Once you have registered and activated your trading account, you have read that your broker recommends you to use MetaTrader, one of the most used software by those who operate on the forex markets from home. So, How to use MetaTrader? At first glance, it seems incredibly complex to you. Not knowing where to start, you searched for information on the Internet and clicked on this guide, hoping to find the answers to your doubts.
Well, if that’s the case, I’m happy to tell you you’ve come to the right place. So, make yourself comfortable and take some time to read this tutorial carefully, in which I will explain how to use MetaTrader. Before continuing, however, I would like to make it clear that I only want to explain the functions of the program and I cannot, of course, take any responsibility for the performance of your investments and that it is absolutely not my intention to provide you with financial advice. Clear? Good. If you’re ready, let’s get started!
How to use MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader exists in two versions: version 4, from 2005, and version 5, released in 2010; they basically do the same things, even if the newer version has some small improvements that I will explain to you in the dedicated chapter .
Which is best for you then? If you are a beginner, my advice is to always install the one recommended by your financial services provider and downloadable from their site. The online brokers that allow you to trade using this platform always provide a customized version of MetaTrader, which makes the first connection and configuration easier, as well as ensuring complete compatibility with the tools they have developed to help you.
How to use MetaTrader 4 on PC
In this part of the guide, for demonstration purposes, I will explain how to install MetaTrader 4 in the version taken from the MetaQuotes Software website. Regardless of where you get the software, however, the installation will always be the same. I will refer to the version of the program for Windows , but know that it also exists for macOS and Linux .
Ready to get started? Then go to the official MetaTrader website . If the site is in English, don’t worry, the software has been translated into more than thirty languages, including Italian. From the top menu on the side of the logo, click on the Download item, scroll down and click on the blue Download MetaTrader 4 for Windows button . Wait until your computer has finished downloading the installation package and then launch it by double clicking on it. In the window that opens, click on the Yes and Next buttons to accept the license terms. A green bar will show the progress of the installation process. When finished, click Done. MetaTrader 4 will start automatically after installation.
The first thing to do when starting MetaTrader 4 is to link it to your trading account. Open the File menu , top left, and click on the Login item in the Trade Account . A dialog box will appear in which you will need to enter the data provided by your broker. In the Login field enter your user code, in the Password field the one you chose during registration, in the Server field select the one recommended to you by your provider, then click on the Login button at the bottom.
Each broker that provides MetaTrader 4 allows you to use it with a demo account , provided with a virtual budget. If you are a beginner, I recommend that you configure that to not risk your money directly in case you make a mistake.
That’s it, you have now linked the MetaTrader 4 desktop to your account. Let’s now see the main functions of the program. The first thing that catches the eye is the apparent complexity of the platform, right? Are all those columns and graphs confusing you? Don’t worry because in the next paragraphs I will explain how to put some order, analyzing the main tools.
The program window consists of four parts. At the top left is the Market View section , a customizable table that allows you to see the assets that you can trade in your account. You can add anything you want to keep an eye on and take away what you don’t care about.
At the bottom left is the Navigator . It consists of four items: Account, with all information about the account (or accounts) linked to the MetaTrader 4 program. Indicators contains a set of technical analysis tools that allow you to evaluate the markets and develop strategies.
The Expert Advisors and Programs items concern advanced trading assistance tools, real programs written in the programming language provided with MetaTrader 4, which allow you to monitor trading (or automate it) using algorithms.
The main part is the Graph Window , occupied by automatically created diagrams that give a representation of the trend of the assets you want to keep under control. You can view up to one hundred of them together. The charts are highly customizable, you can highlight them, enlarge or minimize them, write and draw them on them thanks to the tools made available by MetaTrader 4, and make them the type you prefer: bar, Japanese candlestick or line. You can also change the color scheme for each individual chart as you wish.
The last section of the window is the Terminal , the one that is further down. To navigate inside you will have to click on the tabs located at the bottom of the window. From here you will be able to get an overview of your account, your exposure, open trades and all the operations you have made.
You can also set up Alarms , to be notified if a particular event occurs on the markets. You will also have access to a series of articles and online resources made available by your broker that allow you to receive messages and news directly on the MetaTrader 4 terminal.
The Market tab is a real internal market on which you can buy automatic trading tools and programs made to run in MetaTrader 4. You will then manage them in the Library . As these are very advanced features, I won’t tell you about them here. For all the details of the case, I refer you to the official guide that you find on the site (in English).
As you can see, the various sections of the program are shown in windows that work exactly like those of the Windows operating system and can be closed, minimized or expanded to full screen, allowing you the maximum degree of customization and making it easier for you to focus on what interests you.
For example, if you want to open an order in MetaTrader 4, just click on the name of the asset you want to trade in the Market View window and an Order window will open immediately.
Easy and immediate. From here it is very easy to open immediate or pending orders, set special stop loss or take profit conditions, take notes on order management and then monitor everything from the Open Positions section of the Terminal.
How to use MetaTrader 4 on mobile
MetaQuotes Software has also created a MetaTrader 4 smartphone app available for both Android (also on alternative stores ) and iPhone / iPad . In this part of the guide I will show you the one for Android, but the steps to take are very similar on iOS / iPadOS too.
