How to install indicators for MT4 without restarting the platform?

February 20, 2013

Indicators in MT4



There are several web sites that teach you how to install indicators. However, this tutorial is different than the rest. Here, you will learn a simple trick using which you can easily install custom indicators for MT4 without restarting the platform.

Typically, the steps followed are:

  1. Firstly, close the MetaTrader platform.
  2. Install a custom indicator.
  3. Restart MT4 to scan indicators.

You would be reluctant to follow the above procedure, especially when you have 15 charts opened and have multiple EAs running!

The trick explained below does away with the need for restarting the whole system and, thus, saves time.

What is to be done?

All you need to do is to install a custom indicator by copying the MQ4 of EX4 file into the \MT4-folder\experts\indicators\ folder and compile any MQ4 file in MetaEditor. As a result, the MT4 will re-scan the EAs folder and you will see newly installed indicators in the list. This is how to install indicators for MT4 without restarting the platform.

Steps to Follow on how to install custom indicators in MT4

Step 1 – Copy and paste your custom indicator file in the \experts\indicators\ folder of your MT4 platform.

Have a look at the image below that shows an example file named as Slope Direction Line.ex4, which is a custom indicator file.

Copy EX4 file to MT4 experts indicators folder

Step 2 – As the second step, open the MetaEditor from your MT4 platform. It is important that you run this application directly from the MT4 in which you have installed the indicator. This is crucial, in case you have multiple MT4 platforms running on your computer.

To open MetaEditor, go to Tools -> MetaQuotes Language Editor and click the yellow diamond icon that has a exclamation mark inside (as shown in the image below), or press F4 on your keyboard.

Open the MetaEditor from your MT4 platform

Step 3 – After the MetaEditor window loads, open any indicator, EA, or script file from the navigation panel on the right side. Now simply compile any MQ4 file to EX4 so that the MT4 platform re-scans its base of Expert Advisors, scripts, and custom indicators.

How to compile MT4 indicator?

Open an MQ4 file and click on the “Compile” button, as shown in the figure below. Once the compilation is over, wait for a few seconds and then close the MetaEditor window. Now open the MetaTrader window.

After compilation, your MetaTrader re-scans the ‘Custom Indicators’ folder and the newly installed indicators appear in the list inside the Navigator pane.

Compile MT4 indicator

Custom Metatrader 4 indicator in the navigator window

Step 4 – In this step, double-click the indicator with your mouse or drag-and-drop it on the currency chart. Indicator properties window will now appear where you can change various settings. After you are done, click the OK button. Consequently, the indicator will display on the MT4 chart.

Attach custom MT4 indicator to the chart

The image below shows how the Slope Direction Line indicator looks like on the MT4 chart.

Slope Direction Line MT4 custom indicator

This time-saving method is not just applicable to custom indicators but can also be used with Expert Advisors, scripts, and libraries.

If this information was helpful, please share it with your friends and colleagues.


If you enjoyed this article, enter your email below to get free updates!

Additionally, to make sure you receive email from EA Coder, please add my email to your contact list or address book.

* indicates required

About Rimantas Petrauskas

I am the founder of the and a professional developer of Forex trading signal delivery software for MetaTrader 4 client terminal. Also I am into 100% automated currency trading that generates profits while I enjoy the time with my family, our life and traveling.

5 comments on “How to install indicators for MT4 without restarting the platform?

  1. Thiago Canuto Ferreira on said:

    Very Good! Great tip!

  2. Kim Bradbury on said:

    Thank you very much for making something, that seemed impossible to me to do, so easy to understand and so successful.
    You are truly a decent person to spend your time to show others how to do things that we could not normally do alone, and people like you deserve every success in your life.

    • Rimantas Petrauskas on said:

      Kim, thank you for your kind words. I bet you have more questions on how to do things in MetaTrader 4. I will be glad to answer them for you if you send me top 5 or top 10 most confusing questions for you about MT4.

      Thank you

  3. Don on said:

    Thank you for you very helpful information,, been a person who knows the key board of a computer and the very very basic of getting information in and out of the file, I was ready to give up MT4 but thanks to you, it is so easy Thank you, and I agree with you I think it is simpler now and will become easier to use. I have one question before this upgrade when using windows 7 to change the location of where mt 4 was down loaded to and to run as administrator as per one of your earlier updates, is this still necessary or can the mt 4 go into the 64 location. Thank you for advise

    • Rimantas Petrauskas on said:

      Dear Don, my advice would be just to use the default mt4 installation destination that it will offer. New mt4 will store files in data folder and allows you easily to access it. So it does not matter now where you install mt4. Hope this helps.
      Rimantas Petrauskas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HTML tags are not allowed.

Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to invest in foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.