How to Use MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 4 is a very popular platform among Forex traders. It connects them to the Forex market where they participate in trading financial instruments. It is therefore important for every trader to learn about the platform. This article will show you how to use MetaTrader 4.

Installing MetaTrader4

First, download the Metatrader 4 application and run the file. Then follow the set of instructions indicated within the dialog box to complete the installation.

How to Log in on MetaTrader 4

Once you open the MetaTrader 4 platform, on your upper left is a tab named File.

Clicking the File tab will produce a list. From the list choose ‘Login to Trade Account’ and a dialog box will appear like the one below:

How to Use MetaTrader 4

From there you can fill in the details of either your Demo or Live account.

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. The tabs are next to the chart tabs.

Zoom in and out icons

Another tab is the 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 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 labeled ‘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.

Viewing 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 Use MetaTrader 4 Viewing Open Trades

Checking Trading History

MetaTrader 4 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 MetaTrader 4 might seem intimidating at first but it’s easy to use once you learn its operations. Not everything has been discussed in this article but all the important details on hot to use MetaTrader 4 indicated here will help guide you on how to start to use it.

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