We introduce equi-tuning, a novel fine-tuning method that transforms (potentially non-equivariant) pretrained models into group equivariant models while incurring minimum $L_2$ loss between the feature representations of the pretrained and the equivariant models. Large pretrained models can be equi-tuned for different groups to satisfy the needs of various downstream tasks. Equi-tuned models benefit from both group equivariance as an inductive bias and semantic priors from pretrained models. We provide applications of equi-tuning on three different tasks: image classification, compositional generalization in language, and fairness in natural language generation (NLG). We also provide a novel group-theoretic definition for fairness in NLG. The effectiveness of this definition is shown by testing it against a standard empirical method of fairness in NLG. We provide experimental results for equi-tuning using a variety of pretrained models: Alexnet, Resnet, VGG, and Densenet for image classification; RNNs, GRUs, and LSTMs for compositional generalization; and GPT2 for fairness in NLG. We test these models on benchmark datasets across all considered tasks to show the generality and effectiveness of the proposed method.