TradingView vs Thinkorswim (2024)

Traders today are spoiled for choice when it comes to trading platforms. Two of the most popular are TradingView and Thinkorswim. But which one is better for traders? This comprehensive TradingView vs Thinkorswim comparison will help you decide.

We'll look at key factors like features, tools, costs, ease of use, community support and more. By the end, you'll know which platform is best suited for your needs.

TradingView Overview

TradingView is a charting platform and social network for traders. It was founded in 2011 and has quickly grown to become one of the most popular trading platforms.

Some key features of TradingView:

  • Advanced charting with over 100 technical indicators
  • Analysis tools like trend lines, channels, shapes and more
  • 10+ chart types including candlestick, line, bars, Heiken Ashi
  • Drawing tools for annotations and sharing ideas
  • Customizable layouts and themes
  • Integrates with brokers like Coinbase, Binance,
  • Thousands of pre-built scripts and indicators
  • Large community of traders sharing ideas

TradingView is used by over 15 million monthly active users. It offers a freemium model - free accounts with paid upgrades for more features.

Thinkorswim Overview

Thinkorswim, also known as TOS, is TD Ameritrade's advanced trading platform. It was launched in 1999 and acquired by TD Ameritrade in 2009.

Some key features of Thinkorswim:

  • Advanced charting with over 400 technical studies
  • Analyze options strategies with risk analyzer
  • Chart drawing tools for trendlines, Fibonacci, etc
  • Customizable and modular workspace
  • Paper trading to practice strategies risk-free
  • Scan for trade ideas based on technical filters
  • Code your own indicators and strategies with ThinkScript
  • Integrated trading through linked TD Ameritrade account

Thinkorswim excels when it comes to options trading and is tightly integrated for TD Ameritrade clients. It also offers robust charting, scanning and analysis tools.

TradingView vs Thinkorswim Features Compared

Let's dive into a detailed comparison of the features and tools offered by TradingView and Thinkorswim:


Both platforms offer powerful charting capabilities and a wide range of indicators. TradingView has over 100 indicators while Thinkorswim boasts over 400.

Some key differences:

  • TradingView has more flexible timeframes, with 1-minute bars available on all accounts. Thinkorswim only has 1-min bars on its paid "Pro" plan.
  • TradingView has a cleaner, modern interface that is highly customizable. Thinkorswim uses a modular workspace that can get cluttered.
  • TradingView has tools specifically for crypto traders, like Renko charts. Thinkorswim focuses mainly on stocks, options and futures.

Overall, TradingView takes the lead when it comes to advanced charting tools, flexibility and ease of use.

Technical Analysis

For analyzing charts and finding trading opportunities, both platforms are excellent. TradingView makes technical analysis easy through its Chart Pine Editor feature, which lets you code strategies visually.

Thinkorswim requires using ThinkScript code to automate analysis. The coding language has a steep learning curve but unlocks powerful capabilities.

In terms of pre-built indicators, Thinkorswim comes with 400+ out of the box. TradingView has 100+ but makes up for it through thousands of user-contributed scripts. For most traders, TradingView should have all the technical analysis tools needed.

Scanning & Screening

To search for trading opportunities, Thinkorswim has a robust scanning tool built-in. You can scan across instruments based on technical criteria and volatility.

TradingView recently launched its own screener tool which lets you scan across forex, crypto, stocks, futures and CFDs. For now, Thinkorswim still has the edge when it comes to scanning power and flexibility.

Strategy Backtesting

Backtesting trading strategies against historical data is crucial. TradingView lets you backtest strategies written in Pine Script across any time period or resolution.

Thinkorswim also enables strategy backtesting through its OnDemand feature. You can replay market conditions to simulate how your strategies would perform.

For backtesting accuracy and convenience, TradingView is the better choice.

Automated Trading

With TradingView, you can code trading bots and strategies in Pine Script. But they can't automatically execute trades. For that, you need to connect your bot to a supported broker through Trade View's API.

Because it's tightly integrated with TD Ameritrade, Thinkorswim allows full automated trading. You can code a strategy in ThinkScript and connect it to your brokerage account to auto-execute orders. This gives Thinkorswim the advantage for automation.

Options Trading

For options traders, Thinkorswim is the clear winner. It has tools specifically for analyzing options strategies across risk, reward, probability of profit and more. Complex options spread orders can also be placed with one click.

TradingView also supports options trading, but the tools are not as robust. However, TradingView covers a wider range of assets beyond just stocks and ETFs.

