MetaTrader 4 Trading Platform (MT4)


  1. The MetaTrader 4 trading platform capabilities
  2. The terminal from within: the interface, the main menu, and functions
  3. Types of orders in MT4
  4. Stop Loss and Take Profit, Trailing Stop
  5. One click trading: what is it and how to apply
  6. Technical analysis: indicators and charts in MT4
  7. Signals copying
  8. MT4 versions: PC, mobile, online
  9. Helpful tips and advice on the terminal use

A chef cooks dishes in the kitchen of the restaurant, a pilot flies the aircraft from the cockpit, an accountant keeps tabs in a stuffy office, a singer performs on a stage. And what is a workplace of a trader?

The trader opens and closes transactions in the terminal – a special software created for online trading. For 10 years the MetaTrader 4 trading platform remains a favorite terminal among participants of three financial markets: Forex, CFD, and Futures. Features and functionality of the platform make it a versatile tool.

The MetaTrader 4 trading platform capabilities

The MT4 trading terminal was developed by MetaQuotes Software Corp. in 2005. Even before the official release of the platform, many brokers were interested in it. The platform is fundamentally different from previous programs because it was created from scratch. Later a mobile version of the platform was released, the design was improved, new features were added. Developers of MT4 are updating and improving the platform all the time, new build comes out several times a year (every two – five months). Therefore, MetaTrader 4 is the most popular, convenient and functional platform on the market.

The MetaTrader 4 platform is designed for trading, copy-trading, technical analysis, automated trading.

Trading in MT4

The MT4 platform has a powerful trading system, so traders can use trading strategies of any complexity, such as scalping*. Quotes in MT4 are displayed in real time. Traders immediately see the changes on the market and open beneficial deals.

* Scalping is a trading strategy, according to which the trader opens short-term order. Transactions usually do not last more than 5 minutes, and the profit or loss accounts to a few points.


The terminal from within: the interface, the main menu, and functions

An interface of the terminal is simple and understandable. At the top of the main menu, all the functions of the terminal are listed. They include:

  • “File” – combines the commands for configuring and working with charts, profile managing, data and graphs storing, graphs printing;
  • “View” – signal windows, toolbars, program language managing;
  • “Insert” – contains objects that can be overlaid on the chart, such as lines, indicators, icons, etc.;
  • “Charts” – combines commands of the price charts and indicators setting;
  • “Tools” – allows you to create a new order, manage the terminal settings, open the archive of quotations, global variables, and MetaQuotes Language Editor;
  • “Window” – contains commands to manage charts windows;
  • “Help” – combines optional commands: MQL4.Community, MQL5.Community, the technical analysis section, the program description.


Above the charts in the toolbar 9 timeframes are located, i.e. time periods: M1 (chart period is 1 minute), M5 (chart period is 5 minutes), M15 (chart period is 15 minutes), M30 (chart period is 30 minutes), H1 (chart period is 1 hour), H4 (chart period is 4 hours), D1 (chart period is 1 day), W1 (chart period is 1 week), MN (chart period is 1 month).

“Market Watch” is located on the left side of the terminal window. Here current quotes of trading tools are transmitted.

If you right-click on the currency pair, you’ll see a window where you can open a new order on the chosen currency pair, display the graph on it, or open the depth of market. It consists of the best current offers to buy and sell the currency pair. It is possible to open an order for the selected currency pair in it.



In the lower panel of MT4, which is called “Terminal”, trading positions, account history, news, alerts are displayed.

Types of orders in MT4

In MetaTrader 4 you can open several types of trading orders: market Buy/Sell and pending Buy Stop, Sell Stop, Buy Limit, Sell Limit.

Market orders are proposals to buy or sell the trading tool (currency pair or metal) at the current price, i.e. at the price you see on the chart right now.

Pending orders are proposals to buy or sell the trading instrument at the future price. The trader sets at what price he wants to buy or sell the tool and the transaction is carried out at a time when the price reaches a specified level.

The MT4 trading platform offers two types of order execution: Instant Execution and Market Execution. But not all brokers offer the same orders execution types. A broker sets the type of order execution by himself and informs about it in his trading conditions.

Market Execution: the transaction is opened at the price that is valid at the time of its processing by a server. That is, it may differ from the price that you just saw on the screen because the Forex market is very volatile.

Instant Execution: the transaction is to be performed at the set price. If the broker can not carry out the transaction at a specified price, he will send you a requote – that is, he will offer you new quotes. Then you’ll decide to accept the new price or not.

Stop Loss and Take Profit, Trailing Stop

The Forex market is volatile. Due to unforeseen circumstances and news, price rises or falls sharply. If during such a jump the trader has an open order, he may lose his balance. Experienced traders know how to avoid losses. To do this, you may put Stop Loss and Take Profit.

