Understanding the MetaTrader 4 Platform
MetaTrader 4 is one of the most popular and widely used software applications for Forex trading. MT4 can be used not only for technical analysis, but also for placing and managing orders. Here we examine how to use it in trading.
How To Install MetaTrader 4
You need to download MT4 from your broker’s website (every Forex company has its own MT4 platform), or if you prefer our recommend broker HotForex.
- Click on the link, a window appears prompting you to save the installation file.
- Click on “Save File”, you will need to indicate in a new window, where you want to save the file.
- Simply select the desired folder, press the “Save” button.
- To install MT4, navigate to the file installed (mt4 setup), click it twice, if the security warning appears, click “Run”.
- Read the “License Agreement”, agree to it and click “Next”.
- The next screen will indicate where you want to install MT4.
- After all these steps you will see the message “Installation successful.” Click “Finish” to exit.
Can I Install Several MetaTrader 4 on a Single Computer?
You can install several MT4 terminals on your computer. This may be the terminals of different brokers or two terminals of a broker, for example, to simultaneously work on different trading account. To install the second terminal simply choose another directory (folder for installation) – separate for each. If necessary, create a special folder in advance in a place convenient for you even before you start the installation. You can not run two MT4 simultaneously from a single directory. The installation process for each of the next terminal Metatrader 4 will be the same.
How do I Connect to the MetaTrader 4 Platform?
Consider how to connect to the MetaTrader 4 and verify the correctness of the connection with the trading server. To run the authorization program, log into the “File” main menu – click “Login”. A window for entering data to the account will appear. In the appropriate fields enter your account number (login) and password. In the Server field, select the desired address of the server, depending on the type of your account. Note: if you try to connect to a demo account you specify a live server (or vice versa), you can not connect to the terminal. Further, there is an option “Save account information.” If you click it, the program will remember the data, and the next time you connect to the terminal you are authorized automatically, you do not have to enter each time the login and password.
What if the MT4 Terminal is not Connecting to the Server?
To properly connect to the terminal, it is necessary to check whether there is a connection to the server. The new traders do not wait for a stable connection, do not check the correctness of the password and immediately try to make a deal. Naturally, this does not work, and they blame the broker.
To avoid possible misunderstandings, the contact to the server should be checked each time the terminal starts. In the lower right-hand corner of the trading platform is the connection status indicator. If successfully connect to the terminal, there will be a visible figure of traffic load, for example 500/1 kb.
Quotes in the “Market Watch” at the same time should be updated, ie, the constant change of numbers and update the time in the “Market Watch” should occur, the price of plots should move. A successful connection to the server is also accompanied by a corresponding beep. Be sure to check all this, otherwise you will not be able to perform operations.
Please note that at the beginning of the connection indicator may not be filled until the end (example 0/0 kb), however it does not last long, you just have to wait a little longer. If the terminal is not connected to the server, the inscription “No connection” will be shown in the bottom right corner instead of numbers.
This can be seen immediately you turn on the terminal, which is not terrible, because it takes some time for the server response is necessary to wait a bit to the connection established.
If you can not connect a long time, function “Rescan servers” can help. Click on the message “No connection” to see the menu.
You can also try other servers (if any), simply by clicking on them with the mouse and waiting for a connection time. The current server is checked. Also, try to restart the terminal.
If the problem is not solved, may be several reasons for that:
- Unstable internet connection from your ISP;
- Anti-virus or a proxy server, any malware or other software installed on your computer prevent the stable operation;
- Challenges on the broker side: there is no connection with any server, a sudden channel failure, unplanned overload of the servers, etc. If this happens frequently during the trading time is better to change the broker, because the technical stability is very important in forex trading.
In any case it is better to contact the technical support of the broker for an explanation. If the error presence is not confirmed – look for the problem on your side.
What is an Invalid Account in MT4?
The next option when you try to log into the terminal: in the lower right corner you can see “Invalid account”. This means that you log in to the terminal incorrectly, with the wrong number of demo account and / or password, or choose a server that does not match the type of your account, such as Live instead of the Demo.
