11 Best Ways to Fix Equalizer APO Not Working on Windows

Equalizer APO opened on Windows 10 with text Fixes for Equalizer APO not working

Equalizer APO is a free application for Microsoft Windows that provides advanced audio controls for people who like more control over their computer’s sound. But many users have reported that when they make changes to the audio from Equalizer APO, they don’t find any of its effects on their computer’s audio. If you are also experiencing Equalizer APO not working on your Windows, find solutions for it in this guide.

Equalizer APO has a third-party GUI application, Peace. These solutions may also work for the Peace Equalizer not working problem. But it’s recommended to uninstall Peace, fix Equalizer APO, and when Equalizer APO begins working, install Peace. (Installation of Peace GUI is not essential for the working of Equalizer APO.)

What are the Causes of Equalizer APO Not Working on Windows 10?

  • Incorrect Equalizer APO settings
  • Hardware acceleration for the audio device is enabled
  • Audio device enhancements are disabled
  • Antivirus is blocking Equalizer APO
  • Corrupted registry file of Equalizer APO
  • No permission for Equalizer APO to take control of the audio device
  • Corrupted audio drivers

Solutions To Fix Equalizer APO Not Working Issue on Microsoft Windows

Before applying the fixes, restart your computer and reopen Equalizer APO to check if it’s working. If not, apply these fixes one by one:

  1. Install the Program as SFX/EFX on Your Computer
  2. Make Sure Enhancements Are Not Disabled in System Sound Settings
  3. Disable Hardware Acceleration of Audio
  4. Delete the Equalizer APO Registry Key from Windows Registry
  5. Update Your Realtek Audio Drivers to Fix the Problem
  6. Reset All Global Preferences on Equalizer APO Editor
  7. Change Advanced Playback Properties
  8. Reinstall Your Audio Devices on Windows
  9. Allow Equalizer APO Through Firewall
  10. Make Sure Your Antivirus Hasn’t Blocked It
  11. Uninstall the Equalizer APO and its Peace GUI Software and Install it Again

1. Install the Program as SFX/EFX on Your Computer

We’ll start with tweaking the settings of Equalizer APO for your audio device. The application normally uses LFG/GFX. You can simply change it to SFX/EFX for Windows 7, 8.1, 10, and 11.

But what is SFX/EFX? This is an APO (Audio Processing Object) setting that Equalizer APO uses to signal your audio device about what to do. If the wrong APO is selected, your device won’t know the settings to change the audio.

So, you won’t find any effects of your recently changed audio configuration on your computer’s audio. We need to select the correct APO so Windows can detect when you make changes using Equalizer APO or the Peace GUI for Equalizer APO.

Follow these steps to select SFX/EFX APO:

  1. Click Start, type ‘Configurator’, and select the app. You can also open it by going to C:\Program Files\EqualizerAPO and opening ‘Configurator.exe’.
  2. When the Configurator is open, select your audio by clicking and checkmarking it.
Equalizer APO configurator on Windows 10
  1. Checkmark the box next to ‘Troubleshooting Options.
  2. Click the drop-down menu that has ‘Install as LFX/GFX’ selected. It will open a small menu. Select ‘Install as SFX/EFX (experimental)’.
Equalizer APO Configurator
  1. Click OK.
  2. Restart your computer and try again.

If you have the Peace GUI, you can also open ‘Configurator’ by opening Peace. Click ‘Settings’, go to the ‘Debugging and Testing’ tab, and click ‘Equalizer APO’s Configurator’.

This setting is not final, but most users do find this to be helpful. However, some Windows 11 users reported that their Equalizer APO worked when they selected ‘Install as LFX/GFX’. So, try all the options one by one to see which one fits with your Windows version.

Note: Sometimes, Windows changes audio settings in updates. So, it is plausible that the ‘Install as LFX/GFX’ option may be working for you, but after the update, it stops working.

Our advice is whenever you find that Equalizer APO not working or its configurations are not detectable on your computer’s audio, change the settings with the above steps and try all the ‘Install as…’ options.

2. Make Sure Enhancements Are Not Disabled in System Sound Settings

The Windows system settings of your sound device have a feature known as enhancements that is available on all Windows versions (7 and above). If enhancements are disabled, Equalizer APO won’t be able to apply audio enhancements on your audio device and as a result, you will notice that the changes on Equalizer APO are not showing on your PC’s audio. For your E-APO to work, audio enhancements should be enabled.

