In this tutorial we are going over how to install MT4 programs. We are also looking at various ways of opening up the MT4 terminal’s data folder and learning where to find the installed files in the MT4 terminal.

How to open up MT4 data folder on PC and Mac

The first step to installing MT4 programs is to open up your MT4 terminal. From the menu bar at the top, select ‘File’->’Open Data Folder’. This works on both Windows and Mac OS.

An alternative way to open up the data folder on a PC would be to open up any documents folder and type ‘%appdata%’ into the search bar. From there you should go to ‘MetaQuotes’->’Terminal’ and select one of the folders that has a long and random name. The correct data folder should include an ‘MQL4’ folder.

Appdata search for MT4 data folder

The same thing looks a bit different on a Mac. The first thing there is to open up your ‘Applications’ folder and look for the MT4 application. Right click on it and select ‘Show Package Contents’. Then follow this path: ‘drive_c’->’Program Files’->’MetaTrader 4′.

How to install MT4 programs

If you need to install a template, open up the ‘templates’ folder and place the template file there. Template files have a ‘.tpl’ extension. If you need to install Expert Advisors, Indicators or Scripts, open up the ‘MQL4’ folder. From there on, depending on what you are installing, open up either the ‘Experts’, ‘Indicators’ or ‘Scripts’ folder and place your files there. Now simply close your MT4 terminal and reopen in to see the installed programs inside your terminal.

To view the files, open up the ‘Navigator’ from the top menu or use the keyboard shortcut ‘Ctrl+N’. If for some reason you can not restart your MT4 terminal at the moment (whether you are in the middle of a backtest or an optimization), there is an alternative to that as well. For that you need to have the source code of the program you are installing.

MT4 Navigator

How to install presets

To install presets for backtesting in the strategy tester, open up ‘Tester’ folder in the data folder. Simply copy the presets there. To install presets for live markets, open up the ‘MQL4’ and from there move on to ‘Presets’ folder. Copy the presets there. Preset files do not require any sort of compilation or restart to the MT4 terminal.

How to complete the installation without a restart to the MT4

There are 2 main file types in MT4: the first one is the execution file with a ‘.ex4’ extension and the other one is the source code with a ‘.mq4’ extension (the other files are templates, presets, history files etc). The first one is the file that the computer understands and is not human-readable. For the alternative installation completion, you will need the second file type – the source code. Once you have placed the source file in the correct folder (depending on the usage of the program) simply double click on the file and it opens up in the ‘MetaEditor’ program. Once the source file is open, press ‘Compile’ from the top menu or hit ‘F7’. This compiles the file and you can immediately go to your already opened MT4 terminal and use the program you just installed.

If you wish to backtest your programs, you can learn how to use the MT4 Strategy Tester from your tutorial HERE.

If the installed file does not start in the MetaTrader terminal for some reason, you can start finding the solution in the ‘Journal’.