Let's talk about the so-called “MT4 for Mac” solutions out there. I don't recommend them. But if you insist on using them, here's how you install custom indicators and EAs. This method works with all of our MetaTrader 4 EAs and indicators.
I'll also get into how they work behind the scenes, why I would never use them and what I would recommend using instead.
This video will show you how to do it, but if you prefer the text version, it's provided below the video.
How to Add a Custom Indicator
In this tutorial, let's take a look at the XM solution. I don't endorse them, but they are the most popular “MT4 for Mac” solution out there, so I'll use XM as the example case.
To get started, first install the XM program. Then open Finder and go to your applications.
Find the XM MT4 icon.
Right-click on the icon and select Show Package Contents.
Then navigate to: drive_c > Program Files (x86) > XM MT4 > MQL4 > Indicators
Drag your custom indicator in that folder.
By the way, the XM website has that file path wrong. So be sure to follow these instructions, not theirs.
If you want to install an Expert Advisor (EA), drag it into the Experts folder.
After you copy your custom indicator or EA into the right folder, restart MetaTrader 4. Once you restart, your custom plugin will be available for use.
What if My Chart Settings Don't Save?
There can be an issue where your chart settings might reset after you restart MT4.
Yeah, that's pretty annoying.
One workaround is to create a chart template.
To create a template, setup a chart exactly the way you want it. Then right-click on the chart and select: Template > Save Template…
If you want this template to be the template that automatically loads when you start MT4, save it as Default, with a capital “D.”
Final Thoughts on Using “MT4 for Mac” Solutions
As I mentioned in the beginning, I do not recommend using this type of a solution to trade. The bottom line is that companies like XM use a software package called Wineskin to turn the Windows version of MT4 into a program that can be run on a Mac.
Since MT4 is not running natively on the Mac, I have seen some issues…like the charts not saving. It's much better to run something like VMWare Fusion or Parallels on a Mac, then run MT4 inside the virtual machine.
You can also use something like Bootcamp for Mac, which allows you to start your computer in macOS or Windows. Bootcamp is free with macOS, you just have purchase the Windows license.
My favorite solution however, is to buy a cheap Windows laptop or small form factor desktop and run MT4 there. Then you can remote into the Windows computer with Remote Desktop on your Mac and use MT4. This solves all of the compatibility issues when running MT4 on a Mac.
But if you don't want to spend a lot of money, the XM MT4 for Mac solution can be a good start. It will give you problems though.
You'll just have to decide if you're willing to put up with the issues.