Each Forex trader should know how to setup the MetaTrader4 trading platform.
Today, most forex trading transactions are executed online.
The trading technology has advanced greatly and traders are now able to initiate trades within milliseconds on their platforms of choice.
Trading platforms have facilitated a virtual exchange of currencies.
MetaTrader4 (MT4) is one of such trading platforms.
The MT4 platform is well known for speculating the forex market.
You can download MT4 for Windows, Mac, and mobile apps.
The platform is used by tons of traders and brokers.
Traders use MT4 to view real-time currency prices, open and adjust orders, and perform technical and fundamental analysis.
Brokers also use this platform to help them reach a wider audience.
The good thing with the MT4 platform is that it has many currency pairs and technical indicators that you can use.
It also comes with customizable charts that are simple to use even for newbies.
These charts make it easy for traders to spot various chart patterns and breakouts.
If you are a mechanical trader, you can plug in your expert advisor (EA) to the MT4 platform.
This will provide you with an easy way of tracking trading opportunities.
However, you cannot access the MT4 platform via a website.
You are required to install the platform on your computer or phone in order to be able to access your trades and view currency prices.
MT4 was developed and released by MetaQuotes Software in 2002.
Since then, it has undergone a number of changes.
Its 2005 version gave it a real traction in the online trading community.
It has now become very popular among traders, and brokers offer it as an alternative to their proprietary software.
In this article, I will show you how to setup the MetaTrader4 trading platform.
How to Setup the MetaTrader4 Platform
It is easy for you to get started with MetaTrader4.
You can download it from MetaQuotes website free of charge.
You can also download it from an online broker once you create a real or demo account with them.
You can install the MT4 platform on MacOS and Linux.
The platform is also compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10 on both 32-bit and 64-bit processors.
So, if your device meets the above requirements, you are set to go!
Installing the Software
Once you have chosen the broker that you will be dealing with, you can find a page on their website that links to the MetaTrader4 download link.
Once you click the link, your operating system will request for permission to download the file.
This is the MetaTrader4 file and it comes with the logo for your broker as the icon.
After downloading the file, double click it in order to begin the installation process.
The installation process will then begin as shown below…
From the above figure, you can tell that I downloaded my MT4 from MQL5.
The green progress bar shows the progress of the installation process.
Once the installation completes, click the Finish button.
You will have installed MT4 on your device.
By default, after clicking the Finish button, the MT4 terminal will be launched.
Creating a MetaTrader4 Account
Once you launch the application, a small window will pop up at the middle of the platform.
This is the server window.
You will have the option of choosing between real money servers and demo money trading.
If you want to create an account for real trading, you have to choose the real account server.
The demo money server should be used for MetaTrader demo accounts, in which your orders will not go out to the global market.
If you choose the real account option, you will be prompted to login with your credentials.
However, you don’t have the login credentials yet.
So, you should create a new account.
You will be asked to provide your personal details like your address and phone number.
You may also be redirected to the official registration page for the broker you’ve chosen to work with.
Some brokers will require you to register at their website as well.
The platform will automatically generate the username and password for you.
These will then be send to your email address.
You have to ensure that you remember these details as you will be required to provide them in order to log into your account.
After doing that, most MetaTrader brokers will ask you to provide a copy of your ID.
This is to ensure that everything is transparent between both sides, that is, your side and the broker’s side.
You simply have to take out your phone, take a photo of you ID, and send it to your account manager who requires it for confirmation.
Now that you have confirmed your registration and provided your ID for confirmation, you can make a deposit into your MetaTrader trading account.
Depositing Funds into your MetaTrader Account
There are different ways of depositing funds with your forex broker.
In most cases, this involves creating an account with the broker’s website.
After creating the account, it will be connected with your trading account at MetaTrader4 trading platform.
After depositing the funds at the broker’s website, they will be instantly reflected in your MetaTrader account.
So, if you choose to deposit $40,000 in your trading account, this is the exact amount that will be reflected on the MetaTrader4 platform.
The platform will show all your open trades on the order window.
Additionally, your Equity, Balance, and Free Margin will be displayed in real time.
You can also personalize the MT4 platform, like chart setups and choosing between light and dark mode.
You will also see details of commissions, trading costs, and Spreads after singing up.
As a new user, you may be surprised to find swap fees charged on your trading account each day.
The swap is the interest received or charged at the end of each trading day, depending on your position.
Any time that you don’t have enough funds to meet a leverage requirement, you will see a “not enough money” error whenever you’re placing a trade.
Different brokers charge different fees, but you are always provided with a free option.
So, to deposit funds, simply select “Deposit” from your trading account.
And to withdraw funds, simply choose “Withdraw” from your trading account.
The deposit and withdrawal times will also vary from broker to broker and depending on the method that you have selected.
And, that is how to setup the metatrader4 platform.
How to Trade using the MetaTrader4 Platform
Now that you have known how to setup the metatrader4, it is time for you to know how to use it.
After installing the platform, you will see the following window on your monitor…
That is an example of a ready MT4 platform that has been setup and funded.
As you can see, there are many buttons at the top of the MT4 platform.