Keep in mind that the application for your smartphone has the advantage of being able to be used wherever you have an Internet connection but it is much leaner and lacks many of the potential of the PC one. Then proceed to install the app and open it. At the first start you will be offered the license agreement, under the words Welcome to MetaTrader 4! Press the Accept button and choose Accept again when prompted to open a demo account .
The first thing to do is to link the MetaTrader 4 app with your trading account. Then tap on the ☰ symbol, at the top left, next to the software logo, and select the Manage accounts option . You will see that there is already a registered account, the demo one activated by installing the app.
If you want, you can use this to practice, otherwise press the + symbol at the top right and, from the next screen, select Login to an existing account . In the Search Broker field , type the name of your financial services provider and select it from the list that will appear. Enter your Login and Password details and then tap Login at the bottom of the screen.
The main page of MetaTrader 4 on mobile is Quotes , where the current prices of the assets traded by your broker are shown. The list can be customized as desired. Tap on the + symbol , at the top right, to add a market from those traded by your service provider. If you select the pencil symbol instead, you can reorder them. Finally, tap the trash can icon , select the ones you want to delete and then, again, tap the trash icon to delete them.
By tapping on the candles icon , at the bottom of the screen, you can open the graphs page. Here a chart of the first asset in your Quotes list is displayed. If you want to change it, you have to press the $ icon , at the top right, and choose another one from the list. If you want to change the time intervals of the graph you must instead select the clock icon and, again, choose an interval other than the nine in the list.
To open an order, on the other hand, you have to go to the Quotes page , tap on the market you are interested in, and select New Deal from the list. In the order screen that opens you will need to select the quantity of assets to buy or sell. The value a above the red line will indicate the stop loss while the one above the green line the take profit. When you have done everything, press the buy button (if you want to buy) or sell (if you want to open a sell position).
All open orders will be visible in the Trade tab , represented at the bottom by an arrow icon.
How to use Metatrader 5
MetaTrader 5 was developed by MetaQuotes Software in 2010 with the intention of replacing the previous platform in the long run. Graphically it has been kept very similar, so much so that, at first glance, it can even appear identical.
What really changes is the programming language made available by the program to create trading assistance tools, but it is a decidedly advanced function that does not concern this tutorial, in which instead I will tell you about the differences with the previous version. MetaTrader 5 has also been released for all major desktop and mobile operating systems.
How to use MetaTrader 5 on PC
In MetaTrader 5 some small improvements and optimizations have been made. The previous version was born for the currency market ( forex ) while the successor was given a more generalist imprint, also voted to trade shares, cryptocurrencies and other financial instruments. MetaTrader 5 has an economic calendar built into the platform – accessible from the Calendar item in the Navigator – which allows traders to receive market news, in real time, directly from the program.
It also has slightly more options for pre- set technical indicators , chart -related tools , such as more precise periodicity and the ability to analyze market depth . Finally, the possibility was added to open a pending order , that is, which can also be partially executed. Small improvements that make a trader’s job easier.
However, these are changes that should not concern a novice trader. My advice is always the one I gave you at the beginning of the guide: download the version of MetaTrader that your broker provides you and use that. If you want to test, I’ll show you how to use MetaTrader 5 demo and test yourself, in a totally safe way.
To download the program, go to the official website and click on the button for your operating system (I’ll cover Windows here ). The installation process is identical to the one I already told you about for version 4.
Once you start the program you will be automatically registered for a free demo account , hosted by a MetaQuotes server that will allow you to test the main functions of the program in a safe way. By choosing Login in the Trade Account , from the File menu , it will be the one already set with user number , password and dedicated server. Just click OK to enter the demo account and have ten thousand virtual euros available to try out the main functions of the program.
For further information, I refer you to the official software guide (in English).
How to use MetaTrader 5 on mobile
Similar to version 4, MetaTrader 5 is also available as an app for Android (including HUAWEI without Play Store ) and iOS / iPadOS mobile devices . In this short guide I will explain how to use MetaTrader 5 on Android , showing you how to install it and the main differences from the previous version, which are not many. Again, the iOS version is virtually identical.
At the first launch you will be presented with the license agreement, choose Accept and confirm that you want to open a trial account . The latter option is optional, but I recommend that you do it to learn how to use MetaTrader 5 demo on your smartphone, at least for the first time. Remember, when you want to get serious and feel ready, connect it to your brokerage account by choosing Manage Account from the menu at the top left.
As you can see the interface of MetaTrader 5, compared to 4 it is more streamlined. The app can be navigated from the icons located in the bottom bar: Quotes, Charts, Financial Statements and Order History . As you can see, the graph interface has been improved, adding a context menu that opens by tapping on the graph , and from which you can change the periodicity of the image shown and apply Trend and Oscillator tools to the diagram.
In MetaTrader 5 a series of statistical analysis tools have been included, accessible directly from the Quotes screen, by tapping on the market of interest, able to analyze, for example, its Depth and its main properties. From this menu you can, of course, place your order.
In this guide, of course, I have only given an overview of the enormous potential of this software. If you think it might be right for you, however, before trading I invite you to try the demo accounts and study other resources, many of which are available online. If you want, you can start with my guide on how to play the stock market online.