Pidgin Received Unexpected Response from AIM and ICQ

Today, my Pidgin IM client started giving the error, “Received unexpected response from”, when connecting to the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) server. Apparently, it can also happen when connecting to ICQ. Fortuantely, the fix/workaround on Windows and Linux is really easy.

  1. Go to Accounts
  2. Modify the AIM or ICQ account
  3. On the Advanced tab, clear the checkbox labeled Use clientLogin
  4. Save

Are you using Adium? It may also have this issue on the Mac. If you’ve solved it, post the steps in a reply.

Update: Alternatively, in step 3, you can clear the checkbox labeled Use SSL

70 thoughts on “Pidgin Received Unexpected Response from AIM and ICQ”

  1. Thanks for the tip. I updated just couple days ago, and did not have to research the issue. My first google search led to your tip and it solved it in a couple seconds! Good coincidence of genes indeed! 🙂

  2. Why the * are u all so happy with disabling secure message transfer???

    Disabling SSL will send all messages and the login sequence in plain text ready to view and intercept by anyone on the net.

    Disabling SSL is not an option, so what else can be done?

  3. @Martin. Pidgin does not send your password in the clear, even when using an unencrypted connection. Your password is hashed with a token from AOL’s server before it’s sent. Nevertheless, this problem was a bug with AOL’s servers and has since been rectified. So, there is no longer any need to turn off clientLogin or SSL. See

  4. @Peter Ridge. The link you provided was last updated 8 months ago and the problem was resolved 10 months ago. Do you have a more recent link that states the problem from this occurance?

  5. @Brian. Sorry, I’m not following. This problem has already been resolved. Martin was questioning the workaround, so I replied to that. There isn’t any new occurrence regarding the original problem. Are you still having the problem with the latest version?

  6. I am still having the problem with Pidgin 2.6.6 and I just updated and am still having the same problem. i have unticked both the SSL and Client Login. I have set my proxy to No Proxy with no luck. Getting a little frustrated with this since I use ICQ for work and I can’t get logged in from home.

  7. After further searching I found this and thought I would share.

    Change server to
    (ssl – off, client login – off)

  8. These are my results, on pidgin 2.6.6, linux
    on /on : error: unexpected response etc…
    on /off: error: unknown reason
    off/on : OK!
    off/off: error: unknown reason