MetaTrader 4 – MT4 platform, download and setup explained

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Metatrader 4

By Gary Smith

MetaTrader 4: What is it – and how can it benefit traders?

It first made an appearance back in 2005. Since that time Metatrader 4 (MT4) has grown to become the single most widely used automated electronic trading platform. So what exactly is it – and how can its features make a positive difference to your trading activity? We give you the lowdown…

How MT4 works

MT4 is a trading platform developed by a company called MetaQuotes. Even if you haven’t heard of that particular company, if you explore some of the popular brokers out there (ETX Capital and Binary.com to name just two), you are likely to come across it.

Most often put to work in conjunction with forex trading, MT4 can also be used to trade commodities and indices via spread betting or CFDs and futures markets. It’s used on licence by many brokers and essentially consists of an interface for placing and managing your trades. On top of this, the platform features a number of tools for putting automatic trading techniques into place – as well as for analysing prices and markets.

Whereas some brokers offer a basic MT4 experience, many others (IG, for instance), enhance it with a customised set of extra tools. So MT4 is rather like an Android smartphone; the basic feel of it is the same no matter what the model, albeit some manufacturers are more inclined than others to add their own touches to it.

Several brokers also offer MT4 as an alternative vehicle for trading alongside their proprietary platform. There’s a sound commercial reason for this; because of its familiarity among traders, it’s a good way of drawing new customers in.

From a trader’s point of view, getting to know the platform can make sense if you can see yourself switching brokers. Its universality means that if you want to hop from one broker to another (to take advantage of better rates or wider trading options), assuming that both platforms offer MT4 trading, you can make the switch without facing a re-learning experience.

The MT4 platform

While MT4 is available to download direct from MetaQuotes, it can make more sense to use the download provided by the broker you are considering (or using). This generally means that any free enhancements provided by that broker are ready and waiting for you.

MT4 download

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Executing a trade

This is a straightforward process. For a currency trade for instance, you go to the New Order button on the platform toolbar, select your currency pair, enter the size of your position, choose your buy and sell limits and stops – as well as your loss limits and profit targets.

Using Metatrader 4 automated trading – EA

An Expert Advisor (or “EA”) is a program that you put to work on the trading platform to automatically take a certain action on your behalf if certain criteria are met. If you are using an off-the-shelf EA, you should always ensure it is from a trusted, reputable source. With MT4, it’s easy to create your own EA or store ready-made programs and put an EA to work by basically dragging it onto your interface. Crucially, the platform also enables you to back-test an EA and put it to work in demo mode before you risk your capital to it.

Making sense of MT4 indicators

From both the broker and trader’s point of view, MT4 is highly customisable. Brokers are free to add their own indicators to the platform menu on top of what’s there already.

Traders simply go to that menu, choose which indicators they wish to add to their own charts and how they want each indicator to be visualised in terms of line style and colour.

In short, MT4 enables traders to control what information they rely on – and how it is presented.

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Why use Metatrader4? Other benefits:

Other reasons why MT4 has grown to become a market standard include the following…

  • A large community of users – If you have a technical query – or are looking for different perspectives on the best indicators to put to work in your trading activity, there’s an international community of users out there to help you. Whether you are a novice trader – or perhaps a seasoned trader looking to put together your own automated trading aid, the MQL4 community site is worth visiting.
  • Charts you can rely on – The combined trading and charting capabilities of the platform mean that simultaneously trading while analysing the markets becomes a straightforward process. You can trust that the current prices you are looking at are bang up to date.
  • Stable, secure and mobile – Under the bonnet, MT4 is a relatively simple platform. It’s not the type of system that will take its toll on whichever device you have it installed on. With simplicity comes stability; one of the reasons why it’s favoured by brokers and traders alike is that it’s unlikely to cut out, leaving you unable to react at key trading junctures. On top of the desktop versions, there are stable and secure variants for Android, iOS (mac) and Linux.

