A step-by-step guide on how to find and extract log files in your MetaTrader 4
Log files are special purpose text files (with .log extension) where different information, warnings and errors related to Expert Advisor working process are recorded.
Any Expert Advisor should be developed with a logging function that stores all the actions performed by the EA in a log file. Logging function records parameters of trades’ execution and all related errors that may arise, providing information to investigate the reason of a particular trade execution or (in contrary) the reason of a trade being not executed at some particular entry setup.
Log files are used to restore the sequence of actions performed by an EA. Such approach allows to determine reasons of incorrect work of the EA should any issues arise.
There are 3 types of log files recorded in your MT4 terminal:
1. Expert Advisor log files
When your Expert Advisor is launched on a chart and works in real time, all the information that is related to its working process you can watch in “Terminal” window in “Experts” tab.
In this tab there is a data recorded related to the working process of the launched EA: info about EA launch, EA stopping process, trades’ opening/closing, orders’ modification, errors and other important issues.
Expert Advisor log files are located in “MQL4/Logs” folder of your MT4 “Data Folder” directory. To get these log files please follow the actions provided below:
2. Terminal log files
In “Terminal” window to the right from “Experts” tab there is “Journal” tab. It contains information about recorded trader and terminal actions after the most recent launch of your MetaTrader 4. In this log the following actions are recorded:
orders’ opening/closing/modification (manual orders as well as orders, opened by an EA)
switching between accounts
terminal open and close
EAs/indicators/scripts launch and stop
other terminal system info
Terminal log files are located in ”logs” folder of your MT4 “Data Folder” directory. To get these log files please follow the actions provided below:
3. Strategy Tester log files
When your Expert Advisor runs in Strategy Tester, all the information that is related to its working process you can watch in “Tester” window in “Journal” tab. In this tab the EA logs all the data related to the testing process, including all trading operations.
This log is similar to “Terminal – Experts” log except that in Strategy Tester log there is data related to Expert Advisor back-testing rather than to its real time trading.
If an error has occurred during a back-test of an Expert Advisor, then this is the log you need in order to investigate the issue.
Strategy Tester log files are located in ”tester/logs” folder of your MT4 “Data Folder” directory. To get these log files please follow the actions provided below:
do not change any info in any log file that should be used for an investigation – just send it to your developer as it is
If the size of a log file is large (more than 10MB) – zip it into a .zip archive before sending: zipping a log into an archive significantly reduces the size of the log and makes the transfer of it faster
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