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How to Optimise the MT4 Platform

Reading time: 7 minutes

This article is intended to provide a brief guide on how to optimise the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform for optimal performance. It will cover how to handle the MT4 platform when it freezes, how to reduce max bars in a chart, how to optimise the RAM memory, how to edit profile settings, and it will also touch on custom indicators in MT4.

Optimise the MT4 Platform

MetaTrader 4 is a leading platform for trading Forex, analysing different financial markets, and using Expert Advisors. Mobile trading, Trading Signals, and market integration are the vital parts of MetaTrader 4 that greatly enhance your Forex trading experience.

The MT4 platform has been widely used by professional traders in order to navigate through the world of Forex trading. But the journey can be a bit cumbersome, as your charts may eat up a lot of system memory and resources. You've probably noticed that your MT4 platform slows down occasionally, and experiences different problems such as:

  • Lagging
  • Freezes
  • Slowdowns
  • Chart lagging
  • Slow execution of orders

Unfortunately, this list problems isn't limited to just these five, and you may experience additional problems such as updating problems, lagging indicators, and a complete system hang. So what do you do when the MT4 platform freezes? There aren't any secrets to making MT4 faster, but you can easily improve your MT4 performance by following these MetaTrader optimisation tips:

MetaTrader 4 Indicators Optimisation Guide

Source: MetaTrader 4 - The Correlation Matrix, the Mini Terminal, and other windows open simultaneously

Optimising MT4 Performance

How to Reduce Max Bars in a Chart

  1. Open your Metatrader 4 platform
  2. Click Tools > Options > Charts and then find "Max bars", located in the chart field
  3. Decrease this value by at least 50%
  4. If the performance still lags, keep decreasing the value until it becomes smooth
  5. Additionally, you can opt to decrease "Max bars in history" too

Very often, step number 5 is not needed, as reducing "Max bars in chart" alone should offer a dramatic performance increase. Steps 1–4 on the other hand, are extremely recommended, and should solve a lot of the performance related issues.

Maximum Bars in MT4

Source: MetaTrader 4 - Reducing the maximum bars in MT4

Optimise the Memory (RAM)

Generally speaking, active traders usually have more than one MetaTrader 4 terminal open during a trading session. This can be due to many different reasons, including the management of multiple accounts, demo trading, practising different trading strategies etc. The limiting factor to how many MetaTrader platforms you can run on a computer is based on the CPU speed and the memory available.

This can be an especially big problem when running MetaTrader on an older PC or Mac. However, even new computers might experience the same problems with MT4 lagging, high memory usage, and annoying slowdowns. Below, you will find a list of simple changes you can apply to MT4 in order to reduce MetaTrader's memory leakage:

Optimising Memory In MT4

Source: MetaTrader 4 - Optimising memory in MT4

  1. Try disabling features you do not use in the Publisher, Email and Events Tabs
  2. Disable 'News' in the Server Tab
  3. Press CTRL + M to Market Watch, then right-click and choose 'Hide All', deleting all pairs that are not in use
  4. Close all the charts that you are not using (it will save your computer memory)
  5. If you are running any Expert Advisors, consider disabling any logging functions if they are not required
  6. Restart MetaTrader from time to time, to maintain low memory usage

Use Profile Settings

Profile settings allow you to control and group the number of charts and currency pairs that are open at one time. You can use these settings to save and load only those pre-selected currency pairs.

Let's look at an example:

Let's say that in the morning you only wish to see charts related to EUR, GBP, and USD, while in the evening or the night you prefer to only see AUD, NZD, and JPY-related crosses. Using Profile settings, you can save a lot of time. First of all, you save a profile named "London" with charts such as EUR/USD, EUR/GBP, GBP/USD, and USDCHF. Then you can save a "Tokyo" profile that would only bring up pairs such as USD/JPY, AUD/JPY, GBP/JPY, and NZD/USD.

Editing profile settings in MT4

Source: MetaTrader 4 - Editing profile settings

Check Out Custom Indicators

If your CPU is constantly overloaded and you notice that MT4 is not responding at all, the culprit may be one of the custom-made indicators. On the other hand, the default indicators that come with MT4 and the MT4 Supreme Edition plugin are optimised, and don't mess up with your computer memory footprint.

You need to check which custom indicator hangs your system and delete it. The problem is that many of the custom-coded indicators are badly coded and unoptimised. These indicators were developed by industry professionals, and though they offer more than 55 exclusive options, they don't burden the CPU power or the RAM. One note of warning: If you download indicators from other sources, please use custom indicators only from recognised and verified sources.

Pro Tip: When you install a new indicator, you don't need to restart your platform in order for your custom indicator to show up in MT4. Just refresh the navigator panel, and your new indicator should appear after a couple of seconds.

Install A New Indicator In MT4

Source: MetaTrader 4 - How to install a new indicator

Get Educated on the MT4 Platform

Any potential issues you may experience when using the MT4 platform are always resolved quickly, and MT4 has vastly improved since its initial introduction to the markets. Today it is considered the top platform for online trading—and rightly so. It is important to make sure that you have a good understanding of the MT4 platform before you start trading with it.

Therefore, making sure to educate yourself prior to using it is the best course of action. Admiral Markets offers an extensive range of educational articles on trading that cover all sorts of topics, such as Forex trading strategies, trading indicators, 'How to' guides, tutorials, and much more. If you would like to learn more about MT4, why not check out Admiral Markets' articles & tutorials section, and expand your trading knowledge before you trade with MT4!

Trade With MetaTrader 4

This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.

Risk Warning

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 85% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.