Compare MetaTrader 4 with rivals

“How comfortable am I with this particular platform?”

This is a key question you should be asking yourself as you scan the market. There’s no shortage of brokers who have built their interface around MT4 – but it’s not the only way of doing things.

It goes to show that by no means are all brokers “basically the same” in the way that information is presented.

So where next? Browse our up to date platform reviews – including a wide range of brokers who offer variants of the MT4 platform – to find the package that best meets your needs.

Download MetaTrader 4

You can download MT4 directly from IG, and the steps to do so are explained below. With IG, MT4 can be downloaded using several web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Regardless of which browser you use, you should follow the steps below to download MT4 with IG.

Call +61 (3) 9860 1799 or email [email protected] to talk about opening a trading account. We’re here 24 hours a day, from 4am Saturday to 10pm Friday (BST).

How to download MT4

Downloading MetaTrader 4 from IG is simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide explaining how.

  • For a demo MT4 account, visit our MT4 demo account creation page

2. Once you have an account, visit your My IG dashboard

3. Click on ‘add an account’ at the bottom right of the screen

4. Select an MT4 CFD account

5. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the download process.

If you have trouble logging in, check our MT4 help and support area.

How to install MT4 on Windows

Once you’ve started the download process, the steps to install MT4 are different depending on which device you wish to install MT4 on. Here’s how to install MT4 on a Windows device:

1. Create a trading account with your preferred provider

2. Follow this link to download MT4

3. Click on the ‘IG setup’ window in the bottom left of your screen

4. Select ‘run’ and follow the instructions in the install wizard popup

How to install MT4 on Mac

MT4 has been designed to be used on a PC. This is because it uses a .NET framework, which is not supported on Mac. With that being said, there are methods that you can use to launch MT4 on a Mac, such as using a VPS or third-party software available directly from the MetaTrader 4 website.

Before going ahead and installing MT4 on a Mac, you should research your chosen method carefully. This is because the process may be unstable and could cause damage to your computer. Please remember that non-official websites which promise to show you how to install MT4 on a Mac could be infected with malware.

How to install MT4 on mobile

Follow the step-by-step tutorials below and learn how to install the MT4 mobile app on your iOS or Android device.

How to download MT4 for iOS

MT4 can be used on your handheld iOS devices. MetaTrader 4 for iOS can be used on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. To run the MT4 app on one of these devices, the device must be updated to iOS 4.0 or later.

  1. Visit the app store
  2. Type in ‘MetaTrader 4’
  3. Select the MetaTrader 4 app
  4. Click ‘get’
  5. Open the MT4 app on your iOS device and sign in with your IG account

How to install MT4 for Android

MT4 for Android requires your device, whether that be a phone or tablet, to be powered by Android OS 2.1 or higher.

  1. Visit the Google Play app store
  2. Type in ‘MetaTrader 4’
  3. Select the MetaTrader 4 app
  4. Click ‘install’
  5. Open the MT4 app on your Android device and sign in with your IG account

What are the MT4 system requirements?

There are some system requirements for using the MT4 platform. Below you’ll find a table with the minimum and recommended system requirements to install and run MT4 on your computer.

MT4 Minimum requirements Recommended requirements
Operating system Windows server 2020 RS Standard x64 Windows server 2020 standard x64
CPU Intel i7 4xxx series quad-core or higher Intel Xeon E3, E5 series quad-core or higher
RAM 8GB 16 GB
HDD RAID-1 array with 2×1 TB SATA HDDS RAID-1 array with two 480GB SSDs
Monitor resolution 1280×800 1280×800 or more
Network 100 Mbit/s Ethernet with 10Mbit/s bandwidth 100 Mbit/s Ethernet with 50Mbit/s bandwidth

How do I update MT4?

MT4 updates automatically from within the terminal. The update system is always enabled, and it cannot be disabled, which means that you are always using the newest version of MT4.

For more information about MT4, visit our page on what MT4 is and how you use it – as well as the range of MetaTrader 4 indicators and add-ons you get for free when you download MT4 from IG.

