MetaTrader 5 (MT5) facilitates online trading in forex, stocks, and futures. Rich analysis tools and indicators make it an excellent platform for experienced traders. Automated trading is also available through expert advisors and signals. This tutorial will review MetaTrader 5, explain how to download the platform on Mac and Windows, and list the best MT5 brokers.
MetaQuotes released the MetaTrader 5 platform in 2010 as a successor to the hugely popular MetaTrader 4. Retaining the same iconic logo, MetaTrader 5 was marketed to the advanced trader, offering an extensive suite of trading tools.
The platform connects retail traders to multiple markets:
- Stock indices, including the S&P 500, Dow Jones, NASDAQ, Dax 40
- Cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin (XTB)
- Commodities, including gold
- Forex, including XAU/USD
MetaTrader 5 is free to use and available directly through an online web browser. Alternatively, you can download the platform to your PC. The software is compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10. The download also works on Mac devices, except with MacOS Catalina. The software should run smoothly on both 32-bit and 64-bit processors. MetaTrader 5 is also compatible with Linux.
Once you have downloaded MetaTrader 5 to your PC or navigated to the login page on your browser, register for a new account. Most brokers will require basic information to verify your identity, trading objectives, and risk appetite.
From your account dashboard, you can make deposits and withdrawals. Minimum deposits vary between brokers. Payment fees also depend on the provider and method selected.
Trading costs, commissions, and leverage levels are flagged when you sign up for an account. Forex traders may see a swap charge against their account. A swap fee is interest earned or paid on trades kept overnight.
MetaTrader 5 offers 38 built-in technical indicators, including:
- Exponential moving averages (EMAs)
- Volume profile
- MACD-2 lines
- Pivot points
- Zig zag
Custom indicators are also available from Code Base and the Market.
Over 100 price charts are available on the platform with 21 timeframes, ranging from one-minute to one-month. This makes the platform suitable for analysing both short-term and long-term price trends.
MetaTrader 5 is home to real-time international news streams and an economic calendar. The software also has a Depth of Market feature to see liquidity, plus one-click trading and a vast library of historical market information, such as NSE stock data.
MetaTrader 5 allows for separate accounting of orders and trades, plus support for all types of trading orders and execution models.
The two accounting modes are:
- Netting – Adopted on exchange markets
- Hedging – Used for trading
For further guidance on how to build a trading strategy, see here.
The MetaTrader 5 web terminal has been designed with personalisation in mind. Gateway Java and Python APIs, for example, enable integration so users can run:
- Custom indicators – Indicators can analyse price data following pre-determined rules.
- Scripts – Scripts can perform almost any function on the platform, such as adding indicators to a chart or closing all pending orders.
- Libraries – This is a portfolio of tasks that share segments of popular custom applications on MetaTrader 5.
Note you can also personalise the look and feel of the platform, including choosing between the light and dark mode.
Automated trading is available through expert Advisors (EAs). Following pre-determined criteria, algorithms will automatically execute trades on your behalf.
The MQL5 programming language allows for the development, backtesting, and optimisation of expert advisors. The MQL5 Wizard helps beginners get started with trading robots. For advanced traders, MQL5 IDE provides additional tools:
- MetaEditor – Used to develop and refine trading robots and indicators
- Strategy Tester – Tests trading strategies using historical data
Expert advisors can also be bought directly from the Market or free downloads are available at Code Base. Detailed tutorial PDFs that explain how to get started with MetaTrader 5 robots can be found online.
If you need to step away from your MacBook or Chromebook, the mobile app has everything a pro needs to operate. You can access a complete set of trading orders, including pending orders and level 2 prices, with up to 32 quotes. Mobile traders also benefit from fast switching between financial instruments on charts, free financial news, push notifications, 30 technical indicators, and 24 analytical tools. Additionally, the History Center can be used to view price quote history.
Download the Android mobile app (APK) from the Google Play Store. For iPhone users, head to the Apple App Store. Alternatively, the platform is available through the WebTrader login page on your mobile browser. A tutorial for MT5 mobile beginners is offered by most brokers.
Note the time zone is set by the broker and cannot be changed from your iPhone or Android device.
The free MetaTrader 5 demo account is an excellent preliminary step to take before opening a real live account. Beginners can get familiar with trend analysis and order execution. You could test a strategy on shares, for example, without risking real money. You could also play around with different lot sizes in a forex strategy, or try trailing stops and risk management tools. Note 1 lot equals 100,000 of your base currency while a mini lot equals 10,000 and a micro lot equals 1,000.
A useful tip for new traders is to keep a trading journal, documenting what does and doesn’t work. For further guidance on demo accounts, see here.
