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Tutorial: Price Alerts in MetaTrader

September 9, 2011 by

There are two different ways to get price alerts in your MetaTrader Forex trading platform. The first one is to use the built-in Alerts system. The second way is to use the special Price Alert indicator. The former is much simpler and more customizable, while the latter allows setting visual price levels for the alerts. This tutorial will describe the the first way — the built-in Alert system.

Both MT4 and MT5 support an alert system that allows setting the price alerts directly from within the platform. The MT4 version is slightly inferior due to lack of the Volume alerts and the alerts based on the Last price (such alerts don’t differentiate between Bid and Ask prices). All screenshots in this tutorial will be from MetaTrader 5 interface — the differences with MetaTrader 4 are minimal and aren’t related to the way the alerts are placed.

1. Switch to Alerts tab of the Toolbox window of the platform. If you have no current alerts set up, the tab will be empty.

Switch to Alerts Tab

2. Right-click inside the tab to summon the tooltip menu and choose Create, or press Insert button to create a new alert.

Right Click and Choose Create

3. Alert Editor will pop up.

Alert Editor

4. Enable checkbox can be unchecked to disable the alert temporarily without deleting it.

Enable Checkbox

5. Choose Action to be triggered by the alert. There are 3 choices available: Sound (default) — will play a sound file of your choice, File — will execute a program of your choice, Mail — will send an e-mail message to the address set via Tools->Options->Email.

Choose Alert Action

6. Now you can choose Symbol for the alert, Condition and Value. There are 9 conditions available: Bid >, Bid, Ask < — are self-explanatory; Last > and Last < — react on the last quote received by the platform disregarding its Bid/Ask type; Volume > and Volume < — reacts on the traded volume for the given Symbol; Time = — reacts on the local time. Value is either the price (for the first 6 conditions), a volume or a time in HH:MM format. The shown example sets a sound alert if EUR/USD bid price goes below 1.3800.

Choose Symbol, Condition and Value

7. Choose source. For Sound alert, it’s a file containing a sound (can be WAV, MP3 or WMA). For File alert, it’s the exact executable file to be launched. For Mail alert, a special e-mail dialog will pop up where you will be able to enter the e-mail subject and text (you can use special macros there; more about them here.)

Choose Source

8. Set Timeout for your alert — the period of time to wait before alert action iterations will be performed. For example, if you set it to 10 seconds, you will hear the alert sound every 10 seconds.

Set Alert Timeout

9. Set the Maximum iterations number — this value determines how many times the alert action will be performed. For example, if you set it to 3, you will hear the alert sound only 3 times.

Set Maximum Iterations

10. You can test the alert before saving it. Clicking the Test button will trigger your chosen alert action.

Test Alert

11. To save your alert, just click the OK button.

Save Alert

12. The created alert will be displayed in the Alert tab. Untriggered alerts are displayed in normal font (2nd and 4th in the list on the picture); triggered alerts are displayed in bold (1st and 3rd in the example list). Triggered alert with a crossed bell icon (1st in the list) has reached the limit of its iterations and will no longer work. Triggered alert with a swinging bell icon (3rd in the list) has one or more iterations left and will continue to work.

List of Alerts

Some additional tips for using the price alerts in MetaTrader platform:

  • If you want several actions to be performed on one event, you’ll have to set up several alerts with the same condition but different actions. For example, if you want a sound played and an e-mail message sent when EUR/USD goes above 1.6000, you’ll need to create two alerts, one will have Sound action and another — Mail.
  • You may use alerts with many iterations to create your own e-mail informers. For example, you can create an alert with Mail action that will send you the latest Bid and Ask price on a given currency pair every 15 minutes. You have to use Bid and Ask macros in the mail body and set the Timeout of this alert to 15 minutes.

If you liked the tutorial or if you don’t understand a part of it and still have some questions about using the price alerts in MetaTrader platform, feel free to leave your replies and ask your questions via the commentary form below.

19 Responses to “Tutorial: Price Alerts in MetaTrader”

  1. Glynn

    Every symbol should be explain in plain language and not be assume it is understood.This relates to: Bid , ask . With examples.


    admin Reply:

    Sorry, but explaining the basics, such as what Bid or Ask is, is beyond the scope of this tutorial. It is about price alerts in MetaTrader and supposes that you have some basic understanding of online Forex trading and operating withing MetaTrader platform.

