Best Mac Forex Trading Platforms for 2022
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They say once you go Mac, you never go back. If you are a die-hard fan of Mac computers, as I am, you want a forex trading platform that will run smoothly on your device without any limitations. The good news is you can find excellent trading platforms available for Mac, and this guide shows you how.
Many forex and CFD brokers continue to offer desktop software for Apple computers running Macintosh operating systems and have made significant improvements over the years to rival their Windows versions.
Love your Mac but don't want to download software? There's another way in: Use your browser. All brokers offer web-based platforms, too.
Here we'll cover the best trading platforms available for Mac that support manual trading and social copy trading, and even automated trading capabilities on MetaTrader and cTrader platforms.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 65% and 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Best Brokers for Mac Trading Platforms
Here are the best trading platforms for Mac, based on 113 variables.
- Saxo Bank's SaxoTraderPro - Best unified experience across devices
- TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim - Excellent platform technology
- Interactive Brokers' Trader Workstation (TWS) - Best for professionals
- XTB's xStation 5 - Great ease of use through simple platform design
- Swissquote Bank's Advanced Trader - Availability of complex order types
- AvaTrade's MetaTrader 5 (MT5) - Automated trading capabilities
- OANDA's fxTrade - Great charting module and account management
Most unified experience across devices
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||40000|
Streamlined designs and robust trading tools make Saxo’s desktop platform, SaxoTraderPRO, a winner; it offers an even greater selection of professional trading features than the broker’s web platform. There’s an iOS app available, too. Read full review
- Flagship platform is top of the line
- Over 40,000 tradeable instruments
- Excellent customer service
- High minimum deposit
Excellent platform technology
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||N/A|
The backbone of the TD Ameritrade forex trading experience is the desktop-based trading platform thinkorswim, which is also available for the web. Technical analysis enthusiasts will quickly fall in love with the endless depth of thinkorswim desktop charts – especially on Mac. Read full review
- Outstanding platform in thinkorswim
- Thorough research offerings
- Excellent educational materials
- Does not offer copy trading
- Forex pricing is slightly higher than industry average
Best for professionals
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||7400|
While we can’t say that Trader Workstation (TWS) – Interactive Brokers' flagship desktop trading platform for Mac – is easy to use, it’s packed with features spanning the entire spectrum of trading products, including forex. TWS is simply an excellent choice for professional traders using Macs. Read full review
- Robust platform for professional traders
- Wide range of global markets
- Thorough research offering
- Trader Workstation platform is likely too complicated for inexperienced traders
Great ease of use through simple platform design
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||10000|
XTB's flagship platform offering, xStation 5, delivers an excellent experience across devices – including for your Mac. XStation 5’s investment basket tool allows you to create a thematic basket of various symbols, then place a single order to execute them all in one click. Read full review
- xStation 5 platform is an industry standout
- Robust selection of trading tools
- Excellent customer service
- Pricing is just average
Availability of complex order types
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||466|
While the user experience continues to evolve for Swissquote's Advanced Trader as a Mac trading platform, it does include robust charting, complex order types, and supports forex options trading on 45 pairs on a Request for Quote (RFQ) basis. Read full review
- Early leader in crypto offerings
- Strong banking services
- High-quality research
- Desktop platform needs updating
- Limited tradeable symbols for forex and CFDs
- Costs tend to be on the high side
Automated trading capabilities
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||1260|
The MetaTrader platform suite for Mac, including MT4 and MT5, is provided by AvaTrade and is available directly from the developer as a native application for Mac. AvaTrade has a well-balanced offering for Apple users in terms of its platform availability, range of markets, pricing, and regulatory licenses. Read full review
- AvaOptions app is an excellent forex options mobile trading platform
- Offers 44 forex options and over 1,200 CFDs
- Pricing for retail accounts is average, but trails industry leaders
- Desktop platform is slow to load, has outdated design
Great charting module and account management
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||124|
fxTrade, OANDA’s flagship platform, is available for Mac and offers advanced features like robust charts powered by TradingView. OANDA combines several services in its online account management portal, which makes it easy to transfer money between accounts and access your statements. Read full review
- High-quality market research
- Excellent options for algorithmic trading
- Fees trail discount leaders
- Limited tradeable products
What is the best trading platform for Mac?
