Working with Time and Date in MQL4

In algorithmic trading, time and date are crucial factors. MQL4 offers multiple functions and operations to handle and manipulate these data types efficiently. Let's explore how to work with them.

1. MQL4 Time Data Types

Two primary data types represent time in MQL4:

2. Retrieving Current Time

To get the current time:

datetime currentTime = TimeCurrent();

3. Accessing Bar Time

You can access the time of a specific bar using the Time array:

datetime barTime = Time[0]; // This gets the time of the most recent bar

4. Conversion Functions

MQL4 offers functions to convert datetime values:

5. Time Arithmetic

You can perform arithmetic operations on datetime values:

datetime tomorrow = TimeCurrent() + 24*60*60; // Adds a day
datetime anHourLater = TimeCurrent() + 60*60; // Adds an hour

6. Working with Time Periods

MQL4 has predefined constants for different timeframes:

7. Comparing Time Values

Compare datetime values just like any other numeric value:

if (Time[0] > Time[1]) {
// The most recent bar time is later than the previous one


Time and date handling is foundational in MQL4, given the time-sensitive nature of trading. By mastering these operations, you can ensure your trading strategies consider precise entry, exit, and holding periods.

NEXT UP: Managing events like Economic News.