Another reason – carefully check all the data, if you copy a password, see whether you have not captured an extra space before or after. Since the space is considered to be an additional character password will already be incorrect. Typically, these actions help and you will be able to successfully connect to the terminal.
How to Connect to the MT4 with Different Trading Accounts?
If you want to trade simultaneously on multiple accounts, you can set up multiple MT4 terminals and to open them at the same time by connecting to different trading accounts. How to do this is described above in “How to install MetaTrader 4” section.
If you want to just periodically switch between accounts is easy to do it in one terminal in the “Navigator” window. If you are connecting to each account and you tick “Save Account information”, all the data has been saved, and all accounts are displayed in a single list. When you hover over the account number information about the account appears, including the balance. To switch to another account, you need to double-click on its number, and login window appears, click “Login”.
How to Use MetaTrader 4 Basic Functions
Time frames: These include M1 (1 minute), M5 (5 minutes), M15 (15 minutes), M30 (30 minutes), H1 (1 hour), H4 (4 hours), D1 (Daily), W1 (Weekly), and MN (Monthly). Here, traders choose the time frame that best fits their trading strategy.
Charts: These help in displaying price movement in different timeframes. The chart tabs are located at the upper centre of the Metatrader 4 platform. The charts include the bar, candlestick, and line charts. Traders can then choose the chart they prefer. There is an option to either zoom in or zoom out to observe a section of the chart.
Indicator list: Its function is to add indicators to the main chart. It has different groups of indicators such as trend, oscillators, volume, and custom indicators among others.
Market watch: This is where all the available currencies and other financial instruments in MetaTrader 4 are listed.You can also load a chart using the market watch. This is done by double-clicking and dragging your chosen currency pair to the main chart.
How do I Open a New Chart in the MetaTrader 4 Terminal?
This can be done in several ways:
- Right-click on the selected currency pair in the “Market Watch”, select “Chart window”.
- Click on “New Chart” (graphic image with a green plus sign), select from the list the desired group of trading instruments and the correct character.
- Select “Window” on the main menu – “New Window”, see the same list of available currency instruments, select.
- Select the menu “File” – “New Chart”, the same action.
Important! If in the “Market Watch” window are open only a few characters, the list of trading instruments in paragraphs 2 – 4 will be available only to them.
How do I Change the Scale of the Chart in MT4?
Zoom can be useful for a more detailed analysis and accurate graphic constructions, reducing the scale, on the other hand, it allows you to see the general trend of price movement.
You can change the scale of the MT4 chart in several ways:
- In the “Charts” main menu – “Zoom in” “Zoom out”
- Pressing the (Shift +) “plus” or “minus” on your keyboard
- By right-clicking anywhere in the graph window open, select the menu item “Zoom in” or “Zoom out”
How do I Change the time Period Schedule (timeframe) in MT4?
Using larger timeframes allows us to estimate the overall trend, and less time needed to find a more precise entry point into the market.
To change the timeframe in MT4:
- Toolbar “Period schedule”, where all timeframes are listed (M1, M5, M15..), from 1 minute up to a month
- Right click on the chart by selecting the “Timeframes” option
- In the main menu select “Charts” – “Timeframes”.
How Can I Change the Type of Graphics Display?
Select “Charts”, you will see “Bar charts”, “Candlesticks” and “Lines” tools. In addition, you can use the keys Alt + 1, Alt + 2, Alt + 3, respectively.
How to Save the Graphic Settings in the Terminal Using Templates
After you set up the schedule convenient for you, you can save all these settings and quickly apply them to every newly opened chart.
What properties of the graph can be stored in MT4 templates?
- Color scheme
- Timeframe (period)
- Indicators with set parameters
- Graphical tools (with the stored values of the price that will have to adjust to the new graphic)
- Chart scale
- Chart type (bars, candles, lines)
- Period separators
- Advisor attached to the chart with its settings
To save the template, after setting all the parameters, click on the button “Templates” toolbar “Charts” panel, click “Save Template”. In the field “File Name” enter the name of your template, click “Save”. Saving settings can also be done in the main menu “Charts” terminal – “Template” – “Save Template” or the same items in the context menu of the chart. In order to apply this template to a new MT4 open chart, use the same button “Templates”, select “Load Template”. In the list of templates, find yours, select it, click the “Open”. Delete unneeded pattern can be done by selecting “Delete template”.
