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Many people are keen to try Forex trading but are afraid of losing their first deposit and therefore are reluctant to start.

How to Open a Forex Demo Account for Free?

What is a Forex Demo Account and Why Do You Need It?

What is a Forex Demo Account?
A demo account is a special type of account available for free on the broker's online trading platform. The key difference between a demo account and a standard (“real”) account is that you trade with virtual money only. However, trading instruments, charts, signals, and quotes are equally at your disposal as if you are trading with real money using a real account.
That means that a demo account is a complete copy of a real account, and the same strategies are available as if you are trading on a standard account. There are no technical or program differences, so if you do not know that this is a demo account, it is impossible to distinguish it from a real one.

Demo accounts allow you to:

get acquainted with the interface and functionality of your broker’s trading platform;
gain valuable experience using real trading tools and mechanisms while practicing without the risk of losing real money;
learn and understand the basics of online Forex trading;
develop trading strategies and experience while not risking real money;
experiment with new ideas and methods without any risks.
Demo accounts are not only for beginners. Demo accounts were designed specifically for novice traders for sure, but experienced players often use them to safely try a new currency pair or an innovative trading strategy of your own or one that has become a recent trend.

Features of Forex demo accounts:

each trading terminal is unique in how to register and open a demo account, although the principles of how you use a demo account after it’s opened are fairly standard for all Forex brokers;
demo accounts have a limited lifespan (e.g., 30 days) on some terminals and cannot be used indefinitely;
all demo accounts allow you to deposit “virtual dollars” (say $1,000) and when the deposit amount is exhausted, the account is usually closed automatically;
traders can open a new demo account after one closes and this is automatically done for you by some brokers.
The key factor is there are no obligations or risks for traders when using a demo account. You can close it at any time or just stop trading and the account will close itself without any consequences to you. However, to open a demo account with a Forex broker, you still have to register on its official website and verify it on the broker’s platform.
Registration and verification take only a few minutes and many brokers offer “no deposit” bonuses, which means that just for registering on the platform you get a certain amount of money (about $5-50) for free on your real account and you can use it to trade. You can practice on a demo account and then switch to a real one and start real trading without making any investment of your hard-earned money. Feel free to make your first deposit if things are working out for you. This is the best option for starting a professional career as a Forex trader.

How to Open a Free Demo Account?

Nearly all Forex brokers offer demo accounts because it is beneficial for them to teach a novice trader the basics of trading in the foreign exchange market. The benefit is that if a novice trader uses a particular broker’s platform for training, the chances are high that she or he will do their real trading on that broker’s platform. Practice using the demo account ensures later trading success which contributes to the profits of both the broker and the new trader.
How to Open a Free Demo Account?
Demo accounts also benefit professional traders. They will not need to use third-party services to work out a new trading strategy or see how trading instrument pairs will behave in experimental circumstances. This opportunity is provided by your broker and it does not have to risk its trader changing to a new broker.

Algorithms used by Forex brokers to open demo accounts:

choose a broker with the most convenient conditions;
register with the broker through its official website or through the Traders Union website to get unique benefits;
after registering on the broker's website download one of its listed trading terminals;
all popular terminals (e.g., MT4 and MT5) have a standard desktop, web, and mobile versions;
the algorithm that opens each broker’s demo account is unique to that broker, the type of trading terminal and program version, etc., but in general, the steps are very similar;
select a specific broker and open your first account on its platform;
there are also simplified algorithms: for example, RTrader opens a demo account automatically after a user registers.
Forex brokers provide you with standardized easy-to-follow instructions for opening a demo account.

How to trade using a demo account?

A trader using a demo account works on the same trading platform and under the same conditions as with real accounts. That is the greatest benefit of trading through a demo account. Therefore, after switching from a demo to a standard account, you will not experience any difference, but you will risk losing/earning real money.

The most popular trading platforms with demo accounts:

MetaTrader 4 (МТ4);
MetaTrader 5 (МТ5);
MT4 web-terminal;
MT5 Web and MT5 Mobile;
The MT4 and MT5 platforms are the most popular for demo and real accounts. Both mobile and web versions are available.
The trading platform web version, as a rule, is not so different from the software one, but the mobile version has somewhat different functionalities and it is usually simpler to navigate. You can open a demo account on the Forex using any trading terminal version. Simply follow the instructions on the screen. All versions are compatible with iOS and Android. The web versions work well online with almost all browsers and operating systems.
Open a demo account on the Forex using any trading terminal version.
Most traders use the standard desktop version. The advantages of the mobile option are obvious enough — you can trade wherever an Internet connection is available. As for the web version, it has its advantages too:
you can work directly from the broker's website without the installation of additional software to open accounts and make transactions;
it is especially convenient for a novice trader who is going to open their first demo account;
all transactions are made in the browser and this is a minimum load on your computer hardware with minimal actions by the trader;
A trader does not waste time installing the standard version if he or she is not satisfied with operating on a demo account via the web.

