This article is going to provide you with a quick, easy rundown on everything you need to know about how to trade using MetaTrader 4 (MT).
The first item to discuss is how to get MetaTrader 4. It's actually easy to install MT4, and it's available for a variety of operating systems. To read more about installing MT4, take a look at our MetaTrader 4 Download Information.
Once you have downloaded MT4, simply run the .exe file and follow the on-screen instructions of the installation wizard.
With Admiral Markets, Mac users should find MT4 just as easy to use as Windows users, as we have a native version for OSX. Read through our MetaTrader 4 for Mac page to find out more about how to install MetaTrader 4 on Macs.
Visit the Google Play Store to download MetaTrader 4 for Android.
You can download a special Admiral Markets version of the MT4 iPhone App to work on iOS devices. To install MT4 on your iPhone, simply go to the Apple App Store, search for Admiral Markets MT4, select the app, and tap Install.
When you first run MT4, it should prompt you to enter your account details, but if not, you can just click on the File tab at the top left of the platform and then select Login to Trade Account. You can then enter either your Demo or Full Trading Account details.
There is no specific function for logging out of MT4. If you do not want MT4 to save your login details, ensure that Save Account Information is not checked when you first login. Then, when you close MT4, you will automatically be logged out.
The simplest way to open a trade in MetaTrader 4 is to use the Order window and place an instant order on the market. Select the currencypair of your choice by clicking on the Window tab at the top of the MT4 platform, and selecting New Window. You can then click New Order on the MT4 toolbar or press F9 to open an Order window. The image below shows an Order window for EUR/USD. From this, you should be able to see how easy it is to buy and sell with MetaTrader 4. To trade at the market bid/offer, you would need to enter your desired trade size (in lots) in the Volume box and then click Sell or Buy, with Market Execution selected as the order type.
Source: MetaTrader 4 platform, prices from Admiral Markets, EUR/USD order screen, 4 January 2018
It is the Market Execution setting that allows an instant order in MetaTrader 4.
Of course, dealing at market is not the only answer to the question of how to make a trade in MetaTrader 4. You can also choose to buy or sell using a limit or a stop order, by selecting your choice from the Type dropdown. This is how to buy and sell on MetaTrader 4 at specific, desired levels away from the current market price, as opposed to executing immediately at the prevailing price.
Going short, a market is simply selling when you do not have a long position. To do so, you would simply place a sell trade to open as detailed above.
How to place a trade with MetaTrader 4 is only part of the information that a trader needs, of course. Once you've opened a trade, there will eventually come a point when you want to close the trade. So how do I exit a trade in MetaTrader 4? Select the Trade tab from the Terminal window (press CTRL+T to summon or dismiss the Terminal window). You will see any open trades you have displayed in the Trade section of the Terminal window. Right-click on the order you wish to close and select Close Order. This opens an Order window. Click the yellow Close button to close your trade.
So if you have two positions or more open in MetaTrader 4, and are wondering how to close one, this manual method is the way, as you are specifying which individual trade you wish to exit.
This manual method is not the only answer to how to exit a trade in MetaTrader 4 though. You can also close using a stop or limit order.
As you can see from the Order window shown below, there are fields provided for you to enter a Stop Loss level and a Take Profit level. If you click on either the up or down arrow by the Stop Loss field, the box will automatically populate with the current market price (the platform uses the bid price). On the tick chart on the left you can see how your proposed stop level relates to the current bid and offer prices.
Source: MetaTrader 4 platform, prices from Admiral Markets, EUR/USD order window, 4 January 2018
To place a limit order to close a position, you simply enter a target price level in the Take Profit field shown in the Order window above. You can also use a limit order to open a position. To do this, you need to change the Type field from Market Execution to Pending Order. You can then choose Buy Limit or Sell Limit from the Pending Order Type dropdown menu as required.
