Introduction To MetaTrader 4

If you open a demo or live account with an online Forex broker you have to use a trading platform in order to execute trades with that broker.


A trading platform is a software which provides a mechanism for the trade execution and includes additional tools to facilitate technical analysis like e.g. Japanese Candlestick charts with indicators.


Many brokers provide a choice of different trading platforms. Almost without exception every retail broker provides the Metatrader 4 platform. It is useful to have some knowledge about this platform and how it works. This article will provide an introduction to Metatrader.


Metatrader 4/Metatrader 5


Two Metatrader platforms are often used and available: Metatrader 4 and Metatrader 5. Both of these are available as free standalone software for the user to download and install on their own computer or device. The Metatrader platforms are offered by MetaQuotes Software Corp.


The Metatrader 5 platform is a newer release. Most traders have mostly continued using the MT4 platform so we will focus on Metatrader 4.


Forex MT4: Downloading and Installing


Brokers which are providing accounts compatible with Metatrader 4 usually provide download links where a demo or live account can be opened and a customized platform downloaded and installed making the process a little easier.


Basic Functions of Metatrader 4


When a demo or live account is up and running the tick-by tick price changes in that broker’s price feeds can be displayed and analysed within the Metatrader 4 trading platform. The mainly uses of Metatrader 4 are:

  • Trade Execution
  • Display of Forex live charts which show price changes tick by tick
  • Provision of analytical charting tools including all the major indicators which are allowing technical analysis by the user of both live and historical Forex charts
  • Provision of news and alerts which can be customized by the trader
  • Display of current open trades and closed historical trades
  • “Auto-trading” by “Forex expert advisors” (EAs or robots)
  • Tool for the creation of customized indicators and “expert advisors”
  • Back testing trading strategies with historical data

Advantages/Disadvantages of Metatrader 4


Your broker will probably provide traders the choice of using either Metatrader 4 or at least one other trading platform. Often the alternative to Metatrader 4 is a proprietary browser-based platform. You should have in mind the advantages and disadvantages of choosing Metatrader 4 over any likely alternatives.



  • The Metatrader 4 forex broker platform usually runs more quickly and has less delays than browser-based alternatives.
  • Metatrader is compatible with most retail Forex brokers and can be used to run multiple accounts. Most brokers are MT4 Forex brokers. If you wish to switch brokers you can probably use it with your new broker so you would not need to learn how to use a new platform.
  • There is a Metatrader online community which offers help and support to Metatrader users.
  • Because of Metatrader 4 is so popular there exist a lot of customized indicators and expert advisors to perform almost every type of trading strategy and technical analysis.
  • Metatrader offers a lot of charts for showing price movements and live tick prices in different configurations.
  • Metatrader 4 is available for use as a platform with many spread betting providers and true ECN brokerages.
  • Metatrader 4 is easy to use.
  • Metatrader 4 can be used on smartphones.
  • Many brokers provide MT4 demo accounts which allow traders a risk-free practice under real market conditions.


  • Some brokers impose wider spreads on Metatrader 4 than they provide on trades which are executed through their proprietary platform.

 Please read on: MetaTrader 4 User Guide - Navigation