Diablo 3 appears to require an administrator account to run, but I'd like to run it as an unprivileged user. Can it be done? If so, how?

I have tried to run it from a portable hard disk, but it seems to add some files into the C drive which I don't have access to it. How can I overcome this? (e.g. make it add files to my portable disks)

  • 1
    If D3 works like most other Blizzard games, you can copy the D3 folder to any PC and just run it from the folder. But I haven't tried this, so I'll leave this as a comment, not an answer.
    – Wikwocket
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 12:52
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    Not that I'm condoning bypassing your school's IT policy, but it is possible to run Diablo 3 from an external hard drive/USB key, you'll need at least 8 gigs of storage space on the device (my install folder reads 7.77 GB. gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/67277/…
    – Sorean
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 14:10
  • My guess is that the required ports will be closed. I mean why should they be open anyways?
    – ayckoster
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 18:04
  • @ayckoster well, unless the staff intentionally block them, they'll be open. it's an outgoing connection, so doesn't need access to be "allowed" at the router level, although it can be blocked.
    – TZHX
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 18:51
  • Related question about the first Diablo: Diablo requires “Run as Administrator” to connect to battle.net
    – user3389
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 19:02

2 Answers 2


You'll have a few hurdles to overcome as a limited user, here are the potential ones and their workaround if applicable:

Problem: Cannot install the program

Work-around: Install on external media, plug into system, play from there

Issues: Degraded performance due to the speed of the connection between device and system-bus, ability of graphics hardware, ability of host RAM and CPU.

Problem: Cannot run executables outside those specifically allowed.

Work-around: None without system intrusion.

Issues: If the computer has policy settings that only allow certain executable files to be run, then even if D3 is installed on external media, the OS will not allow it to be run. Many public computing environments block executables from removable media to cut down on viruses being carried in and installed.

Problem: Ports needed by D3 are blocked or firewalled.

Work-around: Remote Desktop to PC with privileges or Proxy server.

Issues: Those two solutions will only work if they are allowed by IT administration. Quite often, this is not the case in high security environments, as Remote Desktop is considered a security risk. Also, performance through Remote Desktop will be terrible without a very fast connection. In a work environment, use of a proxy server can often get you fired.


EDIT : This answer is more relevant to the original form of the question, seen here. For the more general answer about permissions, see my other answer below.

As an IT administrator who works for a college, I'm going to give you a few harsh realities that probably apply to your college like they do at mine.

You will not be able to install any software without an administrator privilaged account. This is a group policy setting within Windows (I'm assuming you're using a Windows OS) that most any controlled computing environment will employ.

Even if you did succeed in installing it somehow, one of the following conditions will probably be true:

  • Typcially, Computer Lab machines have a nightly process that they run to re-image a machine and bring it back to ITs default settings. This will wipe out anything that is on there that is not supposed to be, without fail.

  • The computers in the lab probably do not have the necessary graphics hardware. The only exception may be if it is some sort of design lab

  • Your college's IT division will see constant and substantial activity on the particular ports that the game uses and shut them down.

Also, I would reccomend that you don't attempt this. If you were caught installing unauthorized software on university owned computers you could face disciplinary action such as suspension or even expulsion.

It just isn't worth all this hassle, is what I'm saying.

  • 1
    +1 - just don't do it. If you think they'd be okay with it, you should just ask somebody to do it for you.
    – Shinrai
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 14:59
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    This is completely irrelevant: he's not asking whether he should circumvent his computer lab's policies. Specific described situation aside, asking how to run a game without an administrator account is a reasonable and legitimate request.
    – user3389
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 18:58
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    He specifically asked about whether he could install it on a computer in a university owned computer lab. I gave him a direct answer to that. Through your convenient editing however, now 85% of my answer doesn't make that much sense, but the first bolded statement of "You will not be able to install any software without an administrator privileged account" is completely true regardless of his specific situation.
    – Tater596
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 19:05
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    @Tater596 No, he didn't. He asked how he could play the game without an administrator account, and provided context for why he wanted to do that. Whether or not his specific reasons for doing so are acceptable to you, playing games without administrator access is a thing people do for legitimate reasons. Answer the question, not the person's motivations for asking it.
    – user3389
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 19:08
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    @Tater596 Forget the fact it was about a computer lab: it's a red herring. Telling people it's impossible because IT staff will wipe machines every 24 hours is completely useless to someone who doesn't want to run a game on their home computer as an administrator for security reasons, or a cyber café that explicitly wants to allow Diablo 3 to be played by customers, or a family that shares a computer.
    – user3389
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 19:17

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