You will be provided with the option of choosing the chart time frames.
The time frame can be a minute, an hour, a day, a week or a month.
It will be possible for you to change from one timeframe to another.
There are two magnifying glasses on the chart marked as + and -.
These two help traders to zoom out and zoom in the trading charts without having to change the trading timeframe.
There are three buttons on the left of the magnifying glasses.
These help forex traders to choose the charting options that they need to use.
Each button represents a different chart option.
The possible chart options include the bar chart, Japanese candlestick, and a line chart.
You are also provided with a few basic drawing tools, and these are regularly needed when doing technical analysis.
If you right click inside the chart, you will see various options that you can use to customize your trading platform.
You can take some time in order to customize the settings to meet your trading requirements.
If you right click inside the chart and point at the Trading option, you will see the options that permit you to enter a new trading position.
This is shown in the figure given below…
So, pointing to the Trading option gives the “New Order” option that can help you get into a new trade.
You can also achieve this by clicking the “New Order” button provided on the top of the chart.
If the time frames are not shown and you need to show them on the toolbars, it’s simple.
Just click the “View” option from the menu then point at “Toolbars”.
You can then choose “Timeframes” and they will be shown on the chart as shown below…
The timeframes have been pointed to by a red arrow.
You can also choose the currency pair that you need to deal with and create a chart for it.
You simply have to click the “Create new chart” icon, which is the first icon on the icons toolbar.
This is shown below…
The icon has been surrounded by a red rectangle at the top of the chart.
When you click the icon, you will be able to create a chart for the currency pair that you want.
Since you are dealing with forex pairs, you will have to move down the options provided in the icon and select Forex.
You will then see all the Forex pairs that are provided.
On the left side of the MT4 terminal, you will be able to see a live market watch.
This area is marked as “Market Watch” and it shows the exchange rates for various currency pairs.
This window only shows the basic Bid/Ask information for all the chart windows that you decided to add into your trading portfolio.
However, you must note that these are not the only trading symbols that are offered by your broker.
If you need to see all the options that are available, just right click the Watch window then choose “Show All”.
This is shown below…
The “Show All” option has been shown by a red arrow.
If you click this option, you will be able to see all the financial instruments that are provided by your broker.
Note that the “Market Watch” window provides you with another place from which you can open new trades.
You just pick the forex pair of choice and then right click it.
You will be provided with many options from which you can choose one.
The above image shows that you get many options after right clicking on this window.
If you choose the “New Order” option, you will create a new order for the currently selected forex pair.
How to Open a Trade on MetaTrader4
You now know how to setup the metatrader4 platform and perform basic operations with it.
But, how can you open real trades using this platform?
We have mentioned a number of ways that you can use to buy or sell a currency pair.
You only have to right click the “Market Watch” window and choose the “New Order” option.
This will open up a special trading window for you.
However, the easiest way for you to bring up this new order window is by clicking the F9 hotkey on the keyboard of your computer.
This will open up the window instantly and you will see the following…
Let’s now discuss what we see on the above order window…
The first line is marked as “Symbol”.
It is simply a drop down menu with all the symbols available for trading at the station of your broker.
It allows you to change the forex pair to trade.
Anytime that you need to change the forex pair, just click this dropdown and choose the option that you need.
Of course, this dropdown has many forex pairs and a vertical scrollbar that allows you to scroll upwards and downwards to see the options that are available.
Your role is just to pick the option that you want.
The next option is about the “Type”.
It is also a dropdown menu with two options for you.
One of the options is “Instant Execution”.
If you choose this option, your order will be executed instantly.
However, this will only come after you have filled in all the necessary fields and after you have clicked either Buy or Sell depending on the direction that you need your trade to take.
The second option is “Pending Order”.
You should choose this type of order if you need the MT4 platform to implement a market entry once the price reaches a certain level on the chart.
The next line is marked as “Volume”.
This is where you should specify the trading volume.
This is the amount in full that you want to invest in your trade.
It is of importance for you to know that one full lot is equal to 100,000 units.
You should also know other lot sizes.
Here are different lots showing different amounts of volume and their corresponding units…
- 1 Full Lot (1.0) – 100,000 units
- 1 Mini Lot (0.1) – 10,000 units.
- 1 Micro Lot (0.01) – 1,000 units.
- 1 Nano Lot (0.001) – 100 units.
If your goal is to perform a standard pip value calculation, you can use the calculation given below…
For pairs in which the USD is the base currency…
Suppose you buy a USD/JPY at an exchange rate of JPY 1.1350 for one USD.
You will invest 1 Full Lot (100,000 units) in your trade.
You want to know how much 1 pip (0.0001) costs.
First, you should calculate the amount 1 pip (0.0001) equates to.
This is shown below…
0.0001 / 1.1350 = 0.0000881057 or 0.00881057%
You can then multiply the result by the volume that you need to trade.
(0.0001 / 1.1350) x 100,000 Units = $8.81 (8.81057269)
It means that the value of 1 pip (0.0001) at a rate of 1.1350 JPY for 1 Full Lot traded is equal to $8.81.