  1. Right-click the audio icon on your taskbar and select ‘Sound’.
Sound right-click menu Windows 10
  1. It will open the Windows sound settings. Go to the ‘Playback’ tab.
  2. Right-click your audio device and choose ‘Properties’.
Sound settings on Windows 10
  1. Navigate to the ‘Enhancements’ tab.
  2. Make sure that the box next to ‘Disable all enhancements’ is not checked. If it is, uncheck it, and click Apply and OK.
Speakers audio device properties on Windows 10
  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Open EQ-APO and see if it’s working.

Keeping Enhancements enabled can deteriorate audio quality for some sound devices and computers. If you notice any deterioration, disable it again.

I can’t find the Enhancements tab in my audio device’s properties? Some users might not find Enhancements. Perhaps their sound card doesn’t support it. However, a software bug could also be the reason. Update your audio drivers and Windows. Moreover, try enabling the audio service from Windows Services.

  1. Press Windows key + R and type services.msc.
  2. Find ‘Windows Audio’ services file on Services.
  3. Right-click ‘Windows Audio’ and choose ‘Properties’.
Services on Windows 10. Windows Audio is selected
  1. Navigate to the ‘General’ tab.
  2. Click the drop-down menu of ‘Startup type’ and select ‘Automatic’.
  3. Click OK and restart your PC.

3. Disable Hardware Acceleration of Audio

When hardware acceleration for your audio device is enabled, it shifts audio tasks from the CPU to the sound card. This reduces the load on the CPU and it can play games or perform other tasks more easily.

It’s possible that due to hardware acceleration, your audio device is not detecting the sound changes made by Equalizer APO. 

Now to check if that’s true or not, we will disable the hardware acceleration of audio for your sound card.

  1. Go to the Windows Sound settings by right-clicking the audio icon on the taskbar and clicking ‘Sounds’.
  2. Click the ‘Playback’ tab.
  3. Right-click your sound device and choose ‘Properties’.
  4. Navigate to the ‘Advanced’ tab.
  5. Uncheck ‘Allow hardware acceleration of audio with this device’.
  6. Click Apply and OK.
  7. Restart your laptop/PC.

In case the option was already disabled (unchecked), try enabling it. But the recommended settings for Equalizer APO is disabled hardware acceleration.

If you don’t find a hardware acceleration option, your sound card may not support it. You can also try to update your audio drivers and Windows to check if the option appears.

4. Delete the Equalizer APO Registry Key from Windows Registry

Windows Registry Keys keep critical information on programs. The registry key of Equalizer APO may be corrupt or incorrect due to which equalizer APO not working on your Windows PC. We will delete the registry key of Equalizer APO to fix the problem.

For this, we will first take the registry key from Equalizer APO, then find the registry key, take ownership of it, and then delete it. This method is a bit long so follow all the steps carefully:

  1. Firstly, open the Equalizer APO Configurator. You can access it by clicking the Start menu, typing ‘Configurator’, and clicking it.
  2. Checkmark and select the audio device you want to configure.
  3. Click the checkmark box for ‘Troubleshooting options’ below the list of audio devices.
  4. Click the button ‘Copy Device command to clipboard’.
Equalizer APO configurator opened
  1. Open Notepad and paste it there. It would look like this: Device: Speakers High Definition Audio Device {c159efa9-4a22-48b6-85c7-4dbd34f0811f}.
  2. Now, open Windows Registry Editor. Press CTRL + R, type redgedit, and hit enter. Or click Start, type redgedit, and click ‘Run as administrator’.
Start menu on Windows 10. Searching for Registry Editor
  1. Click the address bar below the menu bar and paste this location to find the required registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\MMDevices\Audio\Render
Registry Editor on Windows 10
  1. It will have the folder of your audio device’s registry. Look at the text you copied from Equalizer APO and go to the folder with the same name. In this case, it is {c159efa9-4a22-48b6-85c7-4dbd34f0811f}.
  2. We have found the folder. Now, we will change the ownership of the folder so we can delete it. Right-click the folder and select ‘Permissions’.
Registry Editor opened audio device registry
  1. You will see the window for folder security settings. Click ‘Advanced’.
  2. At the upper part of the window, click ‘Change’ next to ‘Owner’.
Advanced Security settings for audio device
  1. Type the name ‘Everyone’ and hit enter (If this doesn’t work, type the name of the Windows user account you’re signed in to.).
  2. This will give you access to the account. We still require access to all the subfolders and files in that folder. For this, on the window you’re on, checkmark the ‘Replace ownership on subcontainers and objects’.
Advanced Security Settings on Windows 10
  1. Click Apply and OK.
  2. We need full control of the folder. So, click ‘Advanced’ again from the folder security window.
  3. Click ‘Add’ to open another window. Click ‘Select a principal’ on it.
  4. It will again ask you to enter the name of the user account. Type in the same account you entered in the previous step. So, type ‘Everyone’ and click OK.
  5. Checkmark ‘Full Control’ that you’ll see under ‘Basic information’ and click OK.
Permission entry for audio device on Advanced Security Settings
  1. Click Apply and OK on the previous folder security window.
  2. Now, you’ll be back to the registry editor.
  3. Right-click the same registry, choose ‘Delete’, and confirm. If it doesn’t delete, close the registry editor and open it again.