If you live in the U.S., the best trading platform for your Mac computer is thinkorswim from TD Ameritrade. For non-U.S. residents, Saxo Bank's SaxoTrader Pro desktop trading platform and SaxoTrader GO web and mobile trading app are excellent trading software for Mac users.
Is a Mac good for trading?
Much like a Windows computer, your Mac laptop or desktop machine likely already has a powerful balance of the hardware and software capabilities necessary to run the best trading platforms. Likewise, iOS devices such as the iPhone can run even the most demanding mobile trading app for Macs.
Nearly all Mac computers made in the last decade have a fast processor, large hard drive, and enough RAM to meet your needs regardless of the Mac trading platform you use. Desktop trading platforms can be more resource-intensive when installed locally, compared to using a web-based version, so it's good to know what the system requirements are if you decide to use forex trading platforms for Mac.
|Feature||Saxo Bank||TD Ameritrade||Interactive Brokers|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes||No||No|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes||No||No|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No||No||No|
Can you trade forex on a MacBook?
Yes, you can trade forex on a MacBook by either using the web or desktop version of the trading platform from your device. Even the smallest MacBook, the 12-inch, can be used for forex trading, in addition to the hardier MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models.
How do I trade forex on a Mac?
To trade forex, you will need to set up a live forex account online, fund it, then either install desktop software on your computer or proceed to use the web version of the trading platform.
Once you identify the currency pair you want to trade and the trade direction (long or short), you can create an order by specifying the amount of currency (e.g., 10,000 units is one mini lot). Be sure to have enough margin available depending on your risk/reward targets and use a stop-loss and limit to manage risk.
Is MacBook Air good for forex?
The MacBook Air is an ideal laptop for those trading on the go, such as when working remotely or traveling. At 2.8 pounds (1.29 kilos), it is lighter than most MacBook Pros, yet still powerful enough to run nearly any trading platform.
It's important to keep in mind that desktop-based platforms that require installation on your MacBook Air may consume more memory and battery, compared to using the web version of the forex trading platform offered by your broker.
I've found that with the right settings, you can get at least 6 hours of battery life when using a MacBook to trade forex (provided that the condition of your battery is good and can hold a charge like a new battery).
Which software is best for trading?
The best trading platforms cover all the bases, offering low commissions, a wide range of markets, news, research, powerful charts, and plenty of trading tools in a user-friendly software design. The following forex brokers offer the best software for trading:
- Saxo Bank - SaxoTraderGO - best platform suite and mobile app
- IG - IG Trading - best smartphone app
- CMC Markets - NextGeneration - best platform technology
- Interactive Brokers - TraderWorkstation (TWS) best for professional traders
- TD Ameritrade - thinkorswim - best desktop platform
- FXCM - Trading Station - best for algorithmic traders
- eToro - eToro Platform - best for social copy trading
ForexBrokers.com's comparison tool can help narrow down the options important to you when choosing a broker.
Is MetaTrader available for Mac?
Unfortunately, MetaTrader only runs natively on Windows. MetaQuotes Corporation does have what appears to be a Mac version of MetaTrader, but it requires a Windows Emulator in order to actually work on a macOS device. If you are looking for MetaTrader 4 for Mac, you can download the installation file directly from the developer here (and the MT5 version is available here). Once you launch the software, the Wine Gecko Installer will look for a Gecko package (which is needed for MetaTrader to run on your Mac), and if not found it will give you the option to download and install it.
Pro tip: Many brokers that offer MetaTrader for Mac provide it as an installation file, but their .dmg files have the emulator packaged together with the application to create the Windows simulated environment. You can also install an emulator yourself, and then from within that Windows virtual machine install the Windows version of MetaTrader on your Mac.
