Where are my Metatrader Log files?

Published: 09th August 2011
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This tip is to debunk the conspiracy theories about Forex Brokers deleting your trade journal in order to erase evidence of their wrongdoing; since we started discussing the Virtual Dealer Plugin people have sent us many inquiries of the whereabouts of the trade Journal.

The problem is that in some systems when you right click on the Journal Tab of the MetaTrader 4 Terminal and choose open, the folder where the Journal is stored opens but it is empty, no files at all, the assumption is that the broker has reached out from the Internet and deleted the files; but in this case is not your broker, the cause for this strange behavior lies on a new Windows Feature called UAC (user account control).

Users of MetaTrader 4 running under Windows Vista or any future versions like Windows 7 may find it impossible to locate the trade Journal and the Expert's logs at their usual location. For example on a typical Windows XP installation the path to the journal would be something like:

C:\Program Files\FOREX.com FT\Logs

On the same install in a Windows 7 you would think to look at the same location for the Journal at:

C:\Program Files (x86)\FOREX.com FT\Logs

But after navigation to the above folder you find that it's empty, the reason is that windows has moved all the data to a especial folder called the Virtual Store, which is inside the user's folder under the name of the current user in a folder about 6 layers deep. The fastest way to get to the journal is by replacing the driver letter on the path for the words %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore, let's give you an example by correcting the above path:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\FOREX.com FT\Logs

By navigating to the above path you will be able to find all the Journals for your MT4 since you started using this terminal.

To avoid this problem of not being able to easily find the Journals the best solution is to reinstall Meta Trader 4 again on a different folder, the UAC protection is only active if the program is installed under the "Program Files (x86)" folder, my suggestion is to install your MetaTrader 4 terminals on a different folder called C:\Meta Trader\, this way your program will run just like it did on XP and you will be able to right click on the Journal Tab and quickly open the Journal.

By changing the installation folder of MetaTrader 4 you will also be fixing other bad side effects of UAC such as:

* Inability of receiving Updates to the terminal if MetaTrader 4 is installed inside of the UAC protected folder. You should visit the Metaquotes forum and make sure you are running the latest version of the terminal ( http://forum.mql4.com/) at the writing of this article the latest build was 402.

* UAC can also interfere with your trading if you run advanced expert advisor that rely on data that's been stored in the same folder as MetaTrader 4

* Loading history to get 90% Modeling quality during back-testing into MetaTrader 4 can be very difficult if UAC is on.

I hope this helps you understand that MetaTrader 4 was not design to work well in this conditions and there should be more than enough reasons for you not to run MetaTrader 4 on Windows Vista under the "Program Files (x86)" folder.

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