How to Open a Transaction (order) in MT4
To earn on Forex, you need to know how to open a transaction (order) in the MT4 terminal, and how to take profits later. Once you have opened a demo account, analyzed the charts, and decided the future direction of the market movement, it is time to open a transaction. In order to open an order, first of all, you need to open the window “New Order.” This can be done in several ways. Let’s consider them in order.
- Press the F9 key.
- Right-click on the desired currency pair in the “Market Watch”, from the context menu item choose “New Order.”
- Double-click the mouse on the desired currency pair.
- Click the “New Order” in the “Standard” toolbar.
- Right-click anywhere on the chart of the currency pair for which you want to make a deal. In the context menu, select “Trade” – “New Order.”
How To Enter Long (buy) and Short (sell) Positions
A long position is where a trader buys currency in anticipation of a rise in value. Here is what to do when entering a buy trade in MetaTrader 4.
- First, choose the currency pair you want to trade from the Market Watch.
- Double click the currency pair and a dialog box will appear.
- Select your preferred volume and type of order, whether market execution or pending order.
- Set your stop loss and take profit level.
- Click the blue tab written ‘Buy by Market’.
A short position, on the other hand, is where a trader sells a currency expecting it to decrease in value. The process of entering a sell trade is not that different from a buy trade. The only difference is that the final step will be to click the red tab labelled ‘Sell by Market’.
How To Enter Trades by a Pending Order
A pending order is an order made by a trader which will be executed at a future date based on the price level selected as the trigger for order execution. The process of entering trades by a pending order is as follows;
- Select a currency pair from the Market Watch window.
- Double click the currency pair and a dialog box will appear.
- From the dialog box, select the order type ‘Pending Order’. This will present you with 4 options; buy limit (placing a buy order below the market price), sell limit (placing a sell order above the market price), buy stop (placing a buy order above the market price), and sell stop (placing a sell order below the market price).
- Select the order type you prefer and set the price at which you will enter the market.
- Enter your preferred lot size, stop loss, and take profit.
- You can also set an expiry date on the order you’ve placed.
- Finish by clicking the ‘Place’ tab to enter the trade.
How to Set Stop Loss and Take Profit
Stop-loss is a level set by a trader to reduce against loss if a trade moves against their position. Take profit, on the other hand, is a level set by a trader to lock in profits when price moves in his direction.
At the terminal window, click the trade tab where all your open trades have been listed. Right-click on your selected trade and choose ‘Modify or Delete Order’. A dialog box will appear. Enter the stop loss and take profit you prefer. Then click the modify tab.
How to Close a Trading Position
The time comes when a trader has to close his/her position. Achieving the target profit and reducing loss are some of the reasons for closing a trade.
In MetaTrader 4, here is how you close a trade;
- In the terminal window, click the Trade tab which will display the open trades.
- Right-click the trade you wish to close and then select ‘Close Order’.
- A dialog box will appear. Then click the yellow ‘Close’ tab below the buy and sell tabs to close your position.
How To View Your Open Trades
You can view your open trades by clicking the ‘Trade’ tab on the terminal window located at the lower part of the MT4 platform.
How To Check Your Trading History
MT4 also stores information on the trading activities of traders. Monitor your account history on MT4 by clicking the ‘Account History’ tab on the terminal window at the lower part of the MT4 platform. You can also view the opening and closing prices of your previous trades. Do this by clicking the ‘Account History’ tab. Click and drag a trade to the main chart and both open and close prices will be displayed on the chart.
The above guideline will help you know the different workings of the MT4 platform such as knowing how to use its various tools. The MT4 might seem intimidating at first but it’s easy to use once you learn its operations.
Ready to learn more about using MT4 and MT5? Take a look at our forex education section here.