If you add a stop-loss or a take-profit order when you open a trade, the default functionality is for the order levels to be expressed in absolute market levels. Once you have added a stop or a limit order in this way, you can then go to the Trade tab in the Terminal window (CTRL+T to open or close this window) and right-click on the trade you are interested in and choose Modify or Delete Order. This opens an Order window that will now allow you to amend your order levels in terms of point (not pips) away from the current market price.
In order to modify the behaviour in MT4 to allow you to specify stop and limit orders as pips as a default, you would need to run a script or EA to modify the platform's functionality.
In MetaTrader 4, the volume of a trade refers to the size of the trade in terms of number of lots. As we discussed above, when you open a trade, you need to specify a value in the Volume field of the Order window. Once you have opened a trade in a certain market, you can add to the volume (or position size) by opening a further position in the same direction on the same market (obviously, at a new price), or you can reduce the volume by part-closing your position.
Trading CFDs on shares with MT4 is little different to trading Forex. An easy way to see a list of share CFD prices in MT4 is to open the Market Watch window (CTRL+M to open and close). From that list, if you want to open a price chart, simply right-click on the Symbol you're interested in and select Chart Window. Alternatively, you can click on Window at the top of the MT4 platform and select New Window and then Share CFDs. This will give you a list of shares that you can trade. When you have the share of your choice in a chart window, just click on New Order on the toolbar in order to open an Order window. From there, it's just a matter of choosing your trade size and choosing whether to deal at market or work a limit or stop order.
If you do not see the share that you are interested in displayed in the Market Watch window, then you need to know how to add stocks to MetaTrader 4. This is simple – just use the shortcut CTRL+U and look for the Share CFDs folders in the navigation tree. Let's say I want to add the German company Allianz. I would expand Share CFDs (EU) and then select #ALV (Allianz SE). To add to the list displayed in Market Watch, I would just have to click Show and then Close. The desired price would now appear as the last listed item in the Market Watch window and that is how to add CFDs to MetaTrader 4.
Open the Market Watch window (shortcut CTRL+M). Right-click within the window and select Symbols (you can also jump directly to this using the shortcut CTRL+U). Look for the folders in the navigation tree called Cash Indices. Expand them to reveal available stock index CFDs. If you would like to add one to your Market Watch window, simply select it and then click Show. Click Close when you have finished with the Symbols window, and your new instrument should appear at the bottom of the Market Watch window.
This is very similar to the process above for CFDs on shares and indices. Let's say that you want to know how to add Gold and Silver to MetaTrader 4. Use the shortcut CTRL+U to open the Symbols window. Look for the Spot Metals folders. Expanding the Spot Metals 1 folder reveals GOLD and SILVER. Select whichever one you want to add and then click Show and Close. The specified instrument will now appear at the bottom of the price list in the Market Watch window (CTRL+M to open and close the Market Watch window). If in doubt, right-click on the Market Watch window and select Show All, which will display all available instruments.
Just as above, if there is a currency pair that you want to trade, but cannot see it in the Market Watch, you can use the shortcut CTRL+U to open the Symbols window and look through the navigation tree there for any currency pairs that you would like to add. To add a pair, simply click on the symbol and click Show. Alternatively, to display all instruments available for trading, right-click in the Market Watch window and choose Show All.
You can open or close the Terminal window using the shortcut CTRL+T.
You can see trade history in MT4 via the Terminal window, which you can open and close using the shortcut CTRL+T. In the Terminal window, click on the Account History tab. Right-click anywhere in this window, and you will see a menu giving you a choice of options, including All History, Last 3 Months, and Last Month. You can also choose to save a Detailed Report. This includes all the trading information you might need, such as prize, size, MetaTrader 4 trade execution time and profit/loss.
If you want to know how to print account history from MetaTrader 4, simply choose Save as Report or Save as Detailed Report, whichever you prefer. This will save the report as an HTML file. If you open the file, it will open in your web browser. In your web browser, click the Edit tab and choose Select All (or use the shortcut CTRL+A). Once you have selected all, right-click and choose Copy. Now, open a word processing application, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, and paste the copied data. You can then format the account balance data as you require and print using the application's print function.