    The explanations for the basic symbols (Bid, Ask, etc.) can be found in a Forex glossary.


  2. nida

    1. In ipad platform, how to set price alert.
    2. if set price alert via notebook, could i get notification via ipad?



    admin Reply:

    1. I am not sure that iPad version of MetaTrader offers such alerts.
    2. If you choose Mail alerts, you could receive via any other device.


  3. JJ

    Is there a tutorial for setting alarms that can be sms’d or emailed? Thanks.


    Andriy Moraru Reply:

    Just select “Mail” instead of “Sound” in Action field to receive emails as alarms.

    You cannot set up SMS notifications without coding some handlers for that (e.g. redirecting email to SMS), but you can choose “Notifications” in Action field and you will be alarmed via MetaTrader mobile application on your phone (Android or iOS).

    PS: For emails, you will also have to set up your mailbox parameters in Tools->Options->Email. For push notifications, you will also have to enable them via Tools->Options->Notifications.


  4. sjohns

    Tried this earlier today to set alerts for volume after finding this information and changing from MT4 to MT5 in order to set alerts by volume.
    Problem was the alarm kept going off.
    For example set an alert for USDCHF volume> 800 and as soon as click Ok, the alert goes off even if the volume in the current period (set to M5 and timeout to 5 minutes) was below the alert limit.
    What have I set incorrectly?

    Does the alert work if the condition has been met in the last day as opposed to every new time the condition is met?


    Andriy Moraru Reply:

    The Volume in Alerts is not a tick volume. It is a volume of the last executed trade, which applies only to stocks. It cannot be used with USD/CHF.


  5. viktoras

    hi i use mt4 arrows to see the direction where will go the price but it is not work properly , if i do it every time when it show me then i loose 70 % of my money, what i need to do?


    Andriy Moraru Reply:

    What is “MT4 arrows”? Is it related to price alerts?


  6. viktoras

    is posible to see where go the price for next minute?


    Andriy Moraru Reply:



  7. Lance

    How do I change the defaults that are stored in the alerts editor? For example on my MT4 platform the expiration box is always checked. I don’t ever want my alerts to expire. How do I change the default so that the check box is never checked instead of always checked? Similarly, I want to change the default number of iterations from 5 to 10. Thanks. Lance


    Andriy Moraru Reply:

    Default alerts settings are stored in \config\terminal.ini.

    To change the default number of iterations from 5 to 10, you need to find the line ‘AlertEditorLimit=5’ and change it to ‘AlertEditorLimit=10’. If there is no such line, just add it.

    As for turning expiration box off by default, look at other parameters that start with ‘Alert’ because I do not know how it is called exactly. Then just remove the line that starts with ‘Alert’ and looks like to be dealing with expiration.

    Hope this helps. If you find the expiration parameter, please let us know how it is called in the terminal.ini file, so other visitors could find it more easily. Thanks!


  8. Jesus

    Let’s see if you answer this that has me very confused: if I create 100 alerts for a certain number of instruments in MT4 (for example) is it possible to copy or export those alerts to a different computer? In my case I have more than 100 alerts programmed in my main computer but I want to transfer them to my laptop and I do not want to program all those alarms one by one! It is very tedious! I appreciate your response


    Andriy Moraru Reply:

    Unfortunately, the alerts in MT4 and MT5 are platform-based and do not save into profiles. This means that there is no straightforward feature to transfer alerts from one PC to another.

    However, one can move the alerts by moving the platform’s configuration files:

    In MT4, got to the platform’s data folder, then to profiles subfolder. Copy alerts.ini file and paste it in the profiles subfolder on your other computer.

    In MT5, got to the platform’s data folder, then to bases subfolder. Copy alerts.dat file and paste it in the bases subfolder on your other computer.

    That’s it. Please let me know if it works for you.


  9. BEN-fx

    I don’t get a pop up alert window on mt4, what could be the problem?


    Andriy Moraru Reply:

    If you still see the messages about the alerts in the Experts tab, then you should probably restart your MT4 (there is a glitch that sometimes prevents the alert window from appearing). If you don’t get any alert messages even in the Experts tab, then your alerts probably aren’t working for some reason.


  10. selim

    Hi. I was unable to set an alarm in color changes (buy yellow, sell blue) for the indicator t3 in meta4.


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