How to Put Dates in Order on Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sorting dates in Excel can seem like a daunting task, but fear not! It’s actually a pretty straightforward process. All you need is a column of dates that you want to organize. Whether you’re working on a project timeline, scheduling events, or just trying to get your life in order, putting dates in order on Excel is a skill that will definitely come in handy. Let’s dive in and get those dates sorted!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Put Dates in Order on Excel

Before we get started, it’s important to know that Excel treats dates as serial numbers, with January 1, 1900, as serial number 1. This means that when you’re sorting dates, you’re actually sorting these serial numbers. Here’s how to get your dates in order:

Step 1: Select the Column with Dates

Click on the column header that contains your dates. This will highlight the entire column.

Selecting the entire column ensures that all the dates you want to sort are included in the process. You wouldn’t want to leave any important dates behind, would you?

Step 2: Click on the ‘Data’ Tab

Find the ‘Data’ tab in the Excel toolbar at the top of the screen and click on it.

The ‘Data’ tab is where all the magic happens when it comes to sorting and organizing your data in Excel.

Step 3: Click on ‘Sort Oldest to Newest’ or ‘Sort Newest to Oldest’

In the ‘Sort & Filter’ group, click on ‘Sort Oldest to Newest’ (ascending order) or ‘Sort Newest to Oldest’ (descending order) depending on your preference.

This is the step where you decide how you want to see your dates. Do you want to start with the earliest date or the most recent one? The choice is yours!

After completing these steps, your dates will be neatly organized in the order you selected. Now you can easily see which dates come first, making planning and scheduling a breeze.

Tips on How to Put Dates in Order on Excel

  • Make sure that all the cells in your date column are formatted as ‘Date’. This ensures that Excel recognizes them as dates and sorts them correctly.
  • If you have a header row with titles, make sure to check the ‘My data has headers’ box when sorting to avoid including the header in the sort.
  • If you have multiple columns with related data, select all the columns you want to sort to keep the rows intact.
  • Use ‘Custom Sort’ if you have specific sorting criteria that the default options don’t cover.
  • Double-check your data after sorting to make sure everything is in the correct order. Better safe than sorry!

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my dates are not sorting correctly?

Make sure that your dates are formatted as ‘Date’ and not as ‘Text’. You can change the format by right-clicking on the cells, selecting ‘Format Cells’, and choosing ‘Date’.

Can I sort by month or year instead of the full date?

Yes, you can use the ‘Custom Sort’ feature to sort by specific components of the date, such as month or year.

How do I sort dates with times?

Dates with times can be sorted in the same way as regular dates. Excel will sort them based on both the date and the time.

What if I have blank cells in my date column?

Blank cells will be sorted to the bottom of the list by default. If this is not what you want, you can fill in the blank cells with placeholder dates.

Can I undo a sort if I make a mistake?

Yes, you can undo a sort by pressing ‘Ctrl + Z’ or clicking the ‘Undo’ button in the toolbar.


  1. Select the column with dates.
  2. Click on the ‘Data’ tab.
  3. Click on ‘Sort Oldest to Newest’ or ‘Sort Newest to Oldest’.


Putting dates in order on Excel is a simple task that can save you a lot of time and hassle. With just a few clicks, you can have your dates sorted and ready to go. Whether you’re organizing a project, planning an event, or just trying to get a handle on your busy schedule, Excel is a powerful tool that can help you keep track of important dates. Remember to double-check your data, use the right formatting, and explore the custom sorting options to get the most out of Excel’s sorting capabilities. Now that you know how to put dates in order on Excel, go ahead and give it a try!

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