Blizzard Downloader: Could Not Initialize Storage

I was downloading the game client for StarCraft 2, in anticipation of the July 27, 2010 release – when the Blizzard Downloader started to complain. It claimed it couldn’t write a file properly, after already having written 2GB of data. Given that it was downloading straight to an external hard drive, I wasn’t completely surprised. I decided to scrap whatever I had already downloaded, change the download directory to my internal hard drive, and start anew.

I couldn’t find a way to change the download directory from within the Blizzard Downloader, so I instead deleted the download directory, hoping it would realize it – and prompt me for a new directory. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that intelligent:

Could not initialize storage. You may not have permission to write to the destination path.

“Could not initialize storage. You may not have permission to write to the destination path.”

Clicking OK would just cause the Blizzard Downloader to close.


warning Some of the instructions found in this article involve modifying the Windows registry. If modified incorrectly, serious problems may occur. It is highly recommended by both the author of this article, and by Microsoft – that you back up the registry before you modify it. For information on how to do this, please see the following Microsoft Knowledge article:

MSKB 322756 –  How to back up and restore the registry in Windows.

To solve this, I had to delete a specific registry key that was created by the Blizzard Downloader:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Blizzard Entertainment\Downloader

After I deleted it, the next time Blizzard Downloader appeared – it prompted me for a new directory.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click Start – Run (or press Windows Key + R). Type regedit.exe in the “Run” dialog, and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Blizzard Entertainment” using the Registry Editor.
  3. Right-click the “Downloader” key.
  4. Select “Delete”.
  5. Press “Yes” when asked whether you want to delete all sub-keys.

Keep in mind, though, that I had deleted my partial download, so I had nothing to lose. If you plan to move a partial download to another directory and resume… it might be safer to leave most of the registry keys alone, and just change the path in one specific Downloader sub-key. To do this, look at the Downloader sub-keys, you’ll find one that is named “Path”. It holds the path you’re downloading to – you can try changing it only there, and see if that’s enough.

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • andy says:

    You are the MAN ! Thanks bro ! I had 4 GB already on my external. Just copy the folder over my C: drive then changed the download path to C:

  • tom says:

    holy shit this is exactly what i was looking for, ur a gem

  • Andy says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for this. It took me hours to figure this out. I started the download on an external hard drive and it was taking too long, so I cleared space on my internal drive, only to find that Blizzard wouldn’t allow me to change the install directory. Steam is much better suited for such things, apparently… But thanks for putting this out there!!!

  • Ben says:

    Nice one. I’d started this DL in Parallels and rebooted into Bootcamp when I realised that Parallels was throttling bandwidth like nobody’s business- but all the drive letters are different running natively, so I was stuck til I found your post. Cheers!

  • Marius says:

    thank you very much !!!

  • Tyler says:

    I have the same error message on my iMac. Can you tell me what to do? (please explain everything in detail, im new to macs.

    • Matt Refghi says:


      Unfortunately, I don’t know much about Macs. Hopefully someone else here will be able to assist, but in the meantime, make sure to try searching for “Could Not Initialize Storage Mac”, as that might turn up some useful info.

  • Ryan says:


  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks! This issue was driving my crazy. I actually had a solution like this in my mind, but I wasn’t sure what folder. But now it’s fixed, thanks once again.

  • Mojomunkay says:

    I have this same issue but on a MAC, I have no idea how to solve this problem as macs don’t have a registry…Anyone have a solution?

  • Dguyer says:

    Tit. Thanks bro.Stay smart