How to Set Trailing Stop Loss on MT4 and How Trailing Stop Loss Works

Using a trailing stop loss is one of the methods that helps you to manage your positions and take care of your profit. I personally don’t use trailing stop loss, but maybe you are interested in it because of the different trading strategy you have. So, let’s start from the basics of trailing stop loss and then learn how to set it on MT4 platform.

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What Is Trailing Stop Loss?

Trailing stop loss is a feature that some of the trading platforms, including MT4, support. When you set it on an open position, it moves your stop loss further when the price moves toward the target. For example you take a long position and you set a 100 pips stop loss, and a 50 pips trailing stop loss. Trailing stop loss doesn’t do anything as long as the position is not in profit. However, as soon as the position goes to profit for 50 pips, the trailing stop loss moves the stop loss to breakeven.

After this stage, if the price turns around and goes against you, the stop loss remains at breakeven and the trailing stop loss doesn’t do anything. But, if the price keeps on moving accordingly, the trailing stop loss moves the stop loss one point further, for each point that the position’s profit goes beyond 50 pips. So, if the position reaches 100 pips profit eventually, the stop loss will be placed 50 pips above the entry price.

This is how the trailing stop loss locks your profit.


  1. If you don’t set any stop loss for your position, but you set a trailing stop loss, then the trailing stop loss will set a stop loss at breakeven, as soon as it is the time for the trailing stop loss to move the stop loss to breakeven.
  2. Unlike stop loss and target orders that are set on the broker’s server and work even if you turn off you computer or close the platform, trailing stop loss works at your side and from your computer and while the platform is up and running. The broker’s servers know nothing about the trailing stop loss you set. Therefore, if you turn off your computer or shut down the MT4 platform, the trailing stop loss will not work anymore, and the stop loss will not be moved.

How to Set a Trailing Stop Loss on MT4

It is very easy to set a trailing stop loss on your position on MT4 platform:

  1. Take a position and set the stop loss and target orders if you want (never trade without a reasonable stop loss).
  2. Press Ctrl+T to open the MT4 terminal.
  3. Click on the “Trade” tab which is the first tab.
  4. Right click on the position’s record on the “Trade” tab.
  5. Over your mouse pointer on “Trailing Stop”.
  6. Click on one of the options: 15 points, 20 points, … . Note that 20 points means 2 pips on the platforms that have 5 decimals for the price of the currency pairs like EUR/USD, or 3 decimals for currency pairs like USD/JPY. This will be a too tight trailing stop loss, because it will move the stop loss too close to the market price, and so, your the position will be closed with a small price movement. To set a wider trailing stop loss, click on “Custom…” and then enter the value. For example if you want to set a 50 pips trailing stop loss, you have to enter 500.
  7. Click on the “OK” button.
  8. You are done. Leave your computer and the platform on.

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LuckScout Team

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  1. Is there a way to set a Trailing stop loss using the metatrader on my Iphone. I ususally trade using my phone, and I cannot seem to find a way to set Trailing stop using MT4 installed on IOS. Any clues?

  2. Thanks for this wonderful article. I have been following your post for some period now and it has really helped me to understand trade.

    But I do I set stop loss and target order positions? Because i tried using it on my demo account but it showed me invalid S/L.

    1. Eigbedion,

      You have to make sure that you enter a correct value for the stop loss and target orders. For example when you have a long position and the price has not gone up yet, if you choose a value for the stop loss which is below the entry price, you will receive invalid stop loss error.

  3. Dear pottorff,
    I had a considerable experience on using mt4, but trailing stop just new for me. Thank chis more ever.

    1. Hi! Just check what triling stop min. accept your brocker, and this value put into your EA, overall if it’s renko chart and renko EA!, without trailing start & step….

  4. Hello,
    I am so happy to be part of this site, nice site, i love your proacies toward trading, is very useful as a new sign up memmber, i have gained alot. Thanks and God

  5. I use an EA on MT4 that includes a Trailing Stop. In case the connection to the web goes down for some minutes will the Trailing Stop resume automatically or will it have to be re-set manually?
    Thank you.

    1. If you keep the platform running on your computer, the trailing stop loss will also work when the computer connects to the Internet again.

  6. Hello. in my idea trailing stop with default setting in MT4 is not so good. because
    the breakeven point after activation = the entry point
    and the price has a tendency to correct itself.
    so if the trailing stop is so large or so small the position will be closed at a profit that we dont want that.
    one of the way that i usually use handly changing the trailed – stop loss but not more than your initial stop loss

    * when using trailing stop or even stop loss, consider the spread

  7. hello,
    Some Proffesional trader don’t like use trailing stop because it can move stop loss that already setup.. but how important trailing stop for your self trading stategy? I read that you do not prefer to use TS, according to your strategy what do you prefer if market price move at your side..? Move stop loss to break even manually or place a trailing stop to protect your profit? Of course don’t place a very tight TS.. example take profit 100 pips (4 digits) or 1000 pips (5 digits) and place TS 500 points (5 digits) or move the stop loss manually to breakeven price (open price).. ? Which one most profitable according to you..? Thanks for the advice…

    1. Hi Joni,

      If I wanted to trade with MT4, I wouldn’t use a trailing stop loss. To lock my profit, I prefer to move my stop loss manually, based on the market movements and signals. A trailing stop loss moves the stop loss blindly which is not good at all.

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