It's very easy to display a trade from your account history directly on a chart in MT4. Open the Terminal window (CTRL+T to open and close) and select the Account History tab. Click on a trade in the window and drag it to a chart window. The chart will now display the instrument of the trade and the opening and closing levels will be marked on the chart with small arrows, joined by a dashed line. If you hold the cursor over the arrows, the trade information will appear as hover text.
As with above, you can view open trades by using the Terminal window. You can see your open trades by clicking on the Trade tab.
To check the balance of your trading account, open the Terminal window (CTRL+T to open and close) and select the Trade tab. You will be able to see your Balance displayed along with Equity and your amount of Free Margin (check out our Trader's Glossary for trading terms and definitions).
Withdrawing money from MT4 is simple and takes just a few easy steps, using Trader's Room:
As a default setting, MT4 will display levels on a price chart for any open trades you have in a position. The defaults are a green dotted line for entry level, a red dotted line for both a stop-loss level and a limit (take-profit) level. Changing the colour of trade levels is the same process as customising any other colours in MT4 – in other words, it is done by accessing Properties. To do this, right-click on your price chart and select Properties (or use F8 as a shortcut). From here, you can customise the colour of stop levels.
You can also choose to turn these order level lines off entirely. To do this, go choose Tools from the menu bar at the top of the platform and then Options. In the Options window, uncheck Show trade levels if you wish to switch this function off.
Once again, this is controlled from the Properties section in MT4. Press F8 to open Properties and ensure you have the Colors tab selected. The first item on the list is background colour. Just click on the dropdown and make your choice.
MT4 comes bundled with a large number of core indicators. You can see these listed in the Indicators folder in the Navigator window. You can expand the number of indicators available in your platform by installing custom indicators. The easiest way to expand your list of indicators is by installing MetaTrader Supreme Edition. MT4SE is a custom plug-in developed by industry professionals, with a handpicked selection of additional indicators and trading tools.
You can also download individual custom indicators that other developers have coded. How to add a downloaded indicator in MetaTrader 4: find the MT4 file that you have downloaded and copy it to your clipboard. Then, in MT4, go to File and select Open Data Folder. From the resulting window, open the MQL4 folder and then the Indicators folder. Paste your copied indicator into this folder. Then, restart MT4. The new custom indicator should now appear in your list of Indicators in the Navigator.
To turn an indicator off, use the shortcut CTRL+I to show your list of indicators. Select the indicator you want to turn off by clicking on it and then click on the Delete button.
A weighted moving average (or WMA) is a type of moving average and therefore can be found as part of the Moving Average Indicator in MT4. First, add the MA indicator to your chart by double-clicking on Moving Average in the Indicators folder of your Navigator. This opens a dialogue window in which you set the indicator's parameters. MA Method dictates which type of moving average you'll be using. Selecting Linear Weighted gives you a Linear Weighted Moving Average (LWMA).
It is very easy to customise the look of a chart in MT4. To do this, right-click on your chart, select Properties, and click on the Colors tab. From there, you can choose to customise the colours of the background, the foreground, your up and down candles, and so on. Having done so, you might like to save that look and feel for future use. You do this by saving it as a template. Right-click on your chart again and this time, choose Template and then Save Template. Once you have saved a template, it is very easy to add it to a new chart. To do so, simply right-click on your chart and choose Template and Load Template.
You can read more about Templates and Profiles on the MQL4 Website.
Adding trendlines to charts can be a very useful tool. The default behaviour when you use the Draw trendline tool (the button with the diagonal line on the toolbar) is to draw a line that extends all the way to the far right of the screen. There may be times, though, when you just want a shorter line instead. To do this, you need to turn off your line's ray behaviour. Double-click on your trendline. This puts the line into edit mode. Now that you have it in edit mode, right-click on the line and choose Trendline properties. In the Trendline window, select the Parameters tab and uncheck Ray. Now, you will have short trendlines.