Stop Loss is a function in MT4 to minimize trader’s losses. When the trader opens a market order, he can set the level of Stop Loss, if the price goes against him. And when the currency pair reaches this level, the transaction is automatically closed with minimal loss.


Trailing Stop is a function in MetaTrader 4, which automates the process of setting Stop Loss. The trader opens a transaction, puts the level of Stop Loss and then activates the Trailing Stop function. Now, if the price moves in profitable for the trader direction, the Stop Loss level will automatically catch up to it.

The trader can change the closing level of the transaction manually, but Trailing Stop facilitates this task. It can be put up for a certain number of points, for example, 20. Then the gap between the price and the closing level of the transaction will be 20 points. If the price moves in a loss direction, then the Stop Loss level will remain the same and will not catch up to the price.

Take Profit is the function in MT4 to fix profits. The trader can put Take Profit at the level at which the deal will be automatically closed in profit. It can be put on the two and more points above the current price. That is, when the price increases by two points, the order will be closed.

One click trading: what is it and how to apply

There is the “One Click Trading” option in the platform. It is a function that allows you to open an order with one click. To bring the function in action, right-click on the chart and click on “One Click Trading”. You will see a panel that constantly changes its color from red to blue, from blue to gray, from gray to red, or in any chaotic manner.


This panel displays the current Bid and Ask prices. Set the size of the transaction and press “Sell” or “Buy”. The deal will open automatically, without confirmation!

The red color of the panel means that the current price is lower than the previous;
The blue color indicates that the current price is higher than the previous;
The gray color – there were no changes in the last 15 seconds.

To learn how to open market orders in MetaTrader 4, read the article “6 Ways to Open a Market Order in MetaTrader 4”. How to trade pending orders read here.

Technical analysis: indicators and charts in MT4

“Against all this will be objected, that these computations are very hard if not impossible to make; to which I answer only this, that are so, especially if none will trouble their hands or heads to make them, or give authority for so doing”, – William Petty, Treatise of Taxes & Contributions ©


The MetaTrader platform has all the necessary for technical analysis: 30 built-in and 2000 user indicators; 23 analytical objects (shapes, lines, icons), 9 time periods, three kinds of graphs (linear, bar and candlesticks). You can open several charts simultaneously. They all are interactive, can be scrolled and scaled in real time.

The terminal contains indicators and line tools, which are imposed on the chart, for successful analytics. These objects help the trader to analyze the behavior of the currency pair in the past and predict the possible movement and trends in the future. Indicators are imposed on the chart automatically, and linear instruments – manually.

Line studies are different geometric shapes to indicate the trend movements and different levels, such as support and resistance levels. They include horizontal and vertical lines, trend lines, Fibonacci and Gann tools, cycle lines, Andrews’ Pitchfork.

Forex indicators are the algorithms that help to see the potential price movement in the near future. The indicator gives the trader hints in the form of patterns which point him when to enter or exit the market.

In MetaTrader 4 standard free indicators are added by default. There are four main types of Forex indicators: oscillators, trend indicators, volume indicators, Bill Williams’ indicators. Oscillators determine overbought and oversold zones on the market and indicate the time when the price will go in the opposite direction. Trend indicators show in which trend the price is moving at the moment. Volume indicators point to price changes in ticks*. Bill Williams Indicators are author signals that predict price movement in five dimensions.

* Tick is any single quote change in one direction or another.

To add an indicator to the chart, go to the tab “Insert” → “Indicators” and select from the list an indicator which you like.


If there is no suitable indicator in the list, look for it in the embedded Market. Here you’ll find more than 1,700 advisors and 2,100 indicators, paid and free. How good are these indicators, you can see by the reviews and by your own experience.

You can create trading robots and indicators by yourself if you know the MQL4 programming language.

Signals copying

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso ©


MetaTrader 4 developers offer not to work manually. There is a copy-trading function in the terminal – kind of automated trading, during which the transaction on your account is copied from the account of another trader.

In the “Terminal” panel → “Signals” tab available copy signals are displayed. Why do you need it?

  1. There is no need to trade on your own – another trader will do everything for you. For this, he gets a commission or accumulates rating. Signal Provider earns money and helps you in this at the same time.
  2. You learn from experienced traders. Of course, you can start signals copying and go away, do your own business. Or you can watch the provider’s activities, study his strategy and work on it by yourself.
  3. You make a profit without making any effort.

If you want to get to know how best to start signals copying in MT4, read the article “MQL5 Signals: How to Copy Transactions with Profit”.

MT4 versions: PC, mobile, online

The MetaTrader 4 trading platform is universal: the terminal is available on both the computer and the mobile device. There are 3 versions of the platform: a desktop – for PC with Microsoft Windows, mobile – for smartphones and tablets running Android, iOS, online version – is opened from a browser of any device.

Different versions allow you to remain permanently in the terminal, and thus to trade 24 hours a day. The trader is not confined to a particular spot or time. You can download any of the versions for free and without registration.