The most established Windows emulators for Mac are Parallels Desktop software, which requires a paid subscription, or VMWare, which allows you to install other Windows applications on your Mac in a virtual environment. There are also free, open-source emulators, but they can be less stable, such as Wine version 6.1 and PlayOnMac version 4.3.
Is MT4 good on Mac?
MT4 offers dozens of plugins by default, and there are thousands more available from third-party providers and within the MQL5 community. Traders love its charting and technical analysis capabilities, and MetaTrader is one of the most popular investment trading platforms across the globe.
However, you might not be a fan of MT4 on Mac, as it provides a sub-par MetaTrader experience compared to the Windows version — unless you are running an emulator that can perfectly simulate the Windows environment.
Having tested MT4 on my Mac using the Parallels Desktop software, I can report that it felt just like the Windows version with no noticeable differences. However, I can't say the same when using the WINE emulator – which is best avoided.
How do I get the Stocks app on my Mac?
The Stocks app is a program and widget that is available by default on MacOS, version Mojave 10.14 and later, and can be customized in the notifications center or by launching the app. Search for "Stocks.app" on your Mac using the finder lookup tool, and launch the program to see stock quotes powered by Yahoo Finance, charts, and news headlines from various top-tier providers like the Wall Street Journal and CNBC.
Does Apple have a trading platform?
Apple’s only “trading” platform is for trading your used devices – not for investing in financial markets. The closest thing to an official Apple financial markets trading platform would be Apple Pay (available for web and iOS devices), but it does not yet support investing or trading securities.
Is Apple good for day trading?
Almost every Apple computer comes now by default with a fast processor, powerful video card, plenty of storage, and enough RAM to satisfy even the most demanding trading platforms used for day trading.
Pro tip: When building a trading rig for Mac trading software, Apple desktop and laptop computers can be configured to be very powerful and can easily cost several thousand dollars depending on setup (i.e., 64GB of RAM, 4.0 GHz processor, 1 TB SSD). In almost all cases, that will be more than is necessary for trading platforms, even if you have a decade-old Apple computer with base model specifications.
Which Mac is best for day trading?
Unless you want a desktop Mac that sports multiple monitors, and is nearly powerful enough to mine cryptocurrency, Apple's flagship MacBook Pro laptop has powerful specs and is a great choice for day trading — even when you choose the base version with no upgrades.
Depending on the year of the model, most versions come with 16GB of RAM, and the latest Macbook Pro iterations have even faster processors. I use a 16-inch (2019 model) MacBook Pro with a 2.3 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9 Processor, 16GB of 2267 MHz DDR4 RAM, and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M Graphics card with 4GB of dedicated RAM.
Having run the most demanding trading platforms from over 40 brokers, I can say that Mac devices are ultra-reliable, and perfect for day trading and running desktop trading software, or having numerous browser tabs open while logged into your brokerage accounts.
Can I use TradeStation on a Mac?
The current version of the TradeStation platform is designed for Windows; the developer suggests using an emulator such as Parallels Desktop to run it in a virtual environment on a Mac. I've personally found that Parallels version 16 works very well for running the TradeStation desktop trading platform on macOS (version 10.5 or later).
How do you trade on a Mac?
Trading on a Mac computer is no different than on any other computer, except that if you want to install a desktop-based platform, you must be sure there is a compatible Mac version. Otherwise, you'll be limited to using web-based trading platforms and mobile apps. Many of the best brokers offer Mac versions of their desktop software, or their web-based versions are excellent alternatives.
ForexBrokers.com 2022 Overall Ranking
Here are the Overall rankings for the 39 online brokers who participated in our 2022 Annual Review, sorted by Overall ranking.
|Brokers||Commissions & Fees||Offering of Investments||Platforms & Tools||Research||Mobile Trading Apps||Education||Overall Ranking||Trust Score||Visit Site|
|HFM (HF Markets)||85|
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About the Author
Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.