The Ultimate MetaTrader 4 ‘How To’ Guide
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This article will provide traders provide with a quick, easy rundown on everything you need to know about how to use the MetaTrader 4 trading platform (MT4), and how to trade using MT4. Through step-by-step tutorials, and with the use of screenshots and detailed explanations, this article will provide traders with everything they need to truly master the MT4 platform.
Setting Up MetaTrader 4
How to Set Up MetaTrader 4 on Windows
It's actually easy to install MetaTrader 4, and it's available for a variety of operating systems. Once you have downloaded MT4, simply run the .exe file and follow the on-screen instructions within the installation wizard.
How to Download MetaTrader 4 on Mac
With Admiral Markets, Mac users should find MT4 just as easy to use as Windows users, as they have a native version for OSX. Make sure to read through Admiral Markets' MetaTrader 4 for Mac page to find out more on how to install MetaTrader 4 on Macs.
How to Use MetaTrader 4 with Android
How to Use MetaTrader 4 on iPhone
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'.
How to Sign in on MetaTrader 4
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 trading account or full trading account details.
How to Logout of MetaTrader 4
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.
Trading With MetaTrader 4
How to Trade A Currency Pair Using MetaTrader 4
The simplest way to open a trade in MetaTrader 4 is to use the 'Order' window and then place an instant order on the market. Select the currency pair of your choice by clicking on the 'Window' tab at the top of the MT4 platform, and then select 'New Window'. You can then click 'New Order' on the MT4 toolbar or press F9 to open an 'Order' window.
The screenshot below displays an 'Order' window for the EUR/USD currency pair. 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.
It is the 'Market Execution' setting that allows an instant order within MetaTrader 4. Of course, dealing at the market is not the only answer to the question of how to make a trade within 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.
Source: MetaTrader 4 platform - EUR/USD order screen
How to Enter a Short Position on MetaTrader 4
Going short (or short selling) on a market is simply selling when you do not have a long position. To do so, you would simply need to place a sell trade to open (as demonstrated in the screenshot image above).
How to Close a Trade in MetaTrader 4
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 to do it, as you are specifying which individual trade you wish to exit. This manual method is not the only answer for how to exit a trade in MetaTrader 4 though. You can also close using a stop or limit order.
How to Set a Stop-Loss in MetaTrader 4
As you can see from the 'Order' window (shown in the screenshot still 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 in 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 - EUR/USD order window
How to Place a Limit Order in MetaTrader 4
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 (as demonstrated 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.
How to Set Orders by Pips as Default in MetaTrader 4
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 an EA (Expert Advisor) to modify the platform's functionality.
How to Change the Volume of a Trade in MetaTrader 4
In MetaTrader 4, the volume of a trade refers to the size of the trade in terms of the 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 the 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.
Source: MetaTrader 4 - Changing the volume of a trade
How to Trade Company Stocks in MetaTrader 4
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' that 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 simply 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 within 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 suppose that you want to add the German company Allianz. You would expand Share CFDs (EU) and then select #ALV (Allianz SE).
To add to the list displayed in 'Market Watch', you 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. Additionally, clients trading with Admiral Markets can also invest in stocks and ETFs directly, by opening an investing account!
How to Add Indices 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 the 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.
How to Add Commodities to MetaTrader 4
Adding commodities to MT4 is very similar to the process described 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 (press 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.
How to Add Currency Pairs in MetaTrader 4
Just as described above, if there is a particular currency pair that you want to trade, but cannot see in 'Market Watch', you can use the shortcut 'CTRL+U' to open the 'Symbols' window and look through the navigation tree 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 select 'Show All'.
How to Navigate In MetaTrader 4
How to Show Terminal in MetaTrader 4
You can open or close the 'Terminal' window using the shortcut 'CTRL+T'.
How to Show Trade History in MetaTrader 4
You can view 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 providing you with 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 your account history within MetaTrader 4, simply choose 'Save as Report' or 'Save as Detailed Report'. This will save the report as a '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 desire, and you can then print using the application's print function.
How to Show Trading History on a Chart in MetaTrader 4
It's simple 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.
How to View Open Trades in MetaTrader 4
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.
How to Check How Much Money I Have with MetaTrader 4
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'.