Note that when you use this calculation, the end result will be in the base currency.
However, not all the time that the USD will be the base currency, but it can also be the quoted currency.
So, this brings us to our second option…
For pairs in which the USD is a quoted currency…
In this case, the formula has to be extended.
You should use the same formula as we discussed above, but the result should be multiplied by the spot rate so as to convert it into USD.
Remember that the result for the upper formula is in the Base currency.
Suppose you want to sell 100,000 units of AUD/USD at an exchange rate of $1.0900 for one AUD.
If you need to calculate the value of one pip (0.0001) in USD, use the formula given below…
((0.0001 / 1.0900) x 100,000 Units) x 1.0900 = $10 for one pip
The results will be for 1 Full Lot.
You should carefully choose the volume that you want to trade when opening a position.
That’s how to do it.
We can now go back to the “New Order” window.
Next, we have the “Stop Loss” and “Take Profit”.
The values that you set for these will determine your exit points from the trade.
The Stop Loss helps you to specify the rate at which you can exit the trade in any case the market moves against you.
The Take Profit helps you specify the rate for automatically closing your trade if the market moves in your favor.
There is also a section for “Comment”.
This is where you can write a comment describing your trade.
After filling in all the above details, you simply have to click the Request button.
You will then be prompted to choose whether it’s a Buy or Sell trade.
Once you click any of these options, you will have completed the process of creating a new order.
The MT4 platform comes with many trading tools that Forex traders can use to run their trades.
For you to see these tools, you only have to click the “Insert” dropdown menu located at the top of the MT4 terminal.
After clicking the dropdown button, choose the “Indicators” option.
You will see the groups of all indicators provided by the MT4 platform.
This is shown in the figure given below…
The above figure shows the various groups of indicators provided by MT4, including volume indicators, oscillators, trend indicators, etc.
These indicators are in-built.
If you use other trading platforms, you will realize that they also provide these indicators.
However, the most interesting feature about MT4 is that it is a section for “Custom” indicators.
This is the last option as shown in the above figure.
This means that you can create your own custom trading indicators with specific parameters, then you add them to the MT4 platform.
Additionally, there are thousands of indicators that you can use to analyze financial instruments and they cannot all be included in this trading platform.
So, if you have any indicator that has not been included into the MT4 platform, just search for it, find it, create it, and then download it.
To make it appear on the MT4 terminal, just add the downloaded file into the “Indicators” folder of the MT4 installation files.
You will then find your new indicator in the “Custom” menu.
Also, the MT4 terminal comes with many Fibonacci based trading tools.
They include the following…
- Fibonacci Retracement
- Fibonacci Fan
- Fibonacci Time Zones
- Fibonacci Extension
- Fibonacci Arcs
There are also other Fibonacci indicators that are not included into the MT4 platform.
If you need to use them when running your trades, just search, create, and then download them.
You can then add them manually to the MT4 just like the indicators.
Other drawing tools available for you are lines and channels.
You can use these tools to analyze trends or particular levels on the chart.
After knowing how to setup the metatrader4 platform and how to use it, you should learn how to customize it.
The reason is that the default chart settings may not appeal you.
However, it’s easy for you to change the default chart settings for MT4.
The default color for the charts is a black background, a grid, black and white candles.
If you want to make changes, just click inside the chart then right click with your mouse. Next, choose “Properties”.
Note that after right clicking inside the chart, “Properties” will be the last option that appears on the new popup.
It will give you the following window…
It is from this window that you can make changes to your MT4 charts according to your preferences.
You can also incorporate the technical studies that you need on the chart.
Once done, right click on the chart and choose “Templates”.
You can then click on “Save Template” and select where you need to save the template that you have just created.
You will then be able to load that template on every chart that you create on the MT4 terminal.
You are also provided with default templates, hence, you can choose one from the menu.
Examples of these default templates include ADX, Momentum, Bollinger Bands, Volume, etc.
Additionally, there are many online templates for MT4 created and used by Forex traders.
You can search for them and download the ones that appeal to you.
After the download, just save them inside the “Templates” section of your MT4 platform.
These settings will then be applied to your charts instantly.
So, if you are just getting started with Forex, this article about how to setup the metatrader4 will make it easy for you to start forex trading using the MetaTrader4 platform.
If you have any question regarding the use of this platform, you are lucky because there is a large community of MetaTrader users online.
You can pose your question to them and you will get the right answer.
An example of a forum where discussions are centered on the MT4 platform is MQL5.
This is what you’ve learned in this article…
- MetaTrader4 is an online trading platform well-known for speculating the Forex market.
- It has versions for Windows, Linux and Mac, meaning that it can be used on all of these platforms.
- MT4 was developed by MetaQuotes Software and released in 2002.
- However, numerous changes and improvements have been made to the platform since then.
- To use the MT4, you have to download and install it on your computer.
- After installing MT4 on your computer, you can create a MetaTrader account.
- When you make a deposit into your MetaTrader account, it will be automatically reflected on MT4.
- The platform comes with many indicators that you can use to run your trades.
- Additionally, you can create your own indicators that will help you meet your trading needs.