  3. Find and select Cortana under the Startup tab.
  4. Then click the Disable button.

Disable Audio Enhancements

Audio enhancements are audio packages like Bass Boost and loudness equalization installed on Windows which help the output audio from Windows sound better.

Since it is responsible for increasing the quality of sound, it is obvious that it consumes more CPU for audio processing. If you have enabled any of them and started seeing that the audio process started consuming a lot of resources on your PC, you can try disabling them and checking back to see if the CPU consumption returns to normal.

Follow these steps to disable audio enhancements on your Windows computer:

  1. Hit Windows + R key on the keyboard. It will open a Run dialog box.
  2. Type controlin the text field of Run to open Control Panel.
  3. While on Control Panel, navigate to Hardware and Sound > Sound.
  4. Select the current speaker profile you are using under the Playback tab.
  5. Then click Properties button.
  6. Next, jump to the Enhancements tab.
  7. Check the Disable all enhancements option.
  8. Finally, click Apply > OK to save the changes.
  9. Now open your Task Manager and see if the issue persists.

Change the Sample Rate and Bit Depth

Windows uses sample rate and bit depth to define the sound quality it produces. There are basically two types of audio quality you can choose on Windows 11, namely CD and DVD quality. Earlier versions of Windows can have other options as well.

Using higher bit depth and sample rate on your PC requires larger processing that can consume a higher CPU. Consider setting them to a lower value and check if the audio process still consumes a lot of CPU.

Here’s how:

  1. Right-click Start button.
  2. Choose Run.
  3. Type controland hit Enter. It will open Control Panel.
  4. Navigate to Hardware and Sound > Sound.
  5. Choose your speaker and then click the Properties button.
  6. Click Advanced tab.
  7. From the drop-down, choose CD quality.
  8. Click OK to save changes.

Note: You can also try disabling Audio Exclusive Mode from the Advanced tab. If this mode is ON, third-party apps can bypass the audio processing engine and consume more resources than allocated. Uncheck Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device and click OK to disable the exclusive mode. Then check if the audio process still consumes a high CPU.

Perform an Audio Driver Update

Audio drivers are a small piece of program that acts as communication agent between your operating system and audio devices like sound cards and speakers. If those drivers are outdated, it badly affects your computer’s audio performance. The Audiodg.exe process has to struggle to give the optimum performance, resulting in high CPU usage.

Therefore, you must keep the audio drivers up to date for ideal performance.

Here’s how to update audio drivers on your computer:

  1. Right-click the Start button on your taskbar and choose Device Manager.
  2. In Device Manager window, expand Audio inputs and outputs menu. It will show you a list of audio devices installed on your computer.
  3. Right-click over each of them and select Update driver option from the context menu.
  4. Choose Search automatically for drivers option in the window that appears next.
  5. You can proceed with Browse my computer for drivers option if you have one with you. You can visit your sound card manufacturer’s website to download the latest audio drivers.

Use Audio Troubleshooting Tool

You can also try running the built-in audio troubleshooting tool on Windows to figure out the cause. It will find and show you if any audio-related errors are causing the high CPU usage. You can choose what action to take after looking into the issue on the troubleshooter.

Follow these steps to run audio troubleshooter on your computer:

  1. Open Settings on your PC by pressing Windows + I key.
  2. Choose System menu from the left section.
  3. Select Troubleshoot in the right pane and then click Other troubleshooters.
  4. Search for Playing Audio in the new window and click Run button. It will start detecting problems and suggest fixes for you if any issue is found.

Check for Third-party Apps

Most of the users reported that the audio process was consuming high CPU when they were using video-calling applications like WhatsApp and Skype. If you are using any of those applications, they are resource-intensive apps and can cause CPU overuse. Consider uninstalling them and checking if it solves the problem of high CPU usage.

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