MetaTrader 5 Brokers List
MetaTrader 5 is available at some of the best-established stock and forex brokers, particularly in the UK and US:
- Interactive Brokers
- Admiral Markets
- Trading 212
- JFD Brokers
- JP Markets
- IC Markets
Support is available to MetaTrader 5 customers through several avenues. Head to the ‘Help’ page for key topics, including:
- Getting started
- Charts & graphs
- Price analysis
- Copy trading
- Mobile trading
- Trading signals
- Automated trading
For common issues, such as no connection, the platform keeps closing, or you’ve forgotten your password, most brokers operate a live chat or telephone support service. To get complex topics explained and standard templates, user manuals and guides in PDFs or online videos are a good place to start.
However, arguably the greatest source of support is the online MetaTrader 5 community. If you’re having issues with the platform not updating, connecting or working, or if you want a review of keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys, you’ll find forums with users willing to help. Avid users are also great for updates on how to get the most out of the latest version of MetaTrader 5.
Common platform errors include:
- ‘Market closed’ – Appears when you try and place a trade outside of trading hours
- ‘Off quotes’ – If connectivity drops, the platform can’t display current prices
- ‘Can’t place order’ – Usually happens if you try to place a trade without sufficient capital in your account
- ‘Unsupported filling mode’ – Brokers use different symbol filling modes, so check the filling mode accepted by your symbol
Head to the ‘Contact us page’ to speak to a manager from one of MetaTrader’s representative offices.
MetaTrader 5 Vs MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5 certainly isn’t as widely used as MetaTrader 4, but it still has a lot to offer. The key difference is that MetaTrader 5 is geared towards the advanced trader. MT5 offers 38 technical indicators while MT4 has 30. MT5 has 44 graphical objects to MT4’s 31. And MT5 has 21 timeframes while MT4 has nine.
MetaTrader 5 is also considered a multi-asset platform, whereas MetaTrader 4 is primarily used by forex traders. Finally, MetaTrader 5 has two market orders, six pending orders, plus two stop orders, whilst MT4 offers two market orders and four pending orders. But the price of MT5’s additional tools is that beginners and those looking for an uncomplicated platform might be deterred.
So when it comes to the choice of MetaTrader 5 or MetaTrader 4, consider your needs. MT5 is probably the best fit for advanced traders seeking a state-of-the-art platform, but MT4 will suffice for most.
MetaTrader 5 vs NinjaTrader 8
For forex traders, there is a MetaTrader vs NinjaTrader debate. Both platforms are aimed at experienced traders using sophisticated strategies.
The benefit of NinjaTrader is that it promises more customisation than MetaTrader 5. The downside is it’s not as readily available as MetaTrader. This means less choice when it comes to brokers and a smaller online community. In contrast, the MetaTrader 5 community is extensive, ensuring help is always on-hand, be it you want to change the platform’s time zone indicator or view the latest update release notes.
Overall, MetaTrader 5 is more widely available and still offers ample customisation.
For experienced traders wanting a multi-asset platform and access to powerful trading tools, MetaTrader 5 is a sensible option. The server allows you to operate multiple accounts with different brokers. It also has excellent automated trading capabilities and copy trading. Overall, for complex trading strategies, MetaTrader 5 is among the best.
What is MetaTrader 5?
MetaTrader 5 is an online trading platform that connects retail investors to the financial markets. It’s commonly used for trading on forex, stocks, and futures.
Is MetaTrader 5 a broker?
No – MetaTrader 5 is not a broker. It’s offered by brokers to customers who use the interface to manage trading activity, including conducting analysis and executing trades.
Is MetaTrader 5 a legitimate platform?
MetaTrader 5 is a legitimate and well-regarded platform. Its developers, MetaQuotes, are among the industry’s best-established providers.
How do I use MetaTrader 5?
To use MetaTrader 5 you need to download the platform to your Mac or Windows device, or open the terminal in your web browser. You will then need to register for a new account. Once you have your login details, sign-in to deposit funds, conduct price analysis, and place trades.
Is MetaTrader 5 free?
MetaTrader 5 is free to use for traders. The broker pays an upfront fee and a monthly charge to be able to license the platform to its customers.
How do I use a MetaTrader 5 demo account?
To use a MetaTrader 5 demo account, simply register for a new account, select ‘demo’, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Is MetaTrader 5 safe?
MetaTrader 5 is a relatively safe platform, using data encryption and extended authentication to protect client information from hackers. With that said, it’s impossible to guarantee the security of any online platform. Also, trading by its very nature is risky, so do not risk more than you can afford to lose.