Stubborn iChat after upgrading to OS X Lion

Well, like the title suggests, after upgrading to OS X Lion, I was having some issues with iChat. Specifically, every time I woke the monitors from sleep, iChat would start itself up and bring its little app window to the forefront. The first few times I just cursed and closed it, but then it started to get really annoying. While I knew it could only be partially related at best, I checked to make sure that iChat was not listed in my Login Items under System Preferences > User Accounts > my account, and it was not. I checked iChat’s preferences for a “launch at startup” or “launch on wake” preference, but nothing was listed. Under General there was a setting for “When I return to my computer, if my status is Away:” and then 3 options for what to do (stay Away, become Available, or Ask). But this couldn’t be related because it would have to mean that iChat was actually running when the computer went to sleep, right?

I performed several searches about what could be causing this issue, but most yielded boring discussions where people wanted iChat to either start or stop launching when they logged in – I couldn’t find any useful discussions about iChat launching itself when returning to my computer after a break and the displays had gone to sleep.

So then I started searching for ways to disable iChat entirely – but those all ended up with suggestions to either (a) log on as root and delete any and all files containing the string “ichat” or (b) using a shareware program called AppZapper to completely remove iChat. Since I’m a little nervous that neither of those things are good ideas, I decided to look deeper into iChat itself. I went to the Accounts screen and it turns out that somehow, in the process of upgrading, GMail added itself as an iChat “Jabber” account. Perhaps I did that somehow, either directly or indirectly, but I certainly don’t recall doing so. In any case, I first tried disabling the account (as well as disabling the AIM account and Bonjour messaging):

Let the computer go to sleep, woke it up, and iChat still popped up. I believe this has something to do with the fact that I keep GMail’s web interface open in Firefox all day long, and I keep Google Chat enabled (though I am always invisible). Since I don’t want to change that behavior, and since I always use the chat functionality in the browser, I simply deleted the Jabber account from iChat. Problem solved.

Now, if you use iChat all the time, or have it set to start up automatically on login, you probably haven’t noticed this. But it was annoying the crap out of me, so that’s how I fixed it.