Stop losses (SL) and take profits (TP) are essential tools for managing risk and maximizing profit.
But setting these orders on MT5 can be a little confusing, depending on which version you're using.
So in this tutorial, I'll show you how to set SL and TP orders in all versions of MetaTrader 5:
- iOS mobile
- Android mobile
Table of Contents
MetaTrader 5 Desktop
Once you open the desktop version of MetaTrader 5, click on the New Order button.
The order entry screen will pop up.
Click on the crosshair button in the toolbar at the top of the MetaTrader screen. Then move the crosshair around and look at the price to the right side of the screen to determine your stop loss and take profit prices.
Enter your stop loss and take profit prices in the order entry screen.
You could try to use the small screen on the left side of the order entry screen, but in most cases, it's too small to be useful.
So using the crosshair on the main chart is the best way to go.
Then set your order Type, double check the Symbol and set your lot size (Volume).
When everything looks good, click the Buy or Sell button.
MetaTrader 5 Mobile iOS
Entering orders on the mobile apps isn't as smooth as it could be. The process is actually different on the Android and iOS versions.
The iOS version is a little easier to use.
First go to the Charts tab at the bottom of the screen.
Then tap on the red and blue clock-looking icon in the top right corner of the screen.
A toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen. It has buttons for SL, TP, Continue and “X,” or close toolbar.
Tap on SL to set a stop loss. A red line will appear on the chart. Tap and drag the line to the price you want to set the stop loss at.
If you need more space, tap and drag the prices bar on the right side of the screen up and down to compress the chart vertically.
Do the same to set the take profit. Tap on the TP button and drag the line.
If you're going to set a limit order, tap and drag the Limit line.
When you're done, tap Continue.
After you tap on the Continue button, you'll see the order entry screen.
Here's where things get tricky…
If you're trading a limit order as entered on the chart screen, then you're good to go. Check the lot size (center number) and click on the Place button. The order will be entered.
However, if you want to use any other order entry type, your Stop Loss and Take Profit prices will disappear when you change the order type.
Therefore, if you're going to change the order type, be sure to write down your prices before you change the order type. Then enter them manually, after changing the order type.
After that, select lot size (middle number) and entry price (if using a pending order).
Then click the Buy, Sell or Place button at the bottom, depending on which type of order you're using.
MetaTrader 5 Mobile Android
Entering orders on the Android version is the least intuitive of all the platforms.
But if that's what you prefer to use, here's how to do it.
First tap on the Charts tab at the bottom of the screen.
Then select the crosshair tool from the toolbar at the top. Tap and drag the crosshair around to get the prices for your stop loss, entry pending order and take profit. Write these down so you can use them on the next screen.
You cannot compress the chart vertically, like you can on the iOS version. So you'll either have to pinch the screen to make it smaller, or change the chart to a higher timeframe.
Then tap the square with the “+” symbol in the upper right corner.
This will open the order entry screen.
Choose your order type and lot size (middle number) at the top of the screen. If you're using a pending order, click on the box for the entry price and manually type in your entry price.
Next, tap on the Stop Loss and Take Profit boxes and enter the prices you wrote down in the crosshair step.
Finally, click on the Buy or Sell button at the bottom of the screen, depending on which type of order you're entering.
MetaTrader 5 Web
The web version is the easiest to use when it comes to adding a stop loss and take profit.
However, there are downsides to the WebTerminal. You cannot get all of the features that are available on the desktop version, like adding custom indicators and EAs.
But it's very simple and allows you to place trades when you're on someone else's computer.
Start by going to the WebTerminal here.
Login with your existing MT5 account or setup a new demo account.
Once you've connected to your account, click the New Order button in the toolbar.
This will bring up the order entry screen on the left side of the chart.
Start by selecting the order type at the top of the order entry screen. In the screenshot above, it defaults to Buy Limit.
Then set the Volume (lot size) and the entry price, if you're using a limit or stop order. You can also click and drag the limit on the chart to set the entry price.
Next, click on the “+” or “-” symbol next to the Stop Loss box. This will bring up a red line on the chart. Move the line to the price that you want to set your stop loss at.
After you've set your stop loss, click on the”+” or “-” symbol next to the Take Profit box, if you're going to use a take profit. A green line will appear and you can drag it to the price that you want your take profit at.
From there, set your expiration time, if you're doing a pending order, then click on the Place Order button to enter your trade. Most trades will be Good-Til-Cancelled (GTC).
How to Set a Trailing Stop Loss in MT5
A trailing stop loss can help you lock in profits, as the market moves in the direction of your trade. This is simple to set up.
To set a trailing stop loss in MetaTrader 5, right-click on an open order. Then select Trailing Stop from the menu. Select one of the default point values, or click on Custom to set your own.
This feature is only available on the desktop version of MetaTrader 5.
Once you set your trailing stop, your stop loss will lock in profits on every tick.
It's a good idea to give your trailing stop some space because if your trailing stop is too tight, you'll get stopped out too soon.
Backtesting is the best way to figure out where to set your trailing stop loss.
Why Stop Losses are Important
Stop losses are the easiest way to limit your risk on a trade.
Successful trading is about managing risk, not trying to hit home runs on every trade.
So using stop losses are vital for new traders. The easiest way to blow out your account is to not use stop losses.
At least in the beginning.
Once you're more experienced, you might consider trading without stops.
Using a stop loss also allows you to set a percent risk per trade. Knowing your exact risk per trade allows you to do advanced calculations on your trading results and optimize your trading strategies.
Where to Place a Stop Loss
Now that you know how to place a stop loss, the next question is to figure out WHERE to place your stop loss.
The best way to figure out a good place to put your stops is to backtest. Find a trading strategy that resonates with you and test it.
Then play with where you place the stop loss, to see if you can improve the results.
Your stop loss should be in a place where the normal market gyrations won't get to it easily. It should also be a place where you would be totally wrong about your hypothesis of where price is going to go.
To learn how to figure out how much to risk per trade read this tutorial.
Why Take Profits are Important
Take profits are not used by all traders, but they can be a great way to lock in your profits.
Many times, the market will move in your favor, only to snap back and either hit your entry price or your stop loss.
For example, if you didn't set the take profit (green line) at the previous support level, you would have missed out on quite a bit of profit as price bounced up off the level.
So consider testing a take profit on all or part of your position. A take profit on part of your position would allow you lock in some profits, while keeping your trade open to potentially catch a big run.
Where to Place a Take Profit
Figuring out where to set your take profit is trickier than figuring out where to put your stop loss.
It can be easy to change your take profit level during a trade, only to find that your original TP was at an ideal price.
So again, you have to backtest to find out the best place to take profits on your trades.
Putting in the time to figure out your ideal take profit will usually yield better results than trying to optimize your entry.
But not all traders use a take profit, so figure out what works best with your trading personality.
Having the discipline to set your stop loss will keep you out of trouble when a trade goes the wrong way.
A proven take profit level will allow you to take advantage of big moves, before they snap back.
Create a trading plan, then backtest your SL and TP to see which settings generate the most profit.
Be sure to track your results in a spreadsheet. That makes it easier to keep track of what you tested and play with the inputs to optimize your strategy.