When and how should I increase the memory allocation for TWS?

Overview: 
Java Virtual Machine memory allocation

The Trader Workstation is a Java-based application. As any other Java applications, it executes within a Java virtual machine (JVM) which manages the interactions between the program and the underlying Operating System (OS).

The memory (RAM) which is allocated by the operating system to the JVM constitutes the heap space. That is the area where all the class instances and arrays needed by the application are allocated. The heap space is created when the JVM is started and it is dynamically freed-up by the Garbage Collector (GC), the Java memory manager. When the need arises, the Garbage Collector is invoked to free up the heap space by unloading Java classes and other code structures no longer used by the application.

If the heap space is undersized, the Garbage Collector may not be able reclaim memory at the needed pace or may have to be called too often, draining the processor (CPU) resources. When this happens, the application may slow down, be unresponsive or even crash completely.

To ensure a smooth TWS run, it is therefore sometimes necessary to change the memory allocation, according to the layout complexity and the needs of the application itself.

Background: 
In which case I should change the TWS memory allocation?
If your TWS layout contains a considerable number of elements (Analytical/Trading Tools, Chart windows, News panels, Watchlists, Layout tabs...) and your platform is slow or poorly responsive, you may want to increase the memory allocation in order to achieve better performances. If your TWS freezes or crashes, we also recommend increasing the heap space as the first corrective action to attempt. 
 
How much memory should I allocate to TWS?
In general we recommend to start with a conservative memory allocation and test the TWS performances with that set up. If the performances improvement is less noticeable then expected or not yet satisfactory, you can switch gradually to higher values until you find the best fit for your platform.
Please consider the following:
  • The memory you allocate to the TWS has to be available on your system. For details, please see Note 1. Allocation values above 2048 are not supported by 32-bit OS. For details, please see Note 2. 
Considering the above, we suggest to initially reserve 1.5 GB of system RAM the TWS, as explained in the guide below.
This amount of free memory is usually available on any modern computer and should be a good fit for most of the cases. Should you still notice slowness, freezing or crashes during the TWS execution, you can raise the value to 1792.
In any case, we do not recommend to set the value above 2048 since this will produce an unnecessary overhead and may thus even decrease the overall performances of the application.

 

 
How can I change the memory allocation for the TWS?

Please follow one of the links below for the instructions, according to the Operating System and TWS release you are using

 
     Any Operating System
 
     B.1 Your Operating System is Windows      
     B.2 Your Operating System is Mac OS

 

 

 

A. TWS version 972 and higher

The steps below are valid for all Operating Systems
1) In the TWS, click on the top menu File (or Edit if you are using Classic TWS) and select Global Configuration...

2) On the left side menu of the Global Configuration panel, click on General

3) In the panel on the right side, in the Memory Allocation field, replace the existing value with 1536

4) Click on Apply and then on OK

5) Shut down the TWS

6) Launch the TWS with a double click on the Desktop shortcut Trader Workstation (Should you receive an error message, please see Note 3.
 

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B. TWS versions previous to 972

B.1 Your Operating System is Windows

1) Close TWS in case it is running

2) On your keyboard, press WIN+R (the WIN key is the key with the windows flag located on the left side of tour keyboard,  between the keys CTRL and ALT) 
3) Type C:\Jts\tws.vmoptions and Click OK
4) Should the system ask you which program to use to open the file, select Notepad and click OK
5) Cut the line -Xmx768m and paste it below the line ### Keep on update
6) Change then the value of the parameter Xmx from 768 to 1536
7) Save the changes by clicking on the top menu File --> Save
8) Close the file clicking on the X icon on the right side of the toolbar
9) Launch the TWS with a double click on the Desktop shortcut Trader Workstation (Should you receive an error message, please see Note 3.
 
 

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B.2 Your Operating System is Mac OS
 
1) Close the TWS if it is running
 
2) Use the Spotlight search (the magnifier glass on the top right of your Desktop) to find the file tws.vmoptions
Normally the file is located within the Jts folder (a subfolder of your home folder)

3) On the Spotlight results panel, click on tws.vmoptions to open it. Should the system ask you how to open this file, click Choose Application... select  a text editor (TextEdit, Smultron, TextWrangler...) of your choice and click Open
 
 
4) Locate the line -Xmx768m. Cut it and paste it below the line ### Keep on update
 
6) Modify the value 768 in to 1536
 
7) Save and close the file

8) Launch the TWS with a double click on the Desktop shortcut Trader Workstation (Should you receive an error message, please see Note 3.
 

