MetaTrader is one of the most popular technical analysis tools for forex trading but unfortunately MT4 for Mac has never been released.
If you want to install MT4 or MT5 to trade forex on a Mac you therefore have to find another solution.
The situation has become more complicated for Mac users with the release of macOS Catalina which does not support 32 bit applications like MetaTrader.
Many forex trading platforms claim to offer “MT4 for Mac” by using Windows emulators like PlayOnMac or Wine but they do not work on macOS Catalina.
As a result, we highly recommend taking a look at TradingView which is not only free but is a powerful alternative to MT4 on Mac for doing technical analysis of the currency markets.
You can even place trades with TradingView both on your Mac desktop and iOS or Android device by connecting it to selected brokers including Oanda, TradeStation, Gemini and FXCM.
In fact, we think there are 10 good reasons TradingView wins vs MT4 on all platforms nowadays.
IQ Option has a slick Mac desktop app and allows you to trade forex instantly in real time, provides stop loss limits to manage risk and has some superb technical analysis tools.
You can check out our full review of IQ Option for more.
MT4 For Mac On macOS Catalina
You’ll find that many forex trading platforms for Mac provide their own “wrapped” custom or branded version to download MT4 on a Mac.
Examples include MT4 for Mac downloads from brokers such as Axitrader, Hugosway, Oanda, Kot4x, Forex.com and Tradersway.
However, since the release of macOS Catalina none of these MT4 broker solutions only work on macOS Catalina. They only work on macOS Mojave or lower so if you’ve already upgraded to Catalina, it’s too late to use them.
Most online forex trading platforms only put this in the small print so when you download their custom wrapped versions of MT4 on macOS Catalina they won’t install.
This is because they are created with Windows compatiblity layers such as PlayOnMac or Wine which do not work on Catalina.
If you really need MT4 on your Mac and you’re using macOS Catalina, you basically have the following options:
- Use a forex broker’s web or cloud version of MT4 which work in any browser and does not require downloading or installing
- Connect to MT4 remotely via a Virtual Private Server (VPS)
- Install Windows on your Mac and run the PC version of MetaTrader
- Use a broker branded version of MT4 (only works on Mojave or below not macOS Catalina)
In this article we’ll look at all these different options so you can choose which is best for you.
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Here then are the best ways to install MT4 for Mac and MacBook Pro in 2020 including on macOS Catalina.
1. Use MetaTrader 4 Web Trader
By far the easiest way to use MT4 on a Mac is to use a broker’s Cloud version of MetaTrader.
This doesn’t require downloading or installing anything and it works in any web browser on Mac.
Most forex platforms offer a web version of MT4 but the best ones we’ve tried on macOS are:
Hugosway is a fresh ECN broker which offers leverage of up to 1:500. Hugosway is a true STP broker with fast ECN connectivity to MT4. Hugosway also supports cryptocurrency trading.
If you already use another broker or are already trading with a different broker’s MT4 web platform, you can also connect it to Hugosway.
You can open a free Hugosway demo account to paper trade first.
FXTM is a professional forex trading platform that offers tight spreads, fast execution of trades and lots of tutorials to help get you started.
You can open a free FXTM demo account.
Fortrade is a well regulated Forex broker that’s allows you to buy and sell CFDs on hundreds of products. It offers users lots of training courses and a day trading strategy tutorials to help you get the most out of your trades.
You can open a free demo Fortrade account.
This is just a small selection of our top 3 but there are also other forex brokers out there that offer online MT4 platforms.
2. Run MT4 On Mac With a VPS Server
There are several companies like VPSForexTrader that offer Virtual Private Servers (VPS) which allow professional traders to trade faster using dedicated servers.
With a direct ISP connection to a private server, you can enjoy better hardware to trade faster, without any interruptions.
These servers are private and for your use only so you don’t have to share bandwidth or processing power with other users, thus providing a faster and more stable trading environment.
VPS servers also allow you to run MetaTrader in the cloud so all you need to do is subscribe to one of their plans and then use a remote desktop software to connect to MetaTrader remotely.
A VPS provider usually charges a monthly fee for use of a virtual private server and the cost differs depending on the power of the servers you subscribe to.
