How To Fix Guifications After A Pidgin Upgrade/Reinstall On Windows

This happened to me before but I didn’t have time to mess with it. Now I have time, so here we go:
When installing Pidgin over an existing installation in Windows, Pidgin silently uninstalls itself and installs again. The result is that the Guifications plugin, a very popular plugin that pops up notification windows on the events of your choice, stops working. The FAQ currently says that the workaround is to reinstall Guifications. You should try that first and if it works for you it’s easier than the procedure described here. It doesn’t work (and didn’t work in the past) for me, so this is what I do.

IMPORTANT NOTE BEFORE YOU CONTINUE: if you really want to be on the safe side, you should skip steps 9 and 10 of the following procedure. Skipping them means that you will have to reconfigure all you preferences for Pidgin and the plugins again. It’s safer because steps 9 and 10 assume the structure of Pidgin’s XML files hasn’t changed between the version already installed on your computer and the new version you’re installing – an assumption that may be wrong and cause problems. Also, skipping them basically means you’ll be doing a complete manual uninstall-and-reinstall of Pidgin.

Please read everything first and make sure you understand all the steps. This is supplied without guarantee, but it works for me:

  1. Download the installations of Pidgin and all the plugins you installed separately. Remember where you downloaded them to.
  2. Close Pidgin.
  3. Backup the %APPDATA%\.purple directory (you can paste this into Windows Explorer’s address bar and it will get you there.) Remember where you put this backup. We’ll use it later.
  4. Uninstall Guifications using the Control Panel’s Add/Remove applet. Repeat for all other plugins that appear there.
  5. Uninstall Pidgin using the Control Panel’s Add/Remove applet.
  6. Delete the %APPDATA%\.purple directory.
  7. Install Pidgin.
  8. Install Guifications and all the plugins you want.
  9. Start Pidgin and then close it without making any configuration changes (e.g. don’t create accounts.)
  10. Copy all XML files from the backup purple directory you created in step 3 to the %APPDATA%\.purple directory. When asked, overwrite existing files.
  11. Start Pidgin. Everything should be working. If you chose to skip steps 9 and 10 you now need to reconfigure Pidgin.

Good luck.