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Notes

 

1. Available system RAM
In order to check the amount of available system RAM on your computer, you can:
 - on Windows: use the key combination CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to start the Task Manager, click on the tab Performance and look for the "Available" Physical Memory. This will tell you the amount of unoccupied RAM in MB (1024 MB = 1GB)
 
 
- on Mac OS: Open Finder, go to Application --> Utilities and open Terminal. In the terminal type the command:
sudo purge
and press Enter. The system may ask you to enter your Mac user password. Enter the password. Once the command has completed, type the following command:
top -l 1| grep PhysMem
The "unused" value will tell you the amount of unoccupied RAM in MB (1024M = 1GB)

 

 

 2. Limitations of 32-bit Operating Systems
Please notice that 32-bit Operating Systems can normally only address a maximum of 2 GB of RAM per process (see table below for details). Because of this OS architecture limitation, if you have a 32-bit OS, the maximum memory allocation for the TWS must not exceed 2048 Mb.

 

3. Error: "Could not create the Java Virtual Machine"
This error may be displayed upon TWS startup if you set the memory allocation to a value higher than the available RAM of your system or if you set it higher than 2048 on a 32-bit Opertaing System. To overcome the error, you would need to decrease the memory allocation to a lower value using this procedure
 

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TWS Order Presets: Primary Order Fields

Brief video on Presets that are relevant to your Primary Order

Cloud Watchlists

Overview: 

This article explains how to setup Cloud Watchlists.

Background: 

It is now possible to synchronize the watchlists on your mobile devices with the watchlists of Trader Workstation on your computer. You will no longer need to worry about adding same tickers over and over again. The Cloud Watchlists feature is available in Trader Workstation build 936 and higher. Once the Cloud Watchlists have been enabled, they can be then imported in mobileTWS using the "Import" option from the Configuration menu.

Enable the Cloud Watchlists in Trader Workstation

  1. Login into the Trader Workstation
  2. Click on Edit in top menu, then on Global Configuration (or File -> Global Configuration if TWS is in the Mosaic layout)
  3. In the left column of the configuration window, click on Lock and Exit
  4. In the right pane, mark the checkbox "Save watchlists to cloud" (as shown in the screenshot below)
    Enable Cloud Watchlists in the TWS
  5. Click Apply, then OK to close the configuration window

Enable Cloud Watchlists on a mobile device

 

iPhone

  1. After the Cloud Watchlists feature has been enabled in TWS, login into mobileTWS
  2. Upon login, you will be prompted with a screen asking you to try the new feature
  3. Select "Try It", and then select the device/computer to import the watchlist from
  4. If you are not shown the "Try It" prompt, please go to the Configuration menu and select Watchlist Import and select the device/computer to import from
  5. In the Configuration meny, enable the option "Save Cloud Watchlists"

iPad

  1. After the Cloud Watchlists feature has been enabled in TWS, login into mobileTWS
  2. Upon login, you will be prompted with a screen asking you to try the new feature
  3. Select "Try It", and then select the device/computer to import the watchlist from
  4. If you are not shown the "Try It" prompt, tap on "Setup" in top left corner and enable "Save cloud watchlists"
  5. Back in the main screen, in top left section, tap on the Import button and select the device/computer from which to import the Cloud Watchlist

Android mobile or tablet

  1. After the Cloud Watchlists feature has been enabled in TWS, login into mobileTWS
  2. Upon login, you will be shown the Watchlist Import wizard
  3. Select the device/computer from which to import the watchlist
  4. To see the imported watchlists, navigate to Quotes and Charts from the main menu and select an imported watchlist from the dropdown

Please note that it is not possible to sync watchlists from mobileTWS to your desktop TWS.

 

 

 

 

Compatibility between MetaTrader and Interactive Brokers

Overview: 

IB provides to its account holders a variety of proprietary trading platforms at no cost and therefore does not actively promote or offer the platforms or add-on software of other vendors. Nonetheless, as IB's principal trading platform, the TraderWorkstation (TWS), operates with an open API, there are numerous third-party vendors who create order entry, charting and various other analytical programs which operate in conjunction with the TWS for purposes of executing orders through IB. As these API specifications are made public, we are not necessarily aware of all vendors who create applications to integrate with the TWS but do operate a program referred to as the Investors Marketplace which operates as a self-service community bringing together third party vendors who have products and services to offer with IB customers seeking to fill a specific need.

While MetaQuotes Software is not a participant of IB's Investors Marketplace, on a collaboration with oneZero Financial System they offer the oneZero Hub Gateway to connect MetaTrader 5 with TWS. Clients interested would need to contact oneZero directly for additional assistance. Please refer to the Contact section from the following URL.

Note: Besides oneZero Hub Gateway, different vendors such as Trade-Commander and jTWSdata also offer a software which they represent, acts as a bridge between MetaTrader 4/5 and the TWS. As is the case with other third-party software applications, IB is not in a position to provide information or recommendations as to the compatibility or operation of such software.

How to reset the TWS to the default settings on a Windows computer

Should you need to strip the TWS of any customization you did and revert to the default settings, use the instructions in this video.

Applicable to any TWS version under any operating system.

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