Metatrader 101: Adding an EA to your Chart

This is the first in a series of Metatrader 101 posts, partly so that I can have something to give to clients who are new to Mt4. It will cover the basics so people can get up and running quickly.

An EA (Expert Advisor) is an automate trading strategy that will trade your account for you and hopefully make you money. In order to apply one to your chart you need to do the following:

1. Go to the Tools | Options menu option to bring up the Options dialog. On the Expert Advisors tab make sure that Allow automated trading has been ticked. You’ll see that there are other options there which disable automated trading when either the account or profile have been changed. It’s good to leave these on but it does mean that if you’re changing accounts regularly then you’ll need to check that automated trading is switched on each time you get started. Click OK once you’ve done this to close the dialog box.

Note, there is an alternative way of doing the above which you may prefer to use instead. Above the chart area there is space for some toolbars. Depending on what settings you have selected (View | Toolbars menu option to change these) you might have the “Standard” toolbar open. If you do then you’ll see this button:

If there is a green arrow next to the “man in a hat” icon then your EA’s are switched on. If there’s a red square then they’re switched off. Clicking this button toggles the EA’s on and off.

2. To add the EA to the chart simply drag and drop it from the Navigator pane on the left-hand side. The EA will first show a dialog box so that you can set it’s inputs. Once you’ve done this you should see a smiley face in the top right-hand corner of the screen which shows that the EA is active and working (see arrow in chart below).

EA smiley face in the top right-hand corner
3. That should be it. If you don’t see a smiley face then you need to remove the EA again by right clicking in the chart area and selecting Expert Advisors | Remove. The reason is probably because you’ve forgotten to do step 1 above so check that first and then repeat step 2. If it’s still not working then you need to look at the Experts tab in the Terminal window where the EA will output any error messages.

4. Removing an EA: as mentioned in step 3 right click in the chart area and select Expert Advisors | Remove. The smiley face icon will then disappear.