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

Learning how to sort numbers in Google Sheets is a straightforward process. Simply select the range of cells containing the numbers you wish to sort, click on the “Data” tab, then choose “Sort range” and select either “A → Z” to sort in ascending order or “Z → A” for descending order.

After sorting your numbers, you’ll notice that the data is reorganized in the order you chose, making it easier to analyze and find specific numerical values within your spreadsheet.


Have you ever found yourself staring at a jumbled mess of numbers in a Google Sheets document, feeling overwhelmed by the chaos? Fear not, for sorting numbers in Google Sheets is a task that can be mastered with ease! Whether you’re a business owner analyzing sales data, a student organizing research results, or just someone who loves keeping their personal budgets in check, knowing how to sort numbers in Google Sheets is an essential skill.

Google Sheets is a powerful tool used by millions around the world, and its sorting feature is a key function that helps users make sense of their numeric data. Sorting allows you to arrange your numbers in a sequence, either from the smallest to the largest (ascending) or the largest to the smallest (descending). This is not only important for organizational purposes but also