Setting up Metatrader for better backtesting quality

If you’re working with a default installation of MT4 or Metatrader chances are you modeling quality is not very good. I have composed this post to show how I import data into MT4 for better backtesting performance.

First thing you need is high quality historical data in CSV format. I have found Forex Tester to be very beneficial for that, http://www.forextester.com/data/datasources.html.

1. You will want to download the file that pertains to the pair you will be trading.

2. The next step is unzipping the file using a simple Zip program.

3. Before proceeding to import your new data you will want to go ahead and delete all of your old data first. So that you are not mixing the two up. If you are running Windows7 or Windows Vista you have to look in two locations for the .hst files and delete all of them. If however you are running Windows XP you need to only look in one. These locations can vary greatly depending what broker you download your platform from. I use Interbank but you will have to look and mind and figure out where yours are. Or you can just search your entire hard drive for *.hst files.
C:\Program Files (x86)\Interbank FX Trader 4 – B\history
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Interbank FX Trader 4 – B\history\IBFX-MT4 Mini-2

4. Now that you have unzipped the files they should be in .CSV format. From here you can now open your Metatrader platform. Then go to tools>options click on the chart tab and change the “max bars in history” and “max bars in chart” to 999999999. Once you close this window Metatrader will adjust to the highest possible setting automatically.

5. You will now want to go to tools>history center. Double click your currency pair that you are trying to import. Then double click on the 1m timeframe underneath it. Now click on the import button. Browse to the location of the .txt file that you extracted in step 2. You may have to change the rows setting to 0. If it works correctly you will be able to see every row from the file that you are importing. Click ok and all of your 1m data is now complete.

6. The next step is to generate your 5m 10m 30m 60m 240m 1440m and 10080m data. This will get all of the commonly used timeframes. You can also do custom ones if you wish.

7. To do this you need to go to navigator from Metatrader terminal. Select the scripts from the navigator window and look for one named “period_converter”.

8. Open a 1m chart of the currency pair that you just imported.

9. Now double click on period_converter

10. It’s going to ask you for an input labeled “ExtPeriodMultiplier”. The default value is 3. Change this to 5 to generate your 5 minute chart data.

11. If you have your terminal window open in Metatrader select the experts tab. You will see something that says period_converter GBPUSDm,M1: 726279 record(s) written. This is how you know it is complete.

12. Double click period converter again. This time select 10 for 10 minute chart. Continue doing steps 10 and 11 until you have created your 5m 10m 30m 60m 240m 1440m and 10080m data. You are now ready to move on to your next currency pair.

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