Fix: Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation High CPU Usage

Is the Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation process causing high CPU usage? We'll break down each tried-and-tested way to fix this issue.

The first thing most users do when they notice their PC slowed down is checking the CPU usage. Needless to say, realizing it is abnormally high can be both frustrating and worrying.

Unfortunately, some Windows errors and bugs, such as the one we cover in this guide, can cause similar issues on a user’s computer.

So, if you’ve recently experienced high CPU usage caused by the Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation process, now’s the right time to learn more about it.

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Table of ContentsShow

What Is The Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation Process?

Problem

Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation, also known as audiodg.exe, is a legitimate process built into the Windows operating system.

Its role is to provide the ability to connect multiple audio devices to the computer, such as microphones, headsets, or webcams, and allow the user to set each one as a separate input or output device in specific software and for various tasks.

Also, this process allows your audio devices to “handle” their audio, which means each can have separate settings, filters, enhancements, and more.

This can be useful in cases where the user has multiple audio devices set up and frequently needs to switch between them. Audio enthusiasts, music lovers, and online broadcasters can all take advantage of this.

However, there are times when the Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation process starts malfunctioning, which results in extremely high CPU and memory usage.

Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation Process

This issue has been troubling a lot of users, and many reported it multiple times on support websites, including the Microsoft forums.

It’s not the simplest one to solve as it requires a bit of troubleshooting, but luckily, we’ve tested some methods and prepared step-by-step explanations that will guide you until you fix the problem.

Read the following sections for more information.

Fix 1: Re-Plug All Audio Devices Into Your PC

USB Ports

One of the fixes that helped some users overcome this problem is a simple re-plug of all audio devices.

Whether they’re connected to an audio jack or a USB port, disconnecting them, restarting your PC and reconnecting can help. That applies to Bluetooth devices as well.

This method could work because a “blocked” process may continuously affect one of the devices, so when you unplug that device, the process will terminate and no longer use your memory or CPU.

However, this does not work for everyone, so if you find no success with it, move on to the next method below.

Fix 2: Disable Nvidia Broadcast

Disable

Many users reported that disabling Nvidia Broadcast fixed the problem, so we recommend doing that if you’re experiencing high CPU and memory usage caused by the Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation process.

Although Nvidia Broadcast is endorsed by the community for the superior effects and enhancements, many agree that it’s sometimes frustrating to work with this software as crashes and malfunctions happen too often.

So, as a potential fix, we recommend disabling Nvidia Broadcast to see if that solves the issue.

Nvidia Broadcast is known to be a so-called “power vampire” process, but in this specific case, it seems like the audiodg.exe is the problem, when in fact it’s Nvidia Broadcast demanding the power through the built-in Windows process.

Some software for peripherals, such as Logitech’s G-Hub, have incorporated settings for Nvidia Broadcast. You can adjust settings in G-Hub to deactivate Nvidia Broadcast effects for specific devices or uninstall the software altogether. Attempt both approaches.

Fix 3: Disable All Sound Enhancements

Sound

Sound Enhancements are sometimes useful, but they’re also known to be quite problematic on Windows, causing issues such as high CPU and memory usage.

When one of the sound enhancements (which are often interlinked or controlled by the Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation process) doesn’t work properly, you may experience problems and get a false picture that the audiodg.exe process is causing it.

Many users reported successfully fixing this problem by disabling sound effects within the Windows sound panel.

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Press Windows + S simultaneously on your keyboard to open the search box.
  2. Type Control Panel and press Enter.
    Windows Control Panel
  3. In the top-right corner, set the view to Large Icons.
    Windows Control Panel Large Icons
  4. Click on Sound.
    Windows Sound
  5. In the Playback section, right-click on the default listening device you currently use, then choose Properties.
    Windows Sound Playback section
  6. Navigate to the Enhancements tab and “tick” the box next to the Disable All Enhancements option. Click Apply and then OK.
    Windows Disable All Enhancements

You can repeat this for all devices you use on the computer.

Although not always necessary, we recommend restarting your PC after making these changes.

Now, the problem should be gone.

Fix 4: Update Your Audio Drivers Through The Device Manager

Update

Another possible reason for this issue is an outdated audio driver. Luckily, this is easily fixable as Windows can automatically detect and download the latest drivers through the Device Manager panel.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Simultaneously press the Windows and S buttons on your keyboard to open the search box.
  2. Type in Device Manager and click on the first result shown on the list.
    Windows + S
    Windows Device Manager
  3. In Device Manager, click on the arrow to expand the Sound, Video, and Game Controllers category.
  4. Right-click the items listed within, then choose Update Driver and Search Automatically For Drivers for each one separately.

When all drivers are up to date, restart your PC and see if the problem is gone. It should be, as this method helped a lot of users.

Fix 5: Uninstall Skype

Uninstall

Lastly, a few users who claimed to have attempted all recognized techniques to resolve this issue without any triumph were able to resolve it by removing Skype.

This method may seem like a “wild guess” solution. However, the reason it works may be that Skype is interlinked with the Audio Device Graph Isolation process and tries to use the enhancements it provides, leading to a high CPU and memory usage on your computer.

Although Skype is a widely used communication tool, we advise uninstalling it when dealing with this problem.

If nothing changes after uninstalling Skype, you can always re-download it.  

Conclusion

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about the Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation process that can sometimes cause high CPU and memory usage on your computer.

There haven’t been any official answers from Microsoft regarding this widespread problem, but community-tested methods managed to help a lot of users fix it.

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Bojan Veselinovikj
LinkedIn

Bojan is a video-game developer and a tech enthusiast. Combining these two passions allow him to keep you informed on everything that's new in this fast-paced digital world.