How to Use MetaTrader 4 for Forex Trading

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For beginners looking to automate their forex trades, MetaTrader 4, commonly known as MT4, serves as an excellent starting point. This widely used trading platform offers a user-friendly interface accessible across browsers, desktops, and mobile devices.

One of the platform’s main draws is its extensive array of built-in indicators, providing traders with diverse trading options including major and minor currency pairs, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and stocks. Additionally, MT4 allows for the installation of automated trading bots, enabling traders to generate profits from the market while attending to other tasks.

In this article, we will give you a guide on how you can leverage MT4 for profitable forex trading:

1. Utilize Pending Orders

With MT4, traders can set instructions for opening and closing trades at a later time, known as pending orders. This feature proves invaluable when traders cannot constantly monitor charts for price movements. Once a favourable entry point is identified, a pending order can be placed, automatically executing the trade once the market reaches the specified level. Stop Loss and Take Profit orders can also be set alongside pending orders to manage risk effectively.

  • Sell Stop: Set below the current market price to anticipate further price drops, especially after breaking a support level.
  • Sell Limit: Utilize to capitalize on a resistance level when predicting a downward trend.
  • Buy Stop: Set above the current price to anticipate a potential breakout at a resistance level.
  • Buy Limit: Place at a support level to anticipate an upward trend following market movement.

MT4’s client terminal simplifies the management of pending orders, allowing for easy deletion or setting of expiry dates.

2. Customize Your Charts

While the default MT4 chart display may lack appeal, traders can customize charts extensively for better analysis. Period separator grids, indicators, and objects can be added to aid in trend analysis. Commonly used indicators on MT4 include:

  • Moving Averages: Indicating prevailing trends, with prices above indicating uptrends and vice versa. Moving averages often serve as areas of value for trade entry.
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI): Identifies overbought or oversold conditions, signalling potential reversals.
  • Slow Stochastic: Similar to RSI, identifies overbought or oversold conditions using %K and %D lines.
  • Moving Average Convergence and Divergence (MACD): Suitable for ranging or trending markets, indicating momentum changes through moving averages.

Customizing charts simplifies trading analysis, enhancing the effectiveness of forex trading strategies.

3. Harness Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are invaluable for time-saving while trading, especially for day traders navigating shorter time frames. With MetaTrader 4, utilizing shortcuts allows for quicker access to tools, streamlining your trading process and eliminating redundant information and functionalities. Here are some helpful shortcuts:

  • Terminal: CTRL + T
  • Zoom in: +
  • Zoom out: –
  • Navigator: Control + N
  • Market Watch: Control + M
  • F8: Edit chart graphics
  • F9: Order panel
  • F12: Full-screen chart

These shortcuts simplify navigation within MT4, enhancing efficiency. However, all functions are still accessible through the menu bar.

4. Leverage Alerts

Utilizing alerts can significantly enhance forex trading on MetaTrader 4. Alerts enable you to monitor critical price levels for optimal entry or exit points. Instead of continuously monitoring charts, alerts notify you via text messages or emails when the market meets specific criteria. This alleviates concerns about being away from the charts without staying informed.

5. Embrace Mobile Trading

Mobile trading offers exceptional flexibility and mobility, allowing access to MT4 from smartphones or tablets. This capability empowers traders to stay connected to global markets from anywhere, providing various analytical options such as graphical quotes. While the MT4 app may not encompass all desktop version indicators and analysis tools, its basic functionalities remain invaluable for on-the-go trading.

6. Utilize Expert Advisors (EAs)

Expert advisors, or EAs, are software programs that execute trades based on predefined rules. Once a robust strategy with precise entry and exit criteria is established, EAs automate trading processes, sparing traders from manual chart monitoring. EAs offer a passive income avenue, requiring minimal time and energy investment. Moreover, they are particularly beneficial for emotional traders by removing fear from trading decisions.

How Can Beginners Trade MT4?

Trading the forex market on the MT4 platform involves several steps:

1. Select a Currency Pair

Currency pairs are listed under the ‘Market Watch’ tab on the left side of the MT4 dashboard. To initiate a new order, traders can right-click on the desired currency pair and select ‘New Order.’ Alternatively, they can use the main ‘New Order’ tab located at the top section of the dashboard.

2. Open a New Trading Position

Upon clicking the ‘New Order’ button, traders can open a new trading position. Here, they can specify details such as volume, order type, and stop-loss limits according to their trading strategy.

3. Monitor the Market

Monitoring the market is crucial. Traders need to constantly observe the movements in the chosen currency pair, aligning with their trading plan and goals. Based on market conditions, traders must decide when to close their positions.

4. Close the Trade

Trading positions can be closed manually or automatically. To manually close an order, traders can right-click on the open position and select ‘Close #…’. Additionally, orders can be automatically closed using Expert Advisors. Positions may also be closed automatically when stop-loss or take-profit limits are reached.


MetaTrader 4 boasts a user-friendly interface, making it accessible even for novice traders. Incorporating the handful of tips outlined above is essential for enhancing your profitability while trading. When combined with expert trading strategies, leveraging MetaTrader 4 can pave the way for significant success in the forex market.

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