BrokerNotes.co is committed to the highest ethical standards and reviews services independently. Learn How We Make Money

Forex Trading for Mac Users

May 09, 2022
Last modified June 01, 2022

Mac users are some of the most steadfast platform loyalists out there. Unfortunately, the world of trading can sometimes feel like it leaves Mac users out in the cold. Feelings aside, it’s true that most trading platforms have historically been built and optimized strictly for Windows machines.

Nowadays, traders have access to a greater number of viable options for running some of the best trading platforms on their favorite Mac machines. Here at BrokerNotes, we created this guide to help you decide whether trading forex on a Mac is right for you. We’ll also teach you the tricks that’ll allow you to use (or even install) your trading platform of choice on your Mac device.

We even conducted our own extensive research, so that we could let you know which brokers have the most Mac-friendly platforms for web, desktop, and mobile.

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

To help you pick the best broker for trading on your favorite Mac device, we tested dozens of the most notable Mac-ready trading platforms on the market. After conducting our meticulous research, we created this list of the best trading platforms for Mac in 2022.

  • Saxo Bank - 9.5/10 Overall
  • TD Ameritrade - 8.9/10 Overall
  • Interactive Brokers - 9.2/10 Overall
  • XTB - 8.7/10 Overall
  • Swissquote - 8.5/10 Overall
  • AvaTrade - 8.2/10 Overall
  • OANDA - 8/10 Overall
Overall Rating
9.5 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$2,000
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.8 (August 2020)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.6 (August 2020)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1992
Publicly Traded (Listed)No
BankYes
Tier-1 Licenses6
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)40000
Forex Pairs (Total)182
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)62
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
9.2 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.6 (From 09/25/21 - 10/02/21)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.6 (From 09/25/21 - 10/02/21)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)No
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1977
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses8
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)7400
Forex Pairs (Total)91
BitcoinNo
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingNo
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)127
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8.9 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.26 pips (August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.26 pips (August 2021)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)No
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)No
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1955
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankYes
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tier-2 Licenses0
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)0
Forex Pairs (Total)73
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingNo
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)360
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8.7 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.9 (Q3 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.9 (Q3 2021)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded2002
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses1
Tier-2 Licenses3
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)10000
Forex Pairs (Total)49
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)39
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8.5 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$1000
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard-1
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active-1
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1996
Publicly Traded (Listed)Yes
BankYes
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tier-2 Licenses1
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)466
Forex Pairs (Total)78
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)Yes
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)49
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8.2 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$100
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.91 (Aug 2020)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.61 (Aug 2020)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded2006
Publicly Traded (Listed)No
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tier-2 Licenses3
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)1260
Forex Pairs (Total)55
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)Yes
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)90
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


Overall Rating
8 / 10
Minimum Initial Deposit
$0
Trust Score
Trust Score is a numerical rating (from 1 - 99) that represents a broker's overall trust.close
Highly Trusted
Cost & Fundingexpand_moreexpand_less
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.26 (5/22-5/27/22)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.26 (5/22-5/27/22)
PayPal (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Skrill (Deposit/Withdraw)Yes
Visa/Mastercard (Credit/Debit)Yes
Regulationexpand_moreexpand_less
Year Founded1996
Publicly Traded (Listed)No
BankNo
Tier-1 Licenses6
Tier-2 Licenses0
Investment Optionsexpand_moreexpand_less
Forex TradingNo
Trading - Forex or CFDsYes
Tradeable Symbols (Total)124
Forex Pairs (Total)71
BitcoinYes
Trading Platformsexpand_moreexpand_less
Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)Yes
Proprietary PlatformYes
Social Trading / Copy TradingYes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)81
Apps & Toolsexpand_moreexpand_less
Android AppYes
Apple iOS AppYes
Has Education - Forex or CFDsYes
Daily Market CommentaryYes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
Economic CalendarYes


How do you trade forex on a Mac?

It’s true that most trading platforms are built and optimized for Windows machines. In the past, traders who wanted to use a Mac were forced to use applications like PlayOnMac or the WINE emulator in order to use the top trading platforms.

With the increasing availability of browser-based platforms, traders no longer need to rely on their brokers to provide a trading platform specifically for Mac devices. Traders can simply access their preferred trading portal directly through their web browser.

