How to Sort by Date in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sorting by date in Google Sheets is a breeze once you get the hang of it. In just a few clicks, you can organize your data chronologically, making it easier to analyze trends over time or keep track of deadlines. Whether you’re managing project timelines, tracking inventory, or planning events, knowing how to sort by date can save you time and hassle.

Step by Step Tutorial: Sorting by Date in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the step-by-step process, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve. By sorting your data by date in Google Sheets, you’ll be able to quickly organize and view your information in a chronological order. This can be particularly handy when dealing with time-sensitive data.

Step 1: Select Your Data

Click and drag to highlight the cells containing the dates you want to sort.

When selecting your data, make sure you include the entire range that you want to be sorted. If you have headers, either select them as well or use the “Data has header row” option later on.

Step 2: Click on Data

Find and click on the “Data” tab in the top menu bar.

The “Data” tab is where all the magic happens when it comes to sorting and organizing your sheet.

Step 3: Choose Sort Range

Select “Sort range” from the dropdown menu.

If your selection includes the headers, make sure to tick the “Data has header row” checkbox that appears in the sort range window.

Step 4: Sort by Your Date Column

Choose the column with your dates and select the sort order (A → Z for oldest to newest or Z → A for newest to oldest).

Be cautious with your sort order selection, as it can drastically change the way your data is presented.

After completing these steps, your Google Sheet will automatically reorder the rows based on the dates in the column you selected. The process is straightforward and can be reversed or modified at any time by repeating the steps and selecting a different sort order.

Tips for Sorting by Date in Google Sheets

  • Always make sure your dates are formatted consistently to ensure accurate sorting.
  • Double-check that you’ve included all relevant rows and columns in your selection before sorting.
  • Consider creating a duplicate of your sheet before sorting, just in case you need to revert back to the original order.
  • Utilize the “Create a filter” option for more advanced sorting and filtering capabilities.
  • Remember that sorting by date will rearrange your entire row, so any data tied to your date entries will move with them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ensure my dates are recognized correctly in Google Sheets?

Make sure your dates are entered consistently, using a recognized date format, such as MM/DD/YYYY or DD/MM/YYYY.

Can I sort by date if some cells are empty?

Yes, Google Sheets will sort the rows with dates while leaving the empty cells at the bottom or top of the list, depending on your chosen sort order.

What happens if my dates are entered as text?

If your dates are entered as text, they may not sort correctly. Convert them to a recognizable date format for accurate sorting.

Can I sort multiple columns by date at the same time?

No, sorting by date in Google Sheets is done one column at a time. However, you can sort a secondary column by using the “Sort range by column” feature.

Will sorting by date affect my formulas?

Sorting by date will not affect formulas that reference cell positions, but it may affect formulas tied to specific row content. Always double-check your formulas after sorting.


  1. Select your data.
  2. Click on the “Data” tab.
  3. Choose “Sort range.”
  4. Sort by your date column.


Sorting by date in Google Sheets is a useful skill that can help you manage and analyze your data more effectively. With the simple steps outlined above, you can quickly organize your sheets to better visualize your timelines and schedules. Remember to keep your dates consistently formatted and to double-check your selection before sorting to ensure accuracy. Once you start implementing this feature into your workflow, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. So go ahead, give it a try and see how it can streamline your data management in Google Sheets!

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