Optimizing Windows for UA Devices

This article shows the recommended steps to optimize your Windows PC for use with UA devices such as Apollo, Volt, Satellite, and UAD-2 PCIe cards.

Note: Before proceeding, please ensure your Windows computer confidently meets the system requirements for your UA device. If your UA device uses Thunderbolt, please also see the Thunderbolt configuration guide for Windows.

Optimize Windows Power Options

Search and open Edit power plan using the Start menu.


If possible, choose the highest performance plan available. Configure Power Options by clicking Change advanced power settings.

Apply the following settings for best performance.

Hard Disk Turn off Hard Disk after Never
Sleep Sleep after Never
Display Turn off Display after Never
PCI Express Link State Power Management Off
Processor Power Management Minimum Processor State 100%
Processor Power Management Maximum Processor State 100%
USB Settings USB Selective Suspend Disabled
Wireless Adapter Settings Power Saving Mode Maximum Performance
Switchable Dynamic Graphics Global Settings Maximum Performance
Intel(R) Graphics Settings Intel(R) Graphics Power Plan Maximum Performance


Disable USB Power Management

Default Windows settings can interrupt USB data streams. Follow the procedure below to prevent Windows from powering off USB devices.

Search and open Device Manager using the Start menu.


Locate and expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers.


Each entry under Universal Serial Bus Controllers can be opened by double-clicking. Under the Power Management tab, uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. Click OK to save changes. Repeat for all other USB entries under this list.

Note: Some entries on this list will not have a Power Management tab. If this is the case, click OK and move to the next entry until the entire list has been checked.


Configure Windows Sound Settings

Search and open Change system sounds using the Start menu.


Under Sound Scheme, select No Sounds. Uncheck Play Windows Startup sound. Click Apply to save changes.


The next series of steps apply to both Playback and Recording tabs. Select your default audio device and click Properties. In the device Properties, go to the Advanced tab.


Under Default Format, make sure the Sample Rate is matching the setting used in your DAW session. The 24 bit option can be selected. Under Exclusive Mode, uncheck Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device. Click Apply to save changes.


This next step applies only to Apollo USB devices. Under Default Format, make sure the Sample Rate setting is always matching the UAD Console. Click Apply to save changes.


In the Enhancements tab, check the box for Disable all enhancements. Click Apply to save changes.


  • Make sure to repeat the steps above for both Playback and Recording devices.
  • The Sample Rate setting may not be changed if an app is actively using the audio device. All applications using your audio device may need to be terminated before making Sample Rate changes.
  • Under Default Format, the Sample Rate of Thunderbolt Apollos can not be adjusted. Windows will only show a grayed out 32-bit depth option that is dictated by Console’s Sample Rate setting.
  • The Enhancements tab is not available for Thunderbolt Apollo devices.

Disable Screen Saver

Search and open Change screen saver using the Start menu.


Select (None) and click Apply.

Disable Fast Startup

Fast Startup is a Windows feature designed to reduce the time it takes for the computer to boot up from a complete shut down. Using Fast Startup may negatively affect connectivity with UA devices.

How To Disable Fast Startup in Windows

Install System Updates

Ensure Windows is fully up to date: Get the latest Windows update

Visit the computer or motherboard manufacturer’s website to get critical system updates. This may include:

  • BIOS version
  • Chipset drivers
  • Firmware version

To find the correct updates on the web, first identify the system manufacturer and model. This info can be found by searching and opening System Information using the Start menu.


 The System Summary section of the report will show manufacturer, model, and product information.

Updates can typically be found in the Drivers, Downloads, or Support section of the manufacturer’s product webpage. Some manufacturer websites will detect your hardware to automatically identify make and model.

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