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The plugin 'Windows Pidgin Options' is disabled:

enter image description here

The startup folder %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup contains no reference to Pidgin.

Yet Pidgin still starts up when I log into my account.

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you may change it in preference – Khaleel Jul 5 '12 at 9:58
@QuickSilver Can you give me more details, please? – Iain Elder Jul 5 '12 at 13:00

Open Pidgin. Click "Tools," "Plugins."

Click on the "Windows Pidgin Options" plugin. Click "Configure Plugin."

Uncheck the "Start Pidgin on Windows startup" check box. Click "OK" to apply the change.

as described here

Update: Type msconfig in Run and check startup entries. Disable pidgin is checked in startup.

share|improve this answer
As explained in the question, the "Windows Pidgin Options" plugin is disabled. I enabled it to follow your instructions, but the option "Start Pidgin on Windows startup" is unchecked by default. – Iain Elder Jul 6 '12 at 9:27

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