MetaTrader 4 PC

The desktop version of MT4 is the most powerful and functional among all the others. The main features of the platform for the PC:

  • trading the financial instruments of the Forex market;
  • 9 time periods on the charts;
  • quotes in real time;
  • interactive charts;
  • one click trading;
  • trading from the chart;
  • the ability to connect trading robots (advisors);
  • more than 50 indicators and chart patterns for technical analysis;
  • working with the market and pending orders;
  • news feed;
  • internal mail.

MT4 was developed for the Windows operating system. System requirements for the PC:

  • Windows XP version or higher;
  • Intel Celeron processor with a frequency of 1.7 GHz and above;
  • 256 MB RAM or more;
  • 50 MB of free disk space.

Download MetaTrader 4 for PC

To learn how to install the MetaTrader 4 trading platform, if you do not have the Windows, read the article “How to Install MetaTrader 4 on Different Devices: System Requirements” and “How to Install MT4 on Computer Within 5 Minutes”.

MT4 iPhone

Traders with iPhones, iPads, and iPods Touch can constantly trade and do other things simultaneously. The interface is easy and intuitive, and the functionality of the mobile version is close to the functionality of the desktop one. Features of MetaTrader for iOS devices:

  • trading, not confined to a place;
  • trading the financial instruments of the Forex market;
  • 9 time periods on the charts;
  • quotes in real time;
  • opening, closing and adjustment of the market and pending orders;
  • trading from the chart;
  • 30 technical indicators;
  • a panel, displaying open and closed transactions, trading history, alerts, and news feed;
  • interactive charts that you can scroll, zoom, adjust the color bars, volumes, net, etc.;
  • offline mode, in which quotes, charts, trading history are available.

System Requirements: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch 5.1.1 or above.

Download MetaTrader 4 for iPhone

MT4 Android

If you have a smartphone or tablet with Android, you will get a trading application with many functions and simple design. Pros of the platform for Android:

  • intuitive interface;
  • forex trading in a mode 24/5;
  • charts with nine time frames;
  • quotes in real time;
  • full work with the market and pending orders;
  • an ability to trade from the chart;
  • 30 indicators for technical analysis;
  • displaying of open and closed transactions, trading history, news;
  • an ability to zoom, scroll and adjust charts;
  • offline mode with quotes, charts, trading history.

System Requirements: device with Android 4.0 and above.

Download MetaTrader 4 for Android


If you can not download the MT4 trading platform, or you do not want to do this, use an online terminal. Webtrader is an online version of the MT4 platform, which works through a browser. The functionality of the browser version is simplified, but for beginners, it is rather a plus. Its interface is easier than the desktop one. To work in MT4 WebTrader you need a device with Internet access.

Features of the browser-based terminal:

  • you do not need to download and install the terminal;
  • available on any device with any OS with a browser and Internet access;
  • trading the financial intruments of Forex;
  • 9 time periods on the charts;
  • quotes in real time;
  • opening, closing and adjustment of the market and pending orders;
  • trading from the chart;
  • one click trading;
  • 30 technical indicators;
  • displaying of full trading history;
  • interactive charts that you can scroll, zoom, adjust the color bars, volumes, net, etc.;
  • offline mode with quotes, charts, trading history;
  • trading in a full-screen mode.

WebTrader looks like this:


Open WebTrader

Helpful tips and advice on the terminal use

We want to tell you about a few more tips that facilitate and speed up the work in the terminal.

  1. Hot keys of MT4 will make work in the terminal easier and more convenient:

    CTRL + Z – cancels the removal of the object from the charts;
    CTRL + F – switches “Crosshair” mode, which allows to define the date and time on the chart;


    Alt + B – opens the Depth of Market;
    F8 – opens the properties of the chart, where you can adjust the color of lines, bars, and net;
    F9 – opens a new order;
    F10 – opens the “Popup prices” window, which one can fix on top or adjust the color if to right-click on it;
    F11 – opens the chart in full screen.

  2. Templates saving – you press the F8 key, set up the chart and you want to set up all the following charts in the same way. To do this go to the “Charts” tab → “Template” → “Save Template”. Now, this template will be used the next time you open the terminal.
  3. Traffic saving – if to turn off the news feed in the terminal, it will greatly save traffic. Go to the “Tools” → “Options” tab, uncheck the item “Enable news”.
  4. The user transaction volume – when you open the order, you set the volume. MT4 has 13 volume options. But if you do not like any option, select the volume number and replace it with what you want.
  5. order-volume

  6. Password change – to change the password to the MT4 account, go to the “Tools” menu → “Options” tab → “Server”. Near the “Password”, click “Change” button, enter the old password, the new password – twice, confirm the action. The password will be successfully changed only when the network is connected. If there is no connection with the server, the password will not change.


We hope we have told all the most important things about the MetaTrader 4 platform. Download the terminal and start trading. Good luck!