Optimize MT4 for Speed on a VPS


In general, the performance of your automated trading system or EA will work better if the order gets to the broker ahead of the majority of other orders. This is especially so when running a scalping EA or an EA that hundreds or even thousands of other people are using. By getting your order in ahead of other traders, before the price has had time to change, the order could get filled at a better price and could even avoid price slippage.

While the proximity of where the VPS server is located in relation to the MT4 broker's server location is a main factor, it is also very important that the VPS does not add to the latency time. A slow or overloaded VPS will add to the latency of the running software. When we build and setup our servers we have in mind low latency as a priority. We offer multiple powerful CPU cores, SSDs and large amounts of RAM with all VPS's, along with a very specific configuration, which gives the VPS the power and headroom to resist 'bogging down' and creating latency while running MT4.

There are further things you can do to your MT4 software to maximize its efficiency on the VPS, especially if you run multiple MT4s and / or where speed is a priority.

We have done tests and found 25 - 50% reduction in resource usage after optimizing MT4 with the following steps.

Please note that we offer an MT4 installation service and EA installation service for a small fee. During this process we would also optimize your MT4 for you. Please contact support if you would like to take up this service.

Step 1 - Only Run Charts and Indicates that are necessary.

When you install MT4, most brokers have them setup with several charts loaded and several indicators loaded. We suggest you close all of those charts and then make a new chart just for the EA you are running. You can open a new chart from the File menu, by selecting New Chart and then selecting the Currency Pair you wish to open.

If you run one EA, then run one chart for that EA and nothing else. Remove any indicators from the chart. You can always run another instance of MT4 on a home computer for general monitoring, backtesting etc. To remove an indicator, right click on the chart with the indicator and select Indicators List and then select the indicator you wish to delete and click delete.


Step 2 - Reduce the Streaming Datafeed

By default, MT4 feeds data for all default currency symbols even if you are not using them. This has a measurable impact on the CPU usage and a small impact on bandwidth. Since there is no need to stream in data you are not using, it is best to switch off the streaming data you are not using. To do this, first make sure that the chart(s) that you need is already open and then do the following;

First you need to open the Market Watch panel (if it is not already open). Click the View menu and then select Market Watch.

Optimise MT4 for Speed

Now you can see all of the symbols that are streaming data into your MT4.

Next, Right Click on any of the currency symbols and select Hide All.

All of the currency symbols that you do not have a chart open for are now turned off. The data for the charts that you already have open continues to stream and is not switched off.

You can always go back and click Show All again in the future if you wish to setup new charts with new currency pairs (and the Hide All again once you have created the new currency pair chart).

Step 3 - Disable News Feeds

Select the Tools menu and select the Options button in your MT4. Click on the Server Tab where it says Enable News and untick the box. Press OK when done.

Step 4 - Reduce the amount of data that MT4 stores in memory.

Again in the Options box (select Tools > Options) select the Charts Tab and reduce the Max Bars selection to 5000 (which is 17 days of 5 minute data). Click OK when done.


Step 5 - Disable Sound Notifications

Again in the Tools menu, select the Options button, click on Notifications and untick the Enable button

As a side note while in the Options box, you should make sure you are setup for EA trading. If you plan to run an EA, this is done in the Expert Advisors Tab.

Make sure the above options are selected.

Step 6 - General Advice

Don't run any unnecessary software such as email clients during market hours.

Don't backtest or optimize during market hours.