When looking at your MT4 charts, sometimes you're only seeing a small part of the complete historical MT4 data.
…and that can cause problems.
This doesn't matter so much on lower time frames, but when you are looking at the weekly charts, not having all of the available historical Forex charts data can mean that you are missing important support and resistance levels.
Having a complete MT4 historical data download is also important in backtesting, as Metatrader 4 is also a pretty good automated backtesting platform.
As a general rule, the best way to download additional MetaTrader 4 historical data is to use the History Center inside MT4. First change the maximum bars allowed in the history of each pair in Tools > Options. Then download timeframe you need in the History Center.
This post will show you exactly how to do this. I'll also give you some options, if this method doesn't work for you.
MT4 History Data Download Tutorial Video
Can't seem to get enough data from the default MT4 provider? We recommend using this 3rd party data service.
Tutorial For Metatrader 4 Data Download
To download additional MT4 history data, first go to the Tools menu and select History Center. You can also press F2 to get to this screen quickly.
This is the History Center screen above. Double click on the currency pair that you want to download.
If the icon next to the timeframe is colored, the prices for that timeframe can be seen and edited in the preview window on the right.
When MetaTrader 4 downloads data, it downloads 1-minute data, then translates that into the other timeframes.
Keep in mind that MT4 gets the data from MetaQuotes (the creators of Metatrader), unless you're using a broker-specific version of MT4.
So if you want to get broker specific data or you want to get more historical data than what MetaQuotes provides, then you will have to use a broker-specific version of MT4, or import a custom file.
Contact your broker to get this data or I have a list of resources at the end of this post.
By double-clicking on the time frames with the gray icons, it will take a few seconds to generate the preview for the prices for that time frame. The number of records is shown at the top of the screen.
To download the complete history for a currency pair, highlight the pair and click on the Download button.
It may take a few minutes to download the data, especially if you have never done it before.
There will be a green status bar at the bottom of the screen to show you the progress of the current download.
Once the data is downloaded you should notice that there are more records in the database. You can see this in the database record count at the top of the screen.
For any time period, you can change any of the data for each bar. First highlight the line you want to change, on the right side of the screen.
Then click on the Edit button to change a candle, Delete to remove and Add to insert your own data.
This is useful for fixing bad data from your broker, which can happen once in awhile. Fixing the data manually will clean up your charts and make your automated backtesting more accurate.
You can also click on the Import button to upload your own data or the Export button will allow you to get a Forex historical data download in a CSV file that you can use in another charting program.
This file can also be used in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel to do custom data analysis.
Once you download all of the currency pair data, you may be surprised how far back the data actually goes. For example, after I downloaded the data for the USDCHF currency pair, I found out that data was available all the way back to the 1992.
If here is a downside to getting all of this data though, it is that it can take up a fair amount of space on your hard drive. So if you have a small SSD, are running a virtual machine, or you are running out of room on your drive, be selective about which pairs you download data for.
Luckily there's also a way to limit the number of bars that are downloaded in your history.
How to Manually Limit the Amount of Downloaded Data
If you don't need all of the historical data on each currency pair and you want to save disk space, then you should set a limit on the amount of data that your MT4 install downloads.
You can do this by going into Tools > Options and reducing the number of max bars in history.
Just reduce this number by using the drop-down menu or manually change the number.
How to Increase the Amount of Downloaded Data
If disk space is not a concern, then you should download as much data as possible.
To do that, simply increase the max bars in history and max bars in chart.
Then go back to the History Center and download your desired timeframe again.
There are some currency pairs that have data that goes back into the 1970s, so you'll have a complete history of transactions.
MT4 Historical Data Alternatives
If you aren't able to get enough historical data in the default version of MT4, you can always download data from a third party.
Once you get a third party file, simply use the Import button inside History Center, or use a broker-specific version of MT4.
There are a few options here:
- Setup a demo account with Oanda and use their version of MT4. This will give you access to their data feed and they provide a ton of historical data.
- We recommend using this data service for 3rd party Forex data.
- The Forex Tester data service is also a good option.
Final Thoughts on How to Download MT4 Historical Forex Data
The data you currently see on your Metatrader 4 charts may not be all of the Forex data that is available. You will have to download it manually to see how much there really is.
In my experience, the history can vary greatly by currency pair and broker. It is a matter of how much they data they choose to provide their clients.
But it is important to see as much information as possible, so you can see key support and resistance levels, and get as much data as possible when doing automated backtesting and during live trading.
I would recommend downloading the complete MT4 data on every pair you trade.
Go ahead, do it right now.