Why your Expert Advisor doesn’t work?

“Why my EA doesn’t work?” is a question asked notoriously in mails and on various forums on average every 2,5 weeks. I invite you to get familiar with the procedure, which helps to find out what is the cause. Problems discussed in this entry are trivial, that’s why it is addressed mainly to beginners. However, it may be useful also for advanced programmers to… link it to beginners, who ask why their EA doesn’t work ;)

Check if your EA is allowed to trade

We are informed about the fact that it doesn’t have such permission by a “sad face” in the upper right corner of the chart.
To allow trading press F7 or select the General tab and check if “Allow trade” option is selected.

Check if your EA is allowed to use DLLs/external strategies

Some strategies use external libraries. If our EA doesn’t work and it requires a DLL, check if it has permission to import DLLs. As before, you can check it in the “General” tab by veryfing that “allow DLL import” and “allow external strategy import” options are selected.

Check if strategies are turned on

If there is a small cross in the upper right corner of the chart, it means that strategies are turned off. To turn them on, find the “Enable strategies” button on the toolbar – it should be pressed and a green icon should be displayed.

Check if you entered correct parameters

Very often, despite your EA works, it can’t open any position. It happens for instance when we enter a stop loss distance, which is smaller than the minimal allowed by the broker and the EA doesn’t fix this and doesn’t show any error. So when our EA doesn’t work, it is possible that we simply have entered incorrect parameters.

Check if you have enough money

Often EAs don’t check if there is enough money on the account to open the position and they don’t show any errors because of that.

Check if there is no endless loop

If everything else seems to be all right, but the EA uses much processor power, then it is possible that there is an endless loop in the code so it is worth to look at loops in code.

Check the log

In spite of what we think, there may be something interesting in the log from time to time so it’s worth checking.

Search, before you ask

Before you ask why your EA doesn’t work, spend at least 10 minutes on searching, because it is very possible that a problem similiar to yours has been already solved and there is no point in asking the same question once again on the forum.
And if you have to ask, then add as much useful technical information about what is not working and when as you can.

I encourage you to share your own pieces of advice about diagnosing not working EAs in comments, because I may have missed something.

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