The more powerful the server, the more instances of MetaTrader you can install and the more processing power you have.
Here’s how to run MetaTrader on a Mac using a VPS Server.
- Sign-up for a VPSForexTrader account.
- Download a remote desktop application. There are many different remote desktop tools for Mac users but you can use the free Microsoft Remote Desktop tool for connecting to a VPSForexTrader server.
- When you sign-up for a VPSForexTrader account, you’ll be sent an IP address with a port, username and password that you need to enter into the Microsoft Remote Desktop settings.
- Then simply click “Start” at the top of the app.
- You’ll then see your VPS Server desktop where you’ll be able to install and run multiple versions of MetaTrader depending on the account you’ve signed-up for.
3. Install MT4 On Mac With Windows
The only way to install MT4 or MT5 on a Mac is to install Windows in macOS first and then run the PC version of MetaTrader.
Many brokers recommend using PlayonMac which is a type of Windows emulator but we strongly recommend using Parallels instead.
The reason is because Parallels is by far the best way of running Windows on a Mac and equally importantly, it’s regularly updated for each release of macOS.
Otherwise, you’ll find that your MetaTrader setup could stop working when the next version of macOS is released.
Parallels allows you to run Windows and macOS simultaneously so that you can easily switch between the two.
You can read our full review of Parallels for Mac here if you want to know more.
Here’s how to install MetaTrader on a Mac using Windows.
- Download Parallels for Mac. The setup process is very easy and should take no more than 30 minutes.
- Once you’ve installed Windows on your Mac, download MT4 or MT5 in Windows. Then simply follow the installation instructions to install MetaTrader as if you were installing it on a PC.
Running MetaTrader on Mac this way gives you all the benefits of the Windows version of MetaTrader, including add-ons such as MetaTrader Market.
We also recommend using Parallels because if you encounter any problems installing MetaTrader this way, you’ll get support from Parallels.
With other free ways of installing Windows on Mac such as with Wine or PlayonMac, you’ll have to rely on the support of forum members and fixing problems with MT4 on Macs can be quite complex.
You can also install Windows on Mac using Boot Camp but the disadvantage of this is that you can’t switch between macOS and Windows simultaneously – you must boot your Mac in one OS or the other.
That’s why Parallels is so much more convenient.
4. Download MT4 on Mac via a Broker (only Mojave & below)
Finally, there are many forex trading platforms that allow you to use their own modified version of MT4 on your Mac.
However, as mentioned in the introduction, none of these work on macOS Catalina which only supports 64 bit applications and MetaTrader is still a 32-bit application.
They only work on macOS Mojave or lower including Sierra and High Sierra.
These trading platforms have usually “wrapped” the downloads so you don’t have to go through the hassle of trying to install and wrap it yourself.
This is how the FXTM Forex Trading Platform advertises its own wrapped version of MetaTrader 4 for Mac but notice there’s no mention that it doesn’t work on macOS Catalina.
Although these versions of MetaTrader work on macOS Mojave and lower, they still have limitations compared to installing MetaTrader in Windows on your Mac.
These include instability, incompatibility with future releases of macOS, no developer support and lack of certain features such as MetaTrader Market.
Since they’re emulating a Windows environment within macOS, they can also be quite slow to use and don’t exactly look good on Mac with a very dated Windows style interface.
Here’s how Pepperstone’s version of MetaTrader looks on macOS for example.
As you can see, if you go to the File Menu, like most trading platforms that offer MetaTrader on Mac, they use a Windows emulator called Wineskin to run MT4 on macOS.
For this reason, you won’t find any of these broker MetaTrader downloads in the Mac App Store.
They all require manual installation which means changing a few security settings on your Mac to allow non App Store apps to install.
Using the Admiral Markets MT4 app as an example, first you need to to download the MT4 DMG file from the broker website and drag and drop it into your Applications folder.
You then have to change the settings on Gatekeeper to allow apps from anywhere to install it.
Gatekeeper is designed to protect your Mac from malicious software or malware on Mac and we advise changing it back to “Mac App Store and identified developers” after you’ve installed MetaTrader on your Mac.
We hope we’ve helped you find a way to use MT4 on your Mac but if you have any other questions, let us know in the comments below.