In relation to the post here: Playing through an external hardrive and here: How can I run Diablo 3 without an administrator account?

I'd like to know how you can install Diablo 3 on a connected USB 2.0 external hard drive without having admin privileges (as soon as you start the installer you get prompted for admin username/password). Thank you!

3 Answers 3


There is no possibility to install Diablo III without admin privileges. You have to connect your external hard drive to another machine where you have the required privileges and install the game from there.

Afterwards you can switch back to the machine where you have no admin privileges and play the game from the external hard drive you installed it to. You don't need to complete the installation procedure on the machine where you want to play the game.

This also works with Starcraft II and World of Warcraft.

  • It should be made clear that. Windows is what requires you to have the privilege to install an application. Diablo III doesn't really care.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 4, 2012 at 12:17
  • @Ramhound IMHO, this is semi-correct: The Diablo III installer requires specific access rights e.g. to write to registry, file system, create uninstall information, and so on. Such rights can typically be granted only by the administrator. Since Diablo III doesn't provide some kind of portable installation procedure, e.g. by just extracting the game to a specific location and be done, it causes Windows to ask for admin privileges.
    – speakr
    Sep 4, 2012 at 12:46
  • I confirm the same happens on OSX too: for weird reasons the installer demands to have root, but once you started it, you can just copy the folder and it will just work. Stupid installer.
    – o0'.
    Aug 10, 2015 at 9:54

You cannot install the client to your external hard drive from a PC where you do not have administrative privileges. But you can instead copy an existent installation to your drive and the launch Diablo 3 from there.

Pay attention that Diablo 3 and Battle.Net needs various ports opened and if you are going to play behind a firewall they will be likely closed. Is it also possible that you cannot even start the game if the PC you are going to use has been "configured" in a strict way.

  • This won't work. Copying an executable does not inherit its 'trustability'. Windows will still ask for elevated rights, as soon as you run an executable from an external drive.
    – DrFish
    Nov 19, 2012 at 10:54

While you can copy your Diablo 3 folder to an external hard disk, it is worth noting that Diablo 3 stores additional data in the following locations;

C:\ProgramData\Blizzard Entertainment

These folders contain the Battle.Net Agent in addition to Diablo 3 Launcher updates and will be re-created as you launch the game.

I have not tested if simply running 'Diablo3.exe' directly from the game folder will allow the game to run without the Launcher, but if it does the game will need manually updating for each patch.

  • **The 'ProgramData' folder requires administrative privileges in order to write files to this location, so simply copying your Diablo 3 folder won't work."" - Actually...This is false. This directory does NOT require administrative privileges to be accessed and/or written to.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 4, 2012 at 12:18

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