Trading on a demo account in Metatrader 4 and Metatrader 5

The MT5 is a newer version of the MT4 platform, but both are in high demand, and technically the choice between them is more a matter of personal preference than functionality. The algorithms to open demo accounts on these two platforms are very similar. Each includes the following steps:
Go to the official website of your broker and download the trading terminal. Also, you can register through the Traders Union website to get additional benefits. But either way, you need to download the terminal.
After registering and verifying the data on the broker's website, install the trading terminal on your computer, and start the installation process by double-clicking the installation icon.
Next, launch the platform by double-clicking on the shortcut of the trading platform. The program offers to choose a trading server at the first launch — each broker has several servers that are located in different geographical regions. Select a location that is closest to you.
The program will offer to create a real or demo account. Once you select a demo account, the program redirects you to the Trader's Cabinet on the broker's website.
On the broker's website, log onto the Trader's Cabinet, select the "Accounts" tab and click on the "Open a demo account" tab. The usage conditions for a demo account (for example, a 30-day limit) will be indicated there.
When opening a demo account, you cannot always choose the amount of a virtual deposit, but there are no restrictions on the currency and leverage choices.
You can also select the type of account, and here you can select the type, including the name of the broker and the name of the trading platform you wish to use.
After that, the broker instantly opens its first demo account for you. Go back to the MT5/MT4 program to use the account, select "File" and "Connect to the trading account".
Pay attention
Note that some brokers have special servers for demo accounts. These servers have a “demo” in their names. Choose “demo” if you are a novice trader. At any time you can change your choice in the program settings; the good news is that you can find a lot of detailed instructions for MT4 and MT5 on brokers' websites and on the Internet generally.

Guide to Demo Accounts Online and Trading Through a Forex Broker’s Web Interface

The website interface may differ slightly from the desktop interface version, but it is easier to work with a browser because you will log into your accounts through the broker's website and the basic settings will be installed already.
The account opening process in this case does not differ from opening the same account for the desktop version. The difference is that you don't have to toggle between the browser and the program, and can work directly in the browser. There, you can select the server, account type, and set the main parameters. These pointers are worth special attention:
if you are given the option to select a deposit amount, use the same one you will use when opening your real account;
if you are given the option to select a currency pair, use the same currency instruments that you would use on a real account, usually EUR/USD;
if you are given the option to select a leverage, use a small leverage to prevent losing your entire virtual deposit in the event of unsuccessful tradings;
after gaining experience and self-confidence, you can increase the leverage so that you can earn good money on Forex.
A demo account gives you the same benefits as a real account (except for earning and losing real money). You get access to quote charts, select timeframes, open and close orders. The demo account will be closed at the expiration date (if any) or when you exhaust your virtual deposit.
You can use the same demo account with any trading terminal. For example, if you opened a demo account through the web version of MT5, and then launch the desktop version, you will still have access to the open demo. You will also have access to it from MT5 Mobile.
Convenience depends only on personal preferences, as all three options (desktop, web, and mobile) are equally functional and all allow you to comfortably manage your account, open/close orders, analyze charts and signals, etc. The advantage of mobile versions is their simplicity and the fact you can trade everywhere — in the country, on a business trip, on vacation, lying on the seashore. The web version is convenient because you operate directly in a browser and you don't need to install any programs.
Nevertheless, many traders primarily use the desktop version of the Forex trading platform, but this is optional. You should use both versions to access the full range of functions. Try all the options and choose the most convenient one for you.

Best Features of Demo Account

👍 The advantages of the Forex demo-accounts for novice traders are:

• access to a real trading terminal and the real Forex market;

• ability to master the trading platform’s functionalities;

• the opportunity to experiment using your first trading strategies;

• no risks as traders work with virtual money.

👎 Disadvantages of demo accounts for novice traders:

• virtual money poses no real risk but sometimes it can force a trader to violate the money management rules and take action that is inadvisable when using a real account;

• a demo account does not usually allow you to earn real money, but contests are exceptions to this rule.

👍 Demo accounts also have advantages for professional traders. For example:

• the opportunity to try a new strategy;

• the opportunity to experiment with a new trading instrument;

• the opportunity to try a different leverage;

• no risks due to trading with virtual money.

👎 Disadvantages of demo accounts for professional traders:

• Although a professional trader clearly understands the difference between a demo account and a real account, she or he can test drive a risky strategy before using it on a real account.

The demo account offers the veteran trader the ability to experiment with different instruments without risking their capital.

