What is MT4 and How to Use It?

Would you like to trade forex on a user-friendly platform you can customize to suit your needs? MetaTrader 4 has been a popular trading software for almost two decades. Developed by MetaQuotes Software and released in 2005, it has become the go-to platform for forex trading.

If you’re curious about trying out the MetaTrader 4 platform, keep reading because we’ve prepared a quick guide about the platform, its benefits and features. You’ll also find a step-by-step guide on how to download and install MT4.

What is MetaTrader 4 (MT4)?

MetaTrader 4, or MT4 for short, is a popular forex (FX) trading software. While traders mainly use MT4 for foreign currency trading, the platform also lets you trade commodities and stocks.

Many forex brokers offer MT4 as their primary trading platform because it is user-friendly and customizable. You can develop your own trading scripts, indicators, and automated trading strategies using the platform’s built-in programming language, MQL4.

Key Features of the MT4 Trading Platform

MT4 offers many useful features for beginner and experienced traders. You can choose which features to use based on your investment strategy and needs. 

Here’s what you get

  • Charting and analysis tools to research price chart patterns. The platform offers 9 timeframes and over 30 built-in technical indicators for analyzing trends. On top of that, you get analytical aids such as lines, channels, geometric shapes, etc. to better identify and confirm trends.
  • Automated trading allows you to use expert advisors (EAs) to analyze market data and make trades automatically. You can use the Strategy Tester to backtest your EAs.
  • Easy trading and one-click trading to speed up your deals. You can also make multiple orders and use trailing stop functionality.
  • Easy access to your trading history and real-time account information.
  • You can use the MQL4 programming language to create custom indicators and EAs.
  • You can also access the program through a mobile app and sync it with your desktop program.
  • Easy access to market data, real-time quotes, price alerts, financial news, and more.

How to Get Started with MetaTrader 4

Don’t worry if at first, this all sounds a bit confusing. Once you download and install the platform, you should get the hang of it pretty quickly.

First: Choose a broker

Make sure the broker you choose is reliable and has positive customer reviews. They should provide information about their regulatory compliance, trading costs, and available tools. But most importantly, they should offer trading on the MT4 platform.

Second: Download and install MT4

Download the platform from your broker’s website or the official MetaQuotes site. Follow the installation instructions (find below).

Third: Open a trading account

Sign up for an account with your chosen broker. There you should be able to log into your MT4 platform.

Fourth: Get used to the platform

Explore the main features of the platform, such as a market watch, navigator, terminal, and charts. You can also set up your charts for currency pairs if you’re using the platform for forex trading. Before making any real trades, we recommend you practice with a demo account. It allows you to use virtual money to test strategies without financial risk.

Bonus: Host MT4 on a private virtual server

Hosting your MT4 platform and EAs on a private virtual server can give you peace of mind. With Forex VPS, you can run MT4 independently of any public server. This way, you can use the platform 24/7 and avoid network interruptions and MetaTrader freezes.

Advantages of Using MT4 for Forex Trading

  • User-friendly interface: MT4 is beginner-friendly and has many visual features to help users get started. For example, you can drag and drop indicators onto your chart.
  • Clear charting: You have all the tools to analyze markets in detail, such as various chart types, timeframes, and technical indicators.
  • Automated trading: You can set up automated trading strategies using EAs to trade based on predefined rules, such as breakouts on selected currency pairs.
  • Fast: The platform is fast and optimized. You can also use a VPS to avoid any network interruptions or high latency.
  • Many brokers to choose from: You can use MT4 with pretty much any forex broker out there.
  • Big community: There’s a whole world of MT4 users ready to lend a hand. You can learn about the platform and trading strategies through YouTube videos, forums, and courses.
  • Customization: You can tailor the platform to fit your trading style and needs. For example, you can create custom indicators or modify the interface layout.
  • Mobile access: You can access your account, trade, and set alerts through your phone, using the MT4 app.
  • Multi-account management: You can have multiple accounts with different strategies to organize your investments.
  • Demo account: A great feature for beginners. You can simulate trading on the platform, using virtual money, with 0 risks.


How do I download and install MT4?

Make sure your device has at least 1 vCPU (or 2000 MHz or faster CPU), 1 GB of RAM, and 60 MB of storage. 

Here’s a simplified installation guide:

  • Download the MT4 installer from your broker’s website or the official MetaQuotes site.

For Windows:

  • Run the MetaTrader 4 Setup file (mt4setup.exe) and follow the setup instructions.

For Mac or Linux:

  • Install Wine, which is necessary to make your OS compatible with Windows applications.
  • Download the MetaTrader 4 installer and use Wine to run mt4setup.exe. Follow the instructions to complete the installation. 

When you finish installation, launch MetaTrader 4 to log in with your trading account credentials. The process might vary depending on the broker platform and operating system.

Can I customize the MT4 platform?

Yes, that’s one of the main benefits of the platform. It allows you to customize the design and display of the charts, timeframes, toolbars, and similar features. You can customize it even further using the MQL4 language, which allows you to create custom technical indicators, develop EAs, implement automated trading, and more.

How can I use Expert Advisors (EAs) on MT4?

To use and configure EAs, go to the main menu. Click “Tools” and select “Options”. From the “Options” window that pops up, go to the “Expert Advisors” tab and make sure “Allow automated trading” is ticked.

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