5. Update Your Realtek Audio Drivers to Fix the Problem

Old drivers that haven’t been updated since the first Windows installation face compatibility issues. They are prone to become corrupted as well. If you’re facing the Equalizer APO not working Realtek or for any other audio device, you can try updating the audio driver.

  1. Open Start, type ‘Device Manager’, and click it.
  2. Find ‘Audio inputs and outputs’ and double click on it.
  3. Right-click your audio device to select ‘Update driver’.
Device Manager on Windows 10
  1. A driver update wizard will open. Choose ‘Search automatically for drivers’. (Make sure you’re connected to the internet as this will check for drivers online.)
  2. If an update is available, you’ll see it update to the latest driver. If not, it’ll say that the best drivers for your device are already installed.

Update Your Audio Device Drivers from Windows Update

The Windows update program on 8.1, 10, and 11 can also detect driver updates and download and install directly from the updates window.

  1. Open Start, type ‘Windows Update’, and click the app.
  2. Click ‘Check for updates.
  3. Once it’s done checking for updates, select ‘View all optional updates’ below the listed updates.
Windows Update on Windows 10
  1. Click ‘Driver updates’. You’ll find a list of driver updates available for your computer’s devices. Find audio drivers and checkmark them. Then press the ‘Download and install’ button.

6. Reset All Global Preferences on Equalizer APO Editor

Any incorrect Equalizer APO settings can lead it to stop working or not work in the first place. You can completely reset the Equalizer APO settings to check if this fixes the issue.

You will lose all the saved configurations and audio settings on Equalizer APO. To save your configuration files, go to C:\Program Files\EqualizerAPO\config and copy-paste the text files to another folder.

Here’s how to reset your Equalizer APO settings.

  1. Open Start, scroll down the installed programs to find the Equalizer APO folder. Click it and select ‘Configuration Editor’.
  2. On the editor, click ‘Settings’ on the menu bar and choose ‘Reset all global preferences’.
Equalizer APO main window
  1. Confirm the action by clicking ‘Yes’.
  2. Restart your computer.

Reset Equalizer APO Configuration Extension (Peace) Settings

  1. If you want to reset Peace, open Peace from the Start menu.
  2. Click ‘Settings’ at the bottom right.
Peace GUI for Equalizer APO main window
  1. Now, click ‘Reset’.
Settings of Peace GUI for Equalizer APO

7. Change Advanced Playback Properties

For fixing the Equalizer APO issue, we have to play around a bit with the advanced playback settings of your audio device on Windows sound settings.

  1. Right-click the sound icon near the date and time on the taskbar and choose ‘Sounds’.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Playback’ tab.
  3. Right-click your preferred audio device and select ‘Properties’.
  4. Go to the ‘Advanced’ tab.
  5. You’ll find two checkboxes under ‘Exclusive Mode’ about exclusive control of the device. Checkmark them if unchecked and vice versa.
Speakers properties on Windows 10
  1. Click Apply and OK on this window.
  2. Then, click Apply and OK again on the Sound window.
  3. Restart your computer.

8. Reinstall Your Audio Devices on Windows

Updating your audio driver can fix the Equalizer APO not working issue, but if you don’t find any updates or Equalizer APO is not working even after the update, reinstall the audio devices of your Windows PC.

