Aims: To examine associations of below-target and target dose of enalapril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, with outcomes in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) in the Studies of Left Ventricular Dysfunction (SOLVD) Treatment trial. Methods and results: Two thousand five hundred and sixty-nine patients with HFrEF (ejection fraction ≤35%) were randomized to below-target (5–10 mg/day) dose placebo (n = 1284) or enalapril (n = 1285). One month post-randomization, blind up-titration to target (20 mg/day) dose was attempted for both study drugs in 2458 patients. Among the 1444 patients who achieved dose up-titration (placebo, n = 748; enalapril, n = 696; mean dose for both groups, 20.0 mg/day), target dose enalapril (vs. target dose placebo) was associated with a 9% absolute lower risk of the combined endpoint of heart failure hospitalization or all-cause mortality [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.70; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.60–0.81; P < 0.001] during 4 years of follow-up. Among the 1014 patients who could not achieve target dose (placebo, n = 486; enalapril, n = 528; mean dose for both groups, 8.8 mg/day), below-target dose enalapril (vs. below-target dose placebo) was associated with a 12% absolute lower risk of the combined endpoint of heart failure hospitalization or all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 0.68; 95% CI 0.57–0.81; P < 0.001). Among the 1224 patients receiving enalapril, target (vs. below-target) dose had no association with the combined endpoint of heart failure hospitalization or all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 1.04; 95% CI 0.87–1.23; P = 0.695). Conclusion: In patients with HFrEF, the clinical benefits of ACE inhibitors appear to be similar at both below-target and target doses.