Costs and Fees

TradingView offers free accounts with limited features, while Thinkorswim is free for TD Ameritrade clients. Here's a breakdown of the plans:

TradingView Pricing:

  • Free plan: $0/month with delayed data
  • Pro plan: $9.95/month with real-time data
  • Pro+ plan: $19.95/month with L2 data and more features
  • Premium plan: $29.95/month with unlimited everything

Thinkorswim Pricing:

  • Free for TD Ameritrade clients
  • $5/month streaming add-on for non-clients
  • Discounted commissions for active traders

For most traders, TradingView provides the best value and lowest cost solution even on paid plans. Thinkorswim is only free if you have an account with TD Ameritrade.

Ease of Use

See Also

TradingView has a simpler interface that is beginner-friendly. Charts, watchlists, analysis tools and scripts are easily accessible. Customizing your workspace is drag-and-drop easy.

Thinkorswim uses a modular-based workspace that takes some getting used to. The learning curve is steeper and it can be confusing initially to find what you need. TradingView's intuitive interface gives it the edge.

Community & Support

With over 15 million monthly users, TradingView has built an enormous community. You can easily find free scripts, get feedback on your analysis, and learn from other experienced traders.

Thinkorswim also has an active user community, but smaller than TradingView's. Joining relevant groups on LinkedIn is one way to connect and learn from other TOS users.

For community size and engagement, TradingView is the clear winner here.

Mobile Trading

The TradingView mobile app enables charting, watchlists, alerts and analysis on the go. Everything is synced seamlessly across desktop and mobile.

Thinkorswim also offers robust mobile apps for iOS, Android and tablets. The apps include full charting capabilities, account management tools, and push notifications.

Both mobile trading solutions are excellent. TradingView has a slight edge on interface and ease of use. Thinkorswim offers more actual trading capabilities through its mobile app.


As leading trading platforms, both TradingView and Thinkorswim employ bank-level security measures. User data is protected through encryption and other security protocols.

Since TradingView doesn't directly execute trades, it carries less risk than Thinkorswim which is linked to your brokerage account. But both platforms are trusted and widely used by millions of traders.

TradingView vs Thinkorswim: Verdict

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So which platform comes out on top in this in-depth TradingView vs Thinkorswim comparison? Here's a quick rundown of the key differences:

  • TradingView has superior charting tools, analysis capabilities and ease of use. The modern interface is beginner-friendly.
  • Thinkorswim excels at scanning, options trading and automated trading through integration with TD Ameritrade.
  • TradingView has a lower cost structure and provides better value, especially for new traders.
  • The TradingView community is much larger, providing more user-generated scripts and ideas.
  • TradingView offers a better mobile experience that easily syncs across devices.
  • Both platforms have robust security. TradingView carries less inherent risk as it doesn't directly execute trades.

Overall, TradingView emerges as the winner for most traders. The combination of an intuitive interface, powerful analysis tools, low costs and huge community gives TradingView the edge.

Thinkorswim is a great choice for active options traders, especially those with an existing TD Ameritrade account. But for stock, forex and crypto traders, TradingView provides the better platform and value.

The choice ultimately depends on your specific trading needs. Hopefully this detailed TradingView vs Thinkorswim comparison has helped breakdown the key differences between the two leading platforms.

Here are 10 additional FAQs comparing TradingView vs Thinkorswim:

  1. Which platform is better for beginners?

TradingView is better for beginners. Its simple, intuitive interface makes it easy to find everything you need. Thinkorswim has a steeper learning curve and can be overwhelming initially with its modular workspace.

  1. Can you connect TradingView to TD Ameritrade?

Yes, you can connect TradingView to TD Ameritrade to trade from TradingView charts. This requires using the TV Broker connector and linking your TD Ameritrade account, which enables one-click trading.

  1. Does TradingView have level 2 data?

The TradingView Pro+ plan includes level 2 data for stocks and ETFs. This shows full order book data, providing more insight into market depth beyond the bid and ask. Thinkorswim also offers level 2 data.

  1. Is there a free alternative to TradingView?

Some free alternatives to TradingView include TrendSpider, ChartMill, and Webull charts. But TradingView provides excellent value even at paid plans, with prices starting at $9.95/month.

  1. Can you automate trades on TradingView?

You can code automated trading strategies on TradingView using Pine Script, but they won't automatically execute trades. To enable auto-trading, you need to connect to supported brokers via API. Thinkorswim allows full trade automation natively.

  1. Which platform is better for crypto trading?

TradingView is better for crypto trading. It has specific tools for crypto like Renko charts, crypto screener, and charting for thousands of crypto pairs. Thinkorswim mainly focuses on stocks, options and futures.

  1. Is TradingView real-time?

TradingView offers real-time data on all paid plans. The free plan has a 15-20 minute delay. Thinkorswim provides real-time streaming data for free to TD Ameritrade clients.

