In trading, a timeframe stands for a certain period, during which the price moves. Each trading platform has its settings for timeframes. There are nine timeframes in MetaTrader 4: monthly (MN), weekly (W1), 4-hour (H4), 1-hour (H1), 30-minute (M30), 15-minute (M15), 5-minute (M5) and 1-minute (M1). Smaller timeframes (M30 and less) show the dynamics of the price during a short period, while larger timeframes (H4 and more) demonstrate the bigger picture of price movements.
Most traders face difficulties when choosing the “right” timeframe for trading. However, there is no universal timeframe that fits everyone. The main factors, which determine a choice of a timeframe, are the time that a trader is ready to spend on trading and his/her stress-resistance. Generally, if you like scalping, you will prefer taking advantage of smaller timeframes, as they show the price action in detail. In case if you hold your position for a longer time, you will choose larger timeframes.
It is worth mentioning that some of the trading strategies require the usage of certain timeframes. Also, analysts recommend using a multi-timeframe analysis for more profitable trading.