At the same time, an increasing number of brokers have developed native Mac versions of their own desktop trading platforms, which means that Mac traders can finally install trading platforms directly onto their devices without having to mess around with a Windows emulator.

Pros & Cons of using a Mac for trading forex:

Pros:

  • They pack a powerful punch. Mac computers and laptops feature powerful specs and a hefty range of features. The processing power, RAM, and storage that come standard with most Mac devices should easily handle any web-based trading platforms.
  • Trading on the move. Apple’s MacBooks and mobile devices are celebrated for their compact design and excellent battery life, both of which make them ideal for managing your brokerage account and investment trading portfolio on the go.
  • The support is growing. An increasing number of brokers offer native versions of their desktop trading platforms for Mac, creating a user experience for macOS that’s nearly identical to the Windows versions.
  • No native platform? Not (necessarily) a problem. Mac devices can run what’s known as a “virtual environment” using a dedicated emulator such as Wine, PlayOnMac, or Parallels. These emulators will let you install Windows software (like MetaTrader) onto your Mac hardware.

Cons:

  • Full compatibility just isn’t there yet. Not all CFD or forex trading platforms are compatible with Mac devices. You might find the perfect forex trading platform for you, only to find that you’ll need an emulator to run it on your Mac device.
  • Emulators can be risky. If you have to use a Windows emulator on your Mac, it could pose a risk to your system’s security or stability, or cause tricky technical issues. At best, it will simply drain your battery.

Can you trade forex on a MacBook?

Yes, MacBooks are an excellent choice for trading forex when you are on the go or working remotely. I have a 12" MacBook, which has been a reliable tool for trading forex and managing my investment accounts (and it’s compact enough for me to tuck it into the pocket of one of my travel vests). Though that particular model is discontinued, Apple has now produced the superior MacBook Pro as well as the MacBook Air, both of which are plenty powerful enough for trading forex or managing your investment portfolio.

Can I use MetaTrader on Mac?

Yes, the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform can be installed on macOS using a version of free open-source software called Wine (originally an acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator). This workaround has become so common that MetaQuotes Software Corp, the developer of MetaTrader, provides a version of the software with the Wine app wrapped directly into the installation (.DMG) file.

Please note that Wine is not regarded as a fully stable application, and it’s possible that some of MetaTrader’s functions may not work properly – or at all. Personally, I’ve found that Parallels is a more stable Windows emulator, but it requires a paid subscription (and can be a deal trickier to install and troubleshoot than Wine).

How do I install MT4 on Mac?

You can install MT4 onto your Mac OS using a free third-party application called PlayOnMac. PlayOnMac is a Wine-based application that acts as an emulator that allows Windows-based applications to run on a Mac computer.

  1. Download the latest version of PlayOnMac from the official website.
  2. Once downloaded, launch the PlayOnMac installer and follow the instructions on the screen to begin the installation process. As a part of the installation, you may be asked to install XQuartz, which is necessary for running a Windows system on Mac OS.
  3. After you have installed the PlayOnMac application, download the MT4 installer file (mt4setup.exe).
  4. Once downloaded, launch the MT4 installer. PlayOnMac should automatically install the MT4 application onto your Mac computer and create the necessary shortcuts.
  5. To run the MT4 client, simply click on the client terminal icon in the PlayOnMac launch window.

Which is the best forex trading platform for macOS?

Saxo Bank’s impressive SaxoTraderGO platform suite is the best forex trading platform for macOS in 2022. The SaxoTraderGO web and mobile platforms are powerfully built and intuitively designed. They provide a robust selection of trading tools along with top-notch research in a highly unified cross-platform experience. Saxo Bank’s platform suite was one of our overall favorites for 2022.

More Forex Guides

Forex Risk Disclaimer

There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more.

About the Author

Steven Hatzakis

Steven is the Lead Writer and Director of Research at BrokerNotes since 2021, and at ForexBrokers.com since 2016. Steven has been gathering accolades and credentials in the finance industry for over 20 years. He’s served as a registered commodity futures representative for both domestic and internationally regulated brokerages, and he’s held a Series III license in the U.S. as a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) for over ten years. He’s published over 1,000 articles covering the forex industry, and he has been writing about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency for almost ten years. Steven continues to contribute to open-source technology, consumer education, and self-regulatory initiatives.


close