Top 6 Reasons Your Expert Advisor Does Not Trade

Help! My Expert Advisor Does Not Trade

1. Did you enable trading on your MetaTrader platform?

The icon should be green, not red. This shows Expert Advisors as disabled:

This is what it looks like when Expert Advisors are enabled:

Expert Advisors enabled




2. Have you enabled Live Trading on the Expert Advisor input tab? 

If you don’t see a smiley face in the top right corner of the chart, no trades will be placed.

Check the Live Trading box when you attach your EA to a price chart.

EA input tab


3. Are there any error messages in the MetaTrader platform Experts tab:

MetaTrader Platform experts tab

Some error messages you may see are:

  • Error code 130 (ERR_INVALID_STOPS): This means your StopLoss or TakeProfit value is not valid. Check them and make sure they are large enough. The actual minimum or maximum value varies from broker to broker.
  • Error code 131 (ERR_INVALID_TRADE_VOLUME): This means your Lot value is not valid. The allowable values vary according to account type (micro, mini or standard).
  • Error code 133 (ERR_TRADE_DISABLED): Use the instructions above to learn how to enable trading on your MT platform.

If you see an error number that you do not understand, use the Navigator in the MetaEditor to search for the error number. See this post for using the MetaEditor for help.


4. Is one of the VTS System Managers preventing a trade from opening?

  • Check the Trade Time Manager and the Trade Signal Manager and make sure they are not configured to prevent trades from opening.
  • Check the values of the Input Variables MaxTrade, MaxBuys and MaxSells and make sure they are not set to 0 (zero).


5. Have you ever successfully open a trade using an Expert Advisor on this MetaTrader account?

Use the Test Wizard to create a simple EA that opens a trade. (The Test Wizard only allows EAs to run on a DEMO account.)

VTS Test Wizard

Make sure you can open a trade using a Test Wiizard EA before attempting to open trades using a more complex EA.

6. Is your Expert Advisor generating a Trade Signal? Is the EA not even trying to open a trade because the trade Logic is never true?

If you think your EA should be generating a valid signal to open a trade, and it appears that it is not, then see this post for debugging an Expert Advisor.





  1. Useful information for traders. Obviously there are much more reasons why MT4 Expert Advisors may not work, but you definitely listed the most common ones.

    Good job.

  2. godstime okiki says:


    I have been learning how to use VTS but i have not understood how to setup my EA to open 1 trade at a time on each currency pair chart i have attached the my EA to. for example, i have 5 different currency pair on my platform and i attach my EA to each of the currency pair chart . I then set Maxbuy to 1, Maxsell to 1, Maxtrade to 20 trades.

    if the eur/us opens a trade, it prevents others currency pair from open a trade. this is not what i want. each currency pair must be able a open a trade when there is a signal to do so.

    How can i overcome this issue.


    • Hi,
      Just set the MagicNumber to a unique number for each chart. By default, EA’s build by the VTS EA-Builder count trades by MagicNumber alone, so the EAs “think” a trade is already opened. You can change the MagicNumber in VTS, or when you attach the EA to the chart.

  3. tobore ojenikoh says:

    i have a problem that i dont know how to fix. i need to open a buy stop and sell stop pending orders at same time. i have tried everything i know to make this work but it opens order only. i’m using v4.0.0.91. thanks in advance.

    • By default, VTS is designed to limit trading to one open trade. This can be easily changed by setting these values in the OpenTradeManager on the “Maximum” tab:
      and perhaps MaxLots

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