If you want a trendline on a certain currency pair pair to re-appear the next time you look at that pair, you'll have to save your work as a template. To do this, either click on Chart from the menu bar at the top of the platform and then Template and Save Template, or right-click on your chart and from there choose Template and Save Template. If you close MT4 and find that you want your analysis lines again, all you have to do is go to Template and this time, click on Load Template. Then, select whichever filename you saved your work under, and all your saved trendlines will re-appear.
If you're wondering how to trade on MetaTrader 4 on more than one account at the same time, replicating trades exactly on all of them, here is the answer. First of all, we need to look at how to use multiple accounts in MetaTrader 4. To do this, you need to install more than one version of the MT4 platform on your computer, assigning a different destination folder for each one. You can then log into each different account, using a differently located version of MT4 for each account.
For copying trades, each account needs to be configured to allow automated trading and to allow linking to dynamic libraries. To do this, click on Tools at the top of the platform and then select Options. From the Options window, choose the Expert Advisors tab and check the boxes for Allow Automated Trading and Allow DLL imports. The final stage is to install a trade-copying program for MT4. You will find many examples of MetaTrader 4 trade copy programs if you search on the MQL5 Website. Using a copying Expert Advisor is therefore a method for how to link your existing account to another computer.
There is only so much real-estate available on your screen to display the various windows you have open in MT4. Closing certain windows, therefore, will cause the remaining windows to enlarge. Closing the Navigator window, for example, will cause a price chart to increase in size and take up the newly-available space. Press CTRL+N in order to toggle the Navigator window on and off. Similarly, you can use CTRL+T to toggle the Terminal window on and off.
You can zoom in and out on a chart using the + and - keys.
You can use the cursor keys to scroll left and right on a chart in MT4. The Page Up and Page Down keys will fast scroll to the left and right, respectively.
You can monitor your running profit for your open trades by looking in the Trade tab in the Terminal window (CTRL+T to open and close the Terminal window). Profit is displayed in your deposit currency as default, but it is easy to switch this to display as pips instead. To do so, right-click in the Trade window and select Profit. Then choose as Points instead of as Deposit currency. 10 points are equal to one pip with fractional pricing.
Choose the Alerts tab from the Terminal window (CTRL+T to open and close). Right-click anywhere in the Alerts window and choose Create. You then need to fill in the criteria for the alert, such as which market you wish to place the alert on, what Value (that is, price); which Condition to apply (such as if the Bid is less than a certain price, or if the Ask is less than a certain price, etc.); and when you wish the alert to expire.
Use the CTRL+O shortcut to open the Options window and click on the Email tab. You then need to fill in the fields to configure which email server and address is being used for relaying the email alerts to you and also to which email address you want to ultimately receive the alerts.
First, click Enable and then fill in the various fields. You may find for the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) configuration fields that it is worth creating a Gmail account for the sole purpose of relaying this messages on to your existing email account.
Source: MetaTrader 4 platform, January 2018
Make sure to click Test in order to check that it works before clicking OK.
MT4 should automatically update itself to the latest version whenever a new update is released by MetaQuotes, the software company behind the MetaTrader family of platforms.
You can see which version of MetaTrader 4 you are running by clicking Help at the top of the MT4 platform and then selecting About.
Source: MetaTrader 4, January 2018
The timezone used in MT4 is driven by the broker that you use. You cannot change it locally on your device. So the only real answer to how to change the time on MetaTrader 4 is to use a broker that uses a different timezone.
Select File from the menu bar at the top of the MT4 platform and then Login to Trade Account. The resulting popup offers you a Server option, from which you can specify a different server, if you so wish.
Using the hotkey combination CTRL+Y to show (or hide) separators allows you to mark days clearly on your hourly MT4 charts. On a daily chart, the separators will mark the beginning of the month.
To restore a chart to its default settings, simply right-click on a chart and select Properties. From the Properties window, choose the Common tab and then click on the Reset button at the bottom. If you wish to restore your whole platform to default condition, the 'nuclear' option is to re-install MT4 on your device.