But you don’t need to go through a complicated process for this because Windows keeps the driver files of the installed devices. Once you uninstall the device, Windows will install it back in a few seconds. Follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type ‘Device Manager’, and click the app.
  2. Look for ‘Audio Inputs and outputs’ and double-click it.
  3. Right-click your audio device and select ‘Uninstall device’.
Device Manager on Windows 10
  1. This will uninstall the audio device and it will disappear.
  2. Click the computer with a magnifier icon below the menu bar. The device will be reinstalled and will appear again on the list.

9. Allow Equalizer APO Through Firewall

Firewall blocks unnecessary and unknown programs from accessing the internet to make your PC secure. Equalizer APO doesn’t use the internet for its main operation of configuring your computer’s audio so the probability of it getting blocked by a Firewall is less.

But you should try it nonetheless. We will show the method to allow Equalizer APO through Windows Firewall.

  1. Click the notification area button on the taskbar and open Windows Security by clicking the shield icon.
  2. On Windows Security, choose ‘Firewall & network protection’.
  3. Click ‘Change Settings’ and then select ‘Choose another app’.
Firewall & network protection on Windows 10
  1. It will open a small box where you can browse a file. Go to C:\Program Files\EqualizerAPO and select the Editor.exe file of Equalizer APO. Make sure that it’s checkmarked and click OK.
Allowing an app on Windows Firewall
  1. Perform the same steps for the Configurator.exe file in the Equalizer APO folder.

If you have any other Firewall program, open its settings to find an option for allowing a new program.

10. Make Sure Your Antivirus Hasn’t Blocked It

Equalizer APO is a harmless program and most antiviruses consider it a safe program. But if you can’t open the Equalizer APO Configuration Editor (Editor.exe) or Configurator (Configurator.exe), your antivirus may have blocked it or the program wasn’t installed correctly. To fix this we need to exclude Equalizer APO from Windows Defender.

  1. Open the notification icons area on the taskbar and click the shield icon.
  2. It will open Windows Security. Select ‘Virus & threat protection.
  3. Under ‘Virus & threat protection settings, choose ‘Manage Settings.
Virus & threat protection main window on Windows 10
  1. Scroll down to find the ‘Exclusions’ section. Click ‘Add or remove exclusions.
Windows Defender settings
  1. Press the ‘Add an exclusion’ button, select ‘Folder’, and browser and choose the folder of Equalizer APO.
Exclusions selection on Windows Defender

For Peace GUI, follow the same steps and allow the Peace programs one by one. Its location is mostly this: C:\Program Files\EqualizerAPO\config. However, if you excluded the whole Equalizer APO folder, you have automatically excluded all the programs of Equalizer APO and Peace.

The method to exclude a program or folder from an antivirus is different for every security program. If you have any third-party antivirus, open its settings and find the exclusion or any similar section. If you can’t find it, open Google and search ‘How to exclude files on [antivirus name]’.

11. Uninstall the Equalizer APO and its Peace GUI Software and Install it Again

If you can’t open the open Equalizer APO files (Configurator and Editor) or Peace files and you have unblocked them from the antivirus, try reinstalling it. A reinstall is also recommended if you’ve tried the above methods and the changes on Equalizer APO don’t affect the computer’s audio.

We will uninstall it from Windows, download Equalizer APO and Peace from Sourceforge, and install it again. Follow these steps:

  1. Click Start and go to Settings.
  2. Choose ‘Apps’.
  3. If you have the Peace GUI for Equalizer APO installed, uninstall it first. Click ‘Peace’ in the apps, and select the ‘Uninstall’ option. Its settings will open, uninstall it from there.
  4. Go back to ‘Apps’. Scroll down to find ‘Equalizer APO’. Click it and press the ‘Uninstall’ button.
Apps & features on Windows 10
  1. It will open the uninstallation wizard of Equalizer APO. Follow the onscreen instructions.
  2. After the uninstall, restart your computer.
  3. To download Equalizer APO, open your web browser, and search ‘Equalizer APO free download’.
  4. Download and install it on your computer. When installing it for the audio device, use Method 1.
  5. Now, open your web browser and search on Google ‘Peace GUI for Equalizer APO’. Download and install it.


Applying different methods to fix the Equalizer APO and Peace Equalizer not working problem may take from a few minutes to an hour. Apply every method because you never know which one may work for you.