How to Open a Thinkorswim Account

Open a Thinkorswim Account

How to open a Thinkorswim account. How to download Thinkorswim (TOS) trading platform in 2023.

How to Open a Thinkorswim Account

TD Ameritrade is the broker that owns the well-known trading platform thinkorswim. In order to use thinkorswim, you first need to have an account with TD Ameritrade. This article walks through the process of opening a TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim) account and how to get access to and use thinkorswim for both new and existing TD Ameritrade customers.

TD Ameritrade Account Types

TD Ameritrade offers many different account types that you can trade within the thinkorswim platform. Some examples of account types include IRAs, brokerage accounts, business accounts, UTMA accounts, and trust accounts.

Thinkorswim Accounts Types

Thinkorswim Cost & Fees

Opening and using a TD Ameritrade account is completely free and there are no types of maintenance costs. All TD Ameritrade customers automatically get free access to use thinkorswim on web, desktop, and mobile and there are no required fees to use the platform. All non-professional customers also get a free subscription to real-time streaming quotes and level 2 data within thinkorswim.

How to Open a TD Ameritrade Account for New Clients

If you aren’t currently a TD Ameritrade customer, your first step is to go to TD Ameritrade’s website. In the top right corner of the site, click on the green link that says, “Open New Account”. If you already know what type of account you want to open you can simply choose the account from the list on the left side of the page. If you don’t know what type of account you want, click on one of the two “Find an Account” buttons and TD Ameritrade will ask you a series of questions to help determine the best account type for you.

Once you choose your account type, you then fill in all of the fields to complete the account application such as your contact information, personal information, and financial information. You also have to agree to the terms and conditions. The last step after submitting your account application is to set up your username and password. This will be your username and password that you use for logging in to both TD Ameritrade and thinkorswim.

How to Open a Thinkorswim Account

Open Thinkorswim Account

Open TD Ameritrade Account

How to Get Access to Thinkorswim

To get access to the thinkorswim web or desktop platform, first log in to the TD Ameritrade website. Once logged in, click on the Trade tab towards the top left of the site. Then, click on the thinkorswim link under the Trading Platforms menu. On this thinkorswim page, you will see three tabs with each containing one of the three different thinkorswim platforms.

Access Thinkorswim platform

To access thinkorswim web, click the Web tab and then click on the green “Launch” button. To access thinkorswim desktop, click on the Desktop tab and then click on the green “Download” button. To be clear, the thinkorswim desktop platform is a program that you need to download on to your computer. To get access to the thinkorswim mobile app, simply download the app from either the Apple App Store or the Android Play Store.

Download Thinkorswim platform

Thinkorswim Platform Comparisons

The thinkorswim desktop platform is the most powerful version that includes all of the available features. The thinkorswim web platform is the basic version of the platform that includes just the basic features but still comes with all of the 300+ technical indicators available for charting. The thinkorswim mobile app is similar to the basic web version of the platform however, compared to other investing mobile apps, it is extremely powerful and has amazing charting features.

Thinkorswim System Requirements

TD Ameritrade’s system recommendations for using thinkorswim web on PC are an operating system of Windows 7 or later and the latest version of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox for your browser. Their recommendations for using thinkorswim web on Mac computers are an operating system of Mac OS 10.11 or later and the latest version of Apple Safari, Chrome, Firefox for your browser.

Installing and using the thinkorswim desktop platform has specific system requirements that shouldn’t be an issue for most computers that have come out not too long ago. The requirements for thinkorswim desktop on Mac computers are Mac OS 10.11+ operating system, Intel Core i3+ processor, 8GB of RAM, 1GB of free space on your hard drive, and a minimum 1280x768 display resolution. For thinkorswim desktop on PC computers, all the same minimum system requirements apply except your operating system needs to be a minimum of Windows 10.

The thinkorswim mobile app is available on Android phones, Android tablets, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. TD Ameritrade’s only system recommendation for the thinkorswim mobile app is having the latest software update of your device installed.

Setting Up Thinkorswim for the First Time

When first logging into the thinkorswim platform on web, desktop, or mobile, you have the option of choosing paper trading or live trading. Your TD Ameritrade accounts are automatically imported and useable in thinkorswim. To help you initially get set up in thinkorswim web, there is a Quick Start Guide available under the Support tab in the top right of the platform.

For help initially setting up your thinkorswim desktop platform, click on the Education tab towards the top middle of the screen and then click on Tool Demos towards the bottom of the list on the left side of the page and there you will find an introductory guide that gives you a tour of the desktop platform. For help getting the thinkorswim mobile app set up for the first time, click on the menu icon in the top left of the app, choose the “Help/Support” button towards the bottom of the list, and then click on the Help & Learning option where you will find over a dozen tutorial videos.

Open Thinkorswim Account

Open TD Ameritrade Account

About the Author
Paul Johnson is a Licensed Stockbroker with 7+ years of experience in the financial services industry. Paul enjoys teaching about investing and writing about financial topics. He is a husband and father of twin boys.