Trader’s Tech #10 – Installing MT4 EAs and Indicators Part 2

Tim Black hosts the live trading room for the NY trading session on Mondays and Wednesdays. His background is in computers and technology. He is addicted to technology, charts and technical analysis and enjoys teaching and sharing his viewpoints in these areas.

Part one of this article can be found here.

So, I promised a part two to this article. I’ll bet you thought I was lying. 😉 I don’t get it, it’s only been 17 months or so since the first one.

After having looked at my Trader’s Tech #9 for all this time, I realized that I added unnecessary complication to it. You don’t have to drag and drop a shortcut to the folder on your desktop, it’s just as quick to right-click the MT4 shortcut and click Open File Location from the context menu. If you don’t have to install EAs very often, that is probably a good solution so as not to clutter your desktop.

As I said in the first article, EAs and indicators (I will heretofore refer to them all as EAs) are distributed in two forms (once they are unzipped/unpacked from archives): the executable (with .ex4 file extension) and the source (with .mq4 file extension.) In part one of this miniseries, I discussed installing the executable EA. In this post, I will discuss what to do with the source.

As before, your first step is to find the location of your MT4 platform installation. As no MT4 installation is the same, the easiest way to find it is to right-click on the shortcut (the icon you click on to open your MT4 platform.)   You will then see the following context menu appear (it may be different from mine as we may have different utilities installed on our computers):

When this menu appears, click on Open file location. This will open a Windows Explorer window similar to this:

Once you’ve opened the experts folder you’ve reached one of the points where installing EAs and Indicators deviates slightly. If you are installing an EA, you will drag and drop the .mq4 file to this folder (the experts folder.) If you are installing an indicator, you will have to go another level down by double-clicking the indicators folder:

If you are installing an EA, you can skip this step. If you are installing an indicator, drag and drop the .mq4 file into the indicators folder:

Now that you have your .mq4 file in the appropriate folder, you can close the Windows Explorer window and open your MT4 platform.

Open the Navigator window by click on the Navigator toolbar button as above.

Expand the appropriate section (Expert Advisors or Custom Indicators) of the Navigator listing by clicking on the ‘+’ sign to the left of the section.

Right-click on the appropriate EA or Indicator in the listing and select Modify. You will now see the MetaEditor (MQL4 programmer’s editor) window come up. Don’t let it freak you out, all you have to do is hit the Compile button.  If you’re curious you can scroll down to see what the program code looks like. Just don’t change anything unless you know what you’re doing (or want to learn.)

Once you click the Compile button and see the 0 error(s) message, you’re ready to drop the EA or indicator onto your chart.

Now you can drag and drop your EA onto your chart as you see above.

Be sure the appropriate checkboxes are checked. The ones shown above are the most common settings for EAs. Be sure to read the documentation supplied with your EA for more details. Then click the OK button.

You’re almost done! There are two small details that you need to check. If everything is ready to go, you should see a smiley face in the upper right corner of your chart.

If you don’t see the smiley face, then there are two possible problems:

If you see an X next to the EA name, click the Expert Advisors button near the center of the upper toolbar. And the other potential problem:

If you see a frowny face, you will need to hit F7 to open the EA dialog box, click the Common tab, check the Allow live trading checkbox and click OK.

So, that about covers installing mt4 indicators. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions, I’ll try to get to them as promptly as possible. Thanks for reading. And you can follow me on Twitter right here. And catch me in our live trading room on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8am NY Time.

Also, let me know what other Trader’s Tech topics you would like me to discuss.

The following two tabs change content below.
Winners Edge Trading was founded in 2009 and is working to create the most current and useful Forex information and training available on the internet.

Winner’s Edge Trading, as seen on:

Winner's Edge Trading in the news