  1. Does TradingView have options screener?

Yes, TradingView has an options screener to scan for profitable options trades based on volatility, liquidity, ratios and other filters. But Thinkorswim's options analytics and scans are still more powerful.

  1. Can you use custom indicators on TradingView?

Yes, one of TradingView's best features is the ability to import custom indicators, scripts, and strategies. You can write your own or use ones shared by the TradingView community.

  1. Is TradingView safe to use?

TradingView employs bank-level security measures to keep user data safe. It uses SSL encryption, 2-factor authentication, and rigid data access policies. Thinkorswim also has top-tier security. Both platforms are trusted by millions of traders.

TradingView vs Thinkorswim (2024)


TradingView vs Thinkorswim? ›

TradingView is a freemium service that integrates with various brokers and offers trading for most asset classes, including cryptocurrencies. Thinkorswim is a free platform that only works with TD Ameritrade or Schwab and offers trading for stocks, bonds, futures, currencies, and Bitcoin futures.

Do professional traders use TradingView? ›

Professional traders visit forums like TradingView. They use these online spaces to talk about trading strategies, share ideas, and learn from others. On these platforms, traders of all levels, including experts, come together to chat and learn.

Is there a better platform than TradingView? ›

TrendSpider offers an advanced, ad-free experience that stands out from TradingView and other competing products.

Can I use TradingView with TD Ameritrade? ›

Can you connect your TD Ameritrade account to TradingView as of January 2024? Sorry, you cannot connect your TD Ameritrade account to TradingView, this feature is not available at TD Ameritrade. I bring extensive financial expertise as one of BrokerChooser's earliest team members.

Is TradingView the best charting platform? ›

The Verdict: TradingView Pro+ Takes the Lead

The Bottom Line: Yes, TradingView Pro is worth it (though I recommend you use TradingView Pro+, more on that later). TradingView emerges as the top charting platform in 2024, excelling in features, speed, ease-of-use, coverage, reliability, and affordability.

What are the disadvantages of TradingView? ›

You'll Need To Have 2 Platforms At All Times

TradingView by itself isn't a trading platform through which you can place trades. While it is true that TradingView associated with some brokers like Oanda and FXCM, in most cases you won't be able to enter your trades from the charting platform itself.

Who is TradingView's biggest competitor? ›

Top 10 TradingView competitors
  • Aurox.
  • Atom Finance.
  • TipRanks.
  • Nelogica.
  • altFINS.
  • Darqube.
  • Equeum.

Why is TradingView so popular? ›

As you've learnt, traders choose TradingView for its powerful charting capabilities, vast array of analysis tools, and the ability to connect with a vibrant trading community. It provides them with the necessary resources and insights to make informed trading decisions.

Is TradingView best for beginners? ›

Yes, TradingView is a versatile platform that allows users to perform technical analysis and execute trading strategies. Traders can analyze charts, use various technical indicators, and develop custom strategies using TradingView's scripting language called Pine Script.

Can you place trades directly from TradingView? ›

How to Execute Trades on TradingView Charts. You can also place Limit or Stop orders directly from your charts. To do this, click on the price level on your chart where you want to execute your order. Next, choose either Limit or Stop.

Which broker gives TradingView free? ›

In fact, Dhan is the only broker in India that allows you to place orders from the Trading Panel on TradingView. Follows the steps below to get started: - Open a Dhan Demat Account.

Why do traders use TradingView? ›

TradingView provides up-to-the-minute market data, ensuring traders can access the most current information, including price quotes, volume, and indicators. This real-time data empowers traders to respond promptly to market movements, maximizing their profit potential.

Who owns TradingView? ›

Who owns TradingView? TradingView was founded by Stan Bokov, Denis Globa, and Constantin Ivanov, who continue to own and operate the platform. The platform is also undergoing an investment round led by Tiger Global Management.

Which platform do professional traders use? ›

IC Markets' clients have access to a good range of professional platforms – MT4, MT5, and the cTrader platforms. All of these provide excellent charting tools and indicators and can run algorithmic trading strategies 24/7 using the IC Markets VPS service.

Which indicator is used by professional traders? ›

Professional traders often use a combination of indicators, including moving averages, RSI, MACD, volume indicators, and Fibonacci retracements. They also consider market sentiment, news, and fundamental analysis.

What type of charts do professional traders use? ›

Candlestick charts are perhaps the most widely used among active traders. In some ways, candlestick charts blend the benefits of line and bar charts as they convey both time and impact value. Each candlestick represents a specific timeframe and displays opening, closing, high, and low prices.

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