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

Sorting data in Google Sheets is a straightforward process that can help you organize and analyze your information quickly. Once you know how to sort, you can arrange your data alphabetically, numerically, or even by date, allowing you to find patterns and insights easily.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Sort in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what sorting will do. Sorting in Google Sheets will rearrange your data based on the criteria you choose. This could mean putting names in alphabetical order, organizing numbers from smallest to largest, or arranging dates from earliest to latest.

Step 1: Select the Data

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

Once you’ve selected the data, make sure it’s the correct range. If you accidentally include a header or an extra row, it could mess up the sorting process.

Step 2: Click on the Data Menu

Navigate to the top menu and click on “Data.”

This menu is where all the sorting magic happens. You’ll find various options here, but we’re focusing on the basic sorting functions for now.

Step 3: Choose ‘Sort Range’

Click on “Sort range” from the dropdown menu.

If you’re sorting a range that includes a header row, be sure to check the box that says “Data has header row.” This ensures your headers won’t be mixed in with the data.

Step 4: Select Sort Order

Choose how you want to sort your data: A-Z for ascending or Z-A for descending.

You can sort by different columns if your data is organized in a way that has multiple variables. For example, if you have a list of people’s names and their scores, you can sort by either column.

Step 5: Click ‘Sort’

After selecting your sort order, click the “Sort” button.

And voila! Your data should now be sorted according to your selected criteria. If it doesn’t look right, you can always go back and make sure you selected the correct range and sort order.

After completing these steps, your Google Sheets data will be sorted according to the criteria you’ve set. This will make it easier to analyze your data and draw conclusions from it.

Tips for Sorting in Google Sheets

  • Ensure that all the data you want to sort is in the same format. For example, dates should all be in MM/DD/YYYY format.
  • If you’re sorting by numbers, make sure they’re actually formatted as numbers and not as text.
  • Use the ‘Sort sheet’ option if you want to sort all the data in your sheet, including the headers.
  • Remember that sorting is permanent once you’ve saved the sheet, so make sure that’s what you want before you proceed.
  • You can undo a sort by pressing Ctrl + Z (or Cmd + Z on a Mac) if you’ve just done it and haven’t made any other changes since.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sort multiple columns at once?

Yes, you can sort by multiple columns in Google Sheets. You’ll need to use the ‘Sort range’ option and add levels to sort by additional columns.

How do I sort without messing up my headers?

Make sure to check the box that says “Data has header row” when sorting. This will keep your headers stationary and only sort the data below.

Can I sort data in descending order?

Absolutely! Simply choose the Z-A option when sorting to arrange your data from highest to lowest.

What if I want to return to the original order after sorting?

Before sorting, you might want to add a temporary column with sequential numbers to remember the original order. After sorting, you can sort again by this temporary column to return to the initial arrangement.

Can I sort by date in Google Sheets?

Yes, Google Sheets allows you to sort by date. Make sure your dates are recognized by Google Sheets as dates, not text, to sort correctly.


  1. Select the data you want to sort.
  2. Click on the Data menu.
  3. Choose ‘Sort range’ from the dropdown.
  4. Select your desired sort order.
  5. Click ‘Sort’ to apply the sorting.


Sorting in Google Sheets is a simple yet powerful tool that can transform a jumbled mess of data into a neatly organized spreadsheet. Whether you’re dealing with a list of names, a column of numbers, or a series of dates, sorting can help you make sense of your data and unlock valuable insights. Remember, the key to successful sorting is ensuring that your data is consistently formatted and clearly defining which rows or columns you want to sort. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different sorting options to see how they can aid in your data analysis. And as always, if you encounter any issues while sorting in Google Sheets, refer back to this guide or reach out to the vast community of Google Sheets users for help. With a little practice and patience, you’ll be a sorting pro in no time!

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