Source: MetaTrader 4 - Checking your balance
How to Withdraw Money from MetaTrader 4
Withdrawing money from MT4 is simple, and takes just a few easy steps, using Trader's Room:
- Log in to your Trader's Room
- Go to 'Money Operation' and click 'Withdraw Funds'
- Select the withdrawal option and then fill in your details
How to Change the Colour of Trade Levels in MetaTrader 4
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, and 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 completed 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 the stop levels. You can also choose to turn these order level lines off entirely. To do this, choose 'Tools' from the menu bar at the top of the platform and then select 'Options'. In the 'Options' window, uncheck 'Show' trade levels if you wish to switch this function off.
How to Change Chart Background in MetaTrader 4
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 the background colour. Just click on the dropdown menu and make your choice.
How to Install MetaTrader 4 Indicators
MT4 comes bundled with a large number of core trading indicators. You can see these listed in the 'Indicators' folder in the 'Navigator' window. You can expand the number of indicators available in your trading platform by installing custom indicators.
The easiest way to expand your list of indicators is by installing MetaTrader Supreme Edition. MTSE is a custom plugin for MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, 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'.
How to Turn Off an Indicator in MetaTrader 4
To turn an indicator off, use the shortcut 'CTRL+I' to display your list of indicators. Select the indicator you want to turn off by clicking on it and then click on the 'Delete' button.
How to Find WMA in MetaTrader 4
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).
How to Add Templates to MetaTrader 4
It is very easy to customise the look of a chart in MT4. To do this, right-click on your chart, select 'Properties', and then 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 then 'Load Template'. You can read more about 'Templates' and 'Profiles' on the MQL4 Website.
Source: MetaTrader 4 - Adding templates to MetaTrader 4
How to Draw a Short Line in MetaTrader 4
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, however, 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.
How to Make Trend Lines Permanent in MetaTrader 4
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 then 'Save Template', or right-click on your chart and from there choose 'Template' and then '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.
How to Copy a Trade on MetaTrader 4
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 individual 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 perform a search on the MQL5 Website. Using a copying Expert Advisor is therefore a method for how to link your existing account to another computer.
How to Make a Screen Larger on MetaTrader 4
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.
How to Scale in on MetaTrader 4
You can zoom in and out on a chart using the + and - keys.
How to Scroll in MetaTrader 4
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.
How to show pips in MetaTrader 4
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 by 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 'Points' instead of 'Deposit' currency. 10 points are equal to one pip with fractional pricing.
Source: MetaTrader 4 - How to show pips in MetaTrader 4
How to Set Alerts on MetaTrader 4
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.
How to Enable Email Alerts in MetaTrader 4
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. Make sure to click 'Test' in order to check that it works before clicking OK.
Source: MetaTrader 4 platform - Enabling email alerts in MetaTrader 4
How to Update MetaTrader 4
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 - Updating MetaTrader 4
How to Change Timezone in MetaTrader 4
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 for how to change the time on MetaTrader 4 is to use a broker that uses a different timezone.
How to Select Your Server in MetaTrader 4
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.
How to Mark the Days in MetaTrader 4
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.
How to Restore MetaTrader 4 to Default
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.
How to Refresh MetaTrader 4
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.
How to Reset MetaTrader 4
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 repopulates, it should remedy any gaps in your data.
Source: MetaTrader 4 - Refreshing MetaTrader 4
How to Find Your MetaTrader 4 Account Number
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.
How to Get a News Feed in MetaTrader 4
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.
How to Speed up MetaTrader 4
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 then 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.
How to Set Up an EA in MetaTrader 4
Expert Advisors or EAs perform automatic functions in MT4 as directed by their developer – you can think of them 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 then by selecting 'Create' in 'MetaEditor', and there is also an icon on the toolbar for this specific purpose).
In the MetaEditor, click '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, rather than creating your own, however. The method for setting up an EA in MT4 is much the same as 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.
How to Install Scripts in MetaTrader 4
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 (as described above). Copy the file to your clipboard. Click on the 'File' tab, located at the top left of the MT4 platform, and then 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.
How to Program in MetaTrader 4
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.
How to Make an Artificial Neural Network for MetaTrader 4
If you are familiar with the concept of Artificial Neural Networks and have an aptitude with programming in 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 train to understand market data and perform trading functions as part of an EA.
How to Use MetaTrader 4 – a Final Word
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 with a 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 up your confidence up through demo trades, and are ready to trade for real, you will need a live trading account.
How do you create a MetaTrader 4 live account? Read Admiral Markets' 'Start Trading' page to find out how simple it is. If you enjoyed this detailed list of tutorials on how to use MetaTrader 4, you might also like to explore MT4 shortcuts by checking out the MT4 Shortcuts Guide.
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.