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The risks of loss from investing in CFDs can be substantial and the value of your investments may fluctuate. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how this product works, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

CFD Accounts provided by IG International Limited. IG International Limited is licensed to conduct investment business and digital asset business by the Bermuda Monetary Authority and is registered in Bermuda under No. 54814.

The information on this site is not directed at residents of the United States and is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

IG International Limited is part of the IG Group and its ultimate parent company is IG Group Holdings Plc. IG International Limited receives services from other members of the IG Group including IG Markets Limited.

Download MetaTrader 4

Create an IG account today to get access to our full MT offering, including a range of free indicators and add-ons. Follow the steps below to download MT4.

Call 010 344 0051 or email [email protected] to talk about opening a trading account. We’re around 24 hours a day from 6am Saturday to 11pm Friday.

Contact us: 010 344 0053

How to download MT4

Downloading MetaTrader 4 from IG is simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide explaining how.

2. Visit your My IG dashboard

3. Click on ‘add an account’ at the bottom right of the screen

4. Select MT4 CFD account

If you have trouble logging in, check our MT4 help and support area.

How to get MT4 on mobile

MT4 is also available as a mobile platform, which you can use with an IG account to access our unique MT4 offering. To download MT4 on mobile:

1. Go to the App Store of Google Play

2. Search ‘Metatrader 4’ and click download

3. Open the MT4 app on your chosen device and sign in with your IG account

MT4 system requirements

MT4 Minimum requirements Recommended requirements
Operating system Windows server 2020 RS Standard x64 Windows server 2020 standard x64
CPU Intel i7 4xxx series quad-core or higher Intel Xeon E3, E5 series quad-core or higher
RAM 8GB 16GB
HDD RAID-1 array with 2×1 TB SATA HDDS RAID-1 array with two 480GB SSDs
Monitor resolution 1280×800 1280×800 or more
Network 100 Mbit/s Ethernet with 10Mbit/s bandwidth 100 Mbit/s Ethernet with 50Mbit/s bandwidth

How do I update MT4?

MT4 updates automatically from within the terminal. The update system is always enabled, and it cannot be disabled, which means that you are always using the newest version of MT4.

For more information about MT4, visit our page which explains what MT4 is and how you use it – as well as the range of MetaTrader 4 indicators and add-ons you get for free when you download MT4 from IG.

How to install MT4 on Mac

MT4 has been designed to be used on a PC. This is because it uses a .NET framework, which is not supported on Mac. With that being said, there are methods that you can use to launch MT4 on a Mac, such as using a VPS.

Before going ahead and installing MT4 on a Mac, you should research your chosen method carefully. This is because the process may be unstable and could cause damage to your computer. Please remember that non-official websites which promise to show you how to install MT4 on a Mac could be infected with malware.

How to install MT4 on Windows

To install MT4 on Windows, follow the steps set out here. Once the download is complete, start the download wizard and follow the on-screen prompts.

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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Professional clients can lose more than they deposit. All trading involves risk.

IG is a trading name of IG Markets Ltd and IG Markets South Africa Limited. International accounts are offered by IG Markets Limited in the UK (FCA Number 195355), a juristic representative of IG Markets South Africa Limited (FSP No 41393). South African residents are required to obtain the necessary tax clearance certificates in line with their foreign investment allowance.

IG provides execution only services and enters into principal to principal transactions with its clients on IG’s prices. Such trades are not on exchange. Whilst IG is a regulated FSP, CFDs issued by IG are not regulated by the FAIS Act as they are undertaken on a principal-to-principal basis.

The information on this site is not directed at residents of the United States or Belgium or any particular country outside South Africa and is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

Voted SA’s top CFD provider in Business Day Investors Monthly Annual Stockbroker Awards in 2020 and 2020, best platform for Active Day Traders in 2020 and 2020 and SA’s best Online Broker in 2020 and 2020.

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