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Everything you need to know about .set files

Any trader who uses indicators, scripts, expert advisors in his trading sooner or later asks a question: How do I save settings for programs installed? How not to lose a set of settings? How to transfer settings to another terminal or to the terminal installed on the VPS server? The answer to this question is very simple, MetaTrader terminals have built-in ability to quickly save and load settings.   Trader can save the settings in a special . set file. To do this, in the program settings, click the "Save" button, select a location to save, name the file and click "Save".

program settings

Loading settings in MetaTrader

Downloading the settings of the program is done the same way, and it will not be difficult even for a novice trader. By default, the saved settings files are saved to the MetaTrader terminal folder named Presets. 

A little summary: 

What is a .set file?

.set file is a file containing previously saved settings for expert Advisors, Indicators, Scripts.

Where are .set files stored? 

.set files are stored in the terminal directory in the Presets folder.

Pros and cons of .set files.

Now let's look at the pros and cons of using .set files, which “pitfalls” a trader may encounter when using settings files. The fact is that now there are a lot of programmers capable of writing indicators, expert advisors, scripts and other utilities for MetaTrader. Traders using the software create a huge number of configuration files and distribute these settings on the Internet. For beginners, it seems that a good set of settings made by a professional trader is the key to success. In fact, this is not true. Although .set files store settings, they cannot store other most important information.

.set files benefit – storage of settings andf input parameters.

Disadvantages of .set files regarding expert advisors and scripts:

  1. Information about the spread is not stored
  2. Information about fees is not stored
  3. Information about the swaps is not stored
  4. Information about the broker is not stored
  5. Information about the number of decimals is not stored
  6. Information about leverage is not stored
  7. Information about the financial instrument on which the settings file was made is not stored
  8. Information about the Time Frame on which the set of settings was made is not stored
  9. Information about lot sizes and lot step is not stored

There are a lot of cons and these cons make all those files that are available on various sites, useless. For most indicators, these disadvantages do not matter.

Every trader should clearly understand: a .set file is not a key to wealth, it is not a cipher from a combination lock with a fortune. It's just a set of settings. All the disadvantages above the trader should take into account when using unknown sets of settings.

Ask yourself a question – whether there is a sense at to take or buy from someone settings or it is better to spend a little time and to be sure of your settings? 

How to make a good settings file? 

You can make a good configuration file yourself in one of three ways:

  1. With the help of the optimizer built into the MetaTrader terminal: the optimizer will select the most accurate settings for the EA using computer power. It is important to understand that the optimizer is a computer and it selects settings based on many factors. With this selection, settings are often selected that are not really useful or one order is traded all year round.
  2. Manually, using the strategy tester and demo accounts – this method is the most accurate and gives the best results, but it's time-consuming. Such work can take months.
  3. With the help of a combined method – the first raw settings are made using the strategy optimizer and later are finished manually on demo accounts.

We recommend you to study the articles: 


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best name for .set files?

Example: VR-Smart-Grid-EURUSD-M15-190512-5.set

File set names

The most convenient option for the Set file name is the following dataset:

  1. The name of the EA, indicator, script – this will allow you to know for which EA the set file is made.
  2. Financial instrument – allows you to know on which financial instrument the set file was created and works well.
  3. The timeframe for which the .set file was created.
  4. .set file creation date – allows you to distinguish different versions of .set files.
  5. Your assessment of the settings in terms of profitability, losses, efficiency.

Example: VR-Smart-Grid-EURUSD-M15-190512-5.set

Will the .set file from the EA for MetaTrader 4 work in EA for MetaTrader 5?

If the .set file is made in MetaTrader 5 during the optimization process, then this file is not suitable for the expert advisor for MetaTrader 4.

File Settings Example

If the set file is made in MetaTrader 5 manually on the chart, this file may be suitable for the expert advisor for MetaTrader 4. It is important that the expert advisors have no differences in the set of input parameters. 

settings for programs

Each of us came to the financial market in order to improve their financial situation. Dear reader, be attentive and thoughtful. Question everything that seems easy and simple. Do not believe the promises of quick and great success, it does not work like that! 

Only daily hard work will make you successful!

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