Contests on Forex Demo Trading accounts

Traders Union regularly runs contests for traders on demo accounts. These contests are run monthly and any novice trader can take part. All you need to do is download the MT4 or MT5 trading terminal, open a demo account on it and start trading with virtual money. The ten traders who earn the most in a month get cash prizes. The prize fund is usually $200. The winner earns $45, the second-place winner gets $40, and the third one gets $30, etc.
Contests on Forex Demo Trading accounts
Pay attention
Please note that some brokers also run similar contests. They publish news about the contests on the official websites, indicating the conditions for participation, and they may differ from the conditions set forth by the Traders Union. The prize funds are also different. And although these are usually small amounts, you must admit, that getting real money just for practicing Forex trading is a great deal.
But money is not the real advantage of participating in such contests. A trader gains unique and practical experience in Forex trading by trading on a demo account and competing with other traders, trying to trade as actively as possible, and using the most thoughtful and competent strategies (otherwise you have no chance to win). No other training course provides such an experience.

Reviews on How to Trade Using Demo Accounts

Thousands of traders start trading from demo accounts daily. And although most of them are novice traders, professionals sometimes use demo accounts. Below, you can find real reviews from members of the Traders Union, who have used demo accounts.
Mike T.
has been trading for 2 years

I can’t imagine how you can start trading on the Forex exchange without a demo account? How was it done before, when there were no such accounts? This is a unique chance to learn the basics of the market, to test real strategies with real quotes. Without risking your cash!

Andrew F.
has been trading for 6 years

I recommend to all novice traders to start trading using a demo account on MT4 or MT5. There is no risk, but you play as in a real market, because the terminal is real, and the instruments and charts are real. Do you know a better way to get this experience? I started out using a demo account, and now sometimes I test new strategies there.

Alexandra L.
has been trading for 3 years

I think it is nonsense to trade on the Forex without trying a demo account. You have a chance to trade on a real terminal without any risks, and you can also choose a leverage and currency pairs. Yes, the money is virtual, but the functions and mechanics are all real. I use a demo account myself.

German K.
has been trading for 12 years

Demo accounts are convenient not only for novice traders. I have been using the MetaTrader 5 demo account for many years to practice strategies. After all, it's like field testing. I mean everything is real, except for the money you risk. I am sure that it was the demo accounts that prevented me from making several critical mistakes. And it was the demo that helped me to develop my most effective strategies.

We look forward to your feedback if you also have experience in trading using Forex demo accounts!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Trading Using Forex Demo Accounts: Expert’s Opinion

The advantages of using demo accounts are obvious even to a person who is unfamiliar with the foreign exchange market. A demo account is a perfect way to start trading on the Forex exchange because technically it is no different from a real account with a broker. Here you can successfully test any trading strategy, advisors, indicators, learn to analyze the market and come to well-thought-out decisions.

This is an invaluable chance for a novice trader because you don’t risk a real-money deposit.

I can see only one real disadvantage with demo accounts. Such accounts are good in the short-run to quickly learn the basics of Forex trading in practice or experiment with a new strategy. In the long term, however, a demo account loses all its advantages as soon as you don’t feel the need to stay on the demo account. For example, after you have become familiar with the market and know how to trade.

In fact, there is a small probability that, having got used to the absence of risk, you will not want to switch to a real account or will delay it as much as possible. This is not advisable because you can lose passion and motivation, and your strategies will cease to be successful because the Forex market is constantly changing. Therefore, although demo accounts are quite beneficial to start with, you should not linger there too long.

Antony Robertson
Antony Robertson
trader-analyst of the Traders Union

About the Author of This Review of the Forex market

Grant Adlington
Grant Adlington
  • In 2008, he graduated from the London Institute of Banking and Finance, Department of Finance, Investments, and Risk;
  • In 2009, he became the youngest trader-analyst at Global Invest;
  • In 2010, he became an independent analyst at TD Ameritrade;
  • In 2011, he defended his Ph.D. thesis on Economics at the University of California-Berkeley;
  • From 2012 to 2018, he worked in various American and International brokerage firms;
  • From 2018, he works with Traders Union as an independent expert and trader as well as with other traders’ associations as a freelancer;
  • He has 12-years of experience in continuous trading on the Forex currency market.

FAQs Regarding Free Forex Demo Trading Accounts


What are Forex demo accounts?

A demo account operates exactly the same as a real account, except the trader's deposit uses virtual money only. A demo account is opened on a real trading platform on the server of a real broker.

Should I start out trading on a Forex demo account?

Yes, because a demo account gives access to the real market, with real quotes, advisors, signals, etc. And there’s no risk of losing your money.

On which platform is it best to open a demo account?

The most popular platforms are MT4, MT5, RTrader, cTrader. All of them have three versions of the trading terminal: desktop, web, and mobile. Their interfaces are slightly different, but the capabilities and functionalities are the same. Therefore, it boils down to a personal choice.

Can I earn real money when trading on a demo account?

There is only one way to earn money on a demo account and that is by participating in monthly Traders Union contests that offer real cash prizes. Still, the main benefit of such accounts is to allow novice traders to gain self-confidence and experience in Forex trading.