This article was written by Roman Lovikov from Forex Wise Guys which helps retail brokers to offer MetaTrader 4/5 for Mac to their clients. Roman has a background of business intelligence in financial and retail sectors. He makes numbers talk.
There are several ways to run MetaTrader 4 on Mac, and some of them require more tech ‘voodoo’ than others. Some do their job while others lag behind, leaving the user frustrated as they download Parallels to run Windows on a computer that was meant for something else.
“Why is there no MetaTrader for OS X?” traders might ask MetaQuotes. There are a handful of possible reasons, such as initial lack of demand, technical complexity, different corporate priorities, web terminal development or even the fact that MetaQuotes are too comfortable as the trading terminal market leader in retail FX. We’ll leave them alone with those and hope for another great product, sorry MT5, and see what can be done to run MetaQuotes products on Apple Mac computers. After all, it turns out that there are a handful of methods.
There are several software solutions that help run Windows applications on Apple’s operating system, and WineBottler is one of the most agile and easy to use.
The solution utilises the capabilities of Wine (originally an acronym for ‘Wine Is Not an Emulator’). A compatibility layer program capable of running Windows applications on Linux and Mac OS X, it has been around since 2008.
The installation process is straightforward and shouldn’t be a pickle for users accustomed to using modern technology. First of all, your broker’s custom MetaTrader 4/5 .exe file should already be sitting in your downloads folder.
The next step is to download the WineBottler suite from the website. Beware, it’s a free solution so they do tend to send users to the third-party, ad-induced, internet junkyards – just ignore these obstacles and get what you came for. Open the dmg file and drag and drop both WineBottler and Wine into your applications folder.
You then need to find WineBottler in the applications folder. Launch it, find the “Advanced” tab and show the pass to the broker-specific MetaTrader installation file, click on “Install” and choose the parent folder. After the installation is complete, the trading shall begin.
PlayOnMac also utilises the functionality of Wine. Unlike WineBottler, however, PlayOnMac requires you to download and install an additional component – XQuartz. PlayOnMac does a good job of doing both on your behalf, however, so just follow the installation suggestions and restart the system once everything’s done.
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After system reboot, launch PlayOnMac. The program will offer to install the Windows fonts needed for MetaTrader, after which you will be able to choose “Install software” and select your broker’s MetaTrader 4 installation file.
When the installation’s complete, PlayOnMac will create a separate virtual logical drive for every installed program. The default path of the terminal’s data folder is: LibraryPlayOnMacWinePrefixClient_Terminal_Drive CProgram FilesClient Terminal.
Those two should be familiar to Mac users who depend on Windows applications, be it for work or gaming. Essentially, Boot Camp allows you to install a fully operational Windows 7 (and above) on your Mac and boot entirely from this system.
To launch Boot Camp, go to Spotlight and search for “Boot Camp Assistant”. You will need a bootable copy of at least Windows 7 to proceed to installation. After you install Windows via Boot Camp you will be able to boot from it. The rest is fairly simple, if you are familiar with how to install software on Windows.
This method would require you to purchase the software that allows you to run Windows next to your Mac OS. While being a more convenient option to run your computer than Boot Camp, Parallels is quite expensive and also requires a copy of Windows to hand. You can learn more about how to install and purchase Parallels by going to their website.
MT4 on Mac by brokers
Finally, there are a handful of brokers who already offer a Wine-infused version of MetaTrader 4 for Mac. Some examples are Pepperstone, Orbex, XM, ThinkForex and Admiral Markets. Up until now, MetaQuotes has not shown any public sign of disapproval over the versatile few who are adapting to the growing demand for MetaTrader 4 for Mac within the trading community.
As a provider of the latest, I am strongly convinced that software, especially if it’s free, should be available to as many people as its niche supports. Given that Mac users spend, on average, 30% more and comprise over 25% of website traffic, it’s only logical for brokers to offer a ‘native’ MT4 for Mac installer. With a little bit of magic and patience the solution has proven to be functional and brings the desired outcome: more satisfied traders.