How to Open a Thinkorswim Account

How to Open a Thinkorswim Account (2024)

How to open a Thinkorswim account at Charles Schwab? How to download Thinkorswim (TOS) trading platform in 2024.

How to Open a Thinkorswim Account

It’s really easy to use thinkorswim with a brokerage account at Charles Schwab. We’ll show you everything you need to know with some tips on how to get the most out of thinkorswim.

Opening a thinkorswim Account

thinkorswim isn’t actually an account. Rather, it is a software platform that an account uses to research assets, analyze price action, and submit trades. An account with Schwab does need to be opened in order to use the platform, though. It is not possible to use thinkorswim without an account.

Thankfully, it’s a breeze to get an account open. Just look for the orange button on the application page to open a new account and follow the on-screen prompts. It’s also possible to open an account on Schwab’s main mobile app. Tap on the little guy in the upper-left corner and select the link to open an account. Any self-directed account type at Schwab will be able to use thinkorswim. The brokerage firm does not charge any recurring account fees, and there are no minimums, either.

Free Thinkorswim Account

Visit Thinkorswim Website

Versions of thinkorswim

thinkorswim comes in three versions: mobile, web browser, and desktop program. The desktop platform is the most advanced, while the web-browser system is the simplest.

Downloading thinkorswim

The web-based version of thinkorswim does not need to be downloaded. Simply log into the website and click on the Trade tab. Select the link for ‘thinkorswim Web,’ and a new window will appear with the platform ready to go.

The desktop system does need to be downloaded before it can be launched. Under the Trade tab, there is a link for thinkorswim desktop. Click on this, scroll down on the new page, and find the blue button to download the desktop installer.

The mobile app can be downloaded on Apple’s App Store or on Android’s Google Play.

how to open a thinkorswim account

Logging into thinkorswim

Once the necessary Schwab brokerage account is open, it’s time to log into thinkorswim and take a look around. This is easy enough to do on any platform version. Simply use the login credentials for the website. The web-based version of thinkorswim does not require a login; simply log into the website and launch the platform from the Trade tab.

On the desktop and mobile versions, there is a toggle switch on the login screen for live or simulated trading (which Schwab calls ‘paperMoney’). The demo mode comes with $200k of fake money to practice with, which is a good idea as this software does have a steep learning curve.

On the very front page of the thinkorswim app, it’s possible to switch between Schwab and TD Ameritrade accounts. On the desktop system, there is a gear icon on the login screen that provides the same ability.

how to open thinkorswim account

Enabling thinkorswim

Before real trades can be placed in live mode, thinkorswim does have to be enabled. This is super easy to do, so it’s not much of a hassle. Simply log into the website and go back to the Trade tab. This time, click on the link for thinkorswim desktop. Scroll down until you see the blue button to enable thinkorswim. Click on this and follow the on-screen prompts to get an account enabled for trading on thinkorswim. (The default software platform for any account at Schwab is StreetSmart Edge.) Each account that wants to place live trades on thinkorswim does need to be enabled for the software, although it’s always possible to log into thinkorswim with any account.

open thinkorswim account

Configuring and Using thinkorswim

thinkorswim in any version has two basic color themes: light and dark. The desktop platform has multiple light and dark themes. It’s possible to shuffle among these in the settings menu, which can be accessed by clicking on the Setup link with the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the platform. It’s possible to save a workspace on desktop thinkorswim. This feature will also be found in the settings menu.

thinkorswim’s main menu is in the upper portion of the site, and here we find an Education tab. This is a good place to learn more about the software and how to use its many advanced features. Other tabs deliver charts, multiple trade tickets, and analysis tools.

Finally, if you ever get totally lost on the platform, there are some links to reach out to customer service. These appear near the Setup link. Available choices include message, support, and chat rooms. During our testing of the support link, we were able to get live help from a Schwab rep.

Fees, Minimums, and Commissions

thinkorswim in any mode is completely free to use. Schwab does not impose any account minimums (such as balance or trading frequency) to use thinkorswim in live or paperMoney version, so pretty much any brokerage account can try out the software.

Free Thinkorswim Account

Visit Thinkorswim Website

About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.