If you have MT4 open for a long time, sometimes, you may see gaps start to appear in chart data. You may be able to rectify this with a simple refresh – right-click on the chart and select Refresh from the menu. Sometimes, you may have to go further and do a full manual reset of the chart data – see below for how to do this.
Press F2 to open the History Center and then look through the directory for the instrument and time frame you wish to refresh. Double-click on the time frame and it will populate the window with data values. Select all the values by clicking in the first cell, holding the shift key, scrolling all the way to the bottom, and clicking on the final cell. Click Delete and all the values will disappear apart from one row. Click Delete again to remove this final row. Your chart will now say Waiting to Update. If it it does not fully re-populate, try going to a different time frame and then back again. You may also have to right-click and choose Refresh. When the chart re-populates, it should remedy any gaps in your data.
You can see the account number that you are logged in with by going to the Navigator (CTRL+N to open and close). There should be an Accounts folder in the Navigator, above the Indicators folder. You can see the account number listed there.
You can access the news feed in MetaTrader 4 via the Terminal window. Use CTRL+T to open or close the Terminal window and then click on the News tab.
If you have many charts open that have been running for a long time, it can cause MT4 to run slowly if you do not have enough free RAM available on your device. One way to remedy this problem is to reduce how much data is displayed in each chart. You can do this by clicking on Tools on the menu bar at the top of the platform and selecting Options (or use the shortcut of CTRL+O). In this window, reduce Max bars in history and Max bars in chart to smaller values. Regularly restarting MT4 will also help mitigate problems of slowness, as will closing down any Expert Advisors that you are not using.
Expert Advisors or EAs perform automatic functions in MT4 as directed by their developer – you can think of them as like trading and analysis robots. You can create an EA by opening the MetaEditor. The quickest way to do this is by pressing F4 (you can also right-click on Expert Advisors in MT4's Navigator and select Create in MetaEditor, and there is also an icon on the toolbar for this specific purpose). In the MetaEditor, click on New to launch the MQL4 Wizard, which will help guide you through creating a new Expert Advisor.
You may find it easier to download and install an EA than create your own, however. The method for setting up an EA in MT4 is much the same as for installing a custom indicator. First, locate the file on your computer for the EA and copy it to your clipboard. In MT4, go to File and select Open Data Folder. In the new window, open the MQL4 folder and then the Experts folder. Paste your copied EA file into this folder. You will now have to restart MT4. The new EA should now appear in your list of Expert Advisors in the Navigator. Just click and drag to a chart to start using it.
If you have purchased a commercially-available script, be sure to read and follow any accompanying installation instructions.
Generally speaking, adding a script is similar to installing an EA above. Copy the file to your clipboard. Click on the File tab, the top left of the MT4 platform, and select Open Data Folder. Open the MQL4 folder and look for the Scripts folder. Open the Scripts folder and paste the copied file in there.
You can create programs for MetaTrader 4 using the MQL4 language. The best place to start if you would like to learn about coding for MT4 is the MQL4 Website.
If you are familiar with the concept of Artificial Neural Networks and have an aptitude at programming with the MQL4 language that MT4 uses, you have the skills required to create an artificial neural network with MT4. To do this, you will need to use the Fast Artificial Neural Network Library (FANN) to create a network of neurons, which you can the train to understand market data and perform trading functions as part of an EA.
We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to use MetaTrader 4. Of course, the best way to get these tips and techniques to really sink in is to go ahead and try them out for yourself using MetaTrader 4. If you're wondering how to play around with MetaTrader 4 without risking any money, the best way is to use our Demo Trading Account. Every demo trade is completely risk-free, making it a perfect way to experiment with trading on the platform and to understand how MetaTrader 4 works.
Once you have built your confidence up through demo trades and are ready to trade for real, you will need a live trading account. How to create a MetaTrader 4 live account? Read through our
Start Trading page to find out how simple it is.
If you did enjoy this tutorial on how to use MetaTrader 4, you might also like to explore MT4 shortcuts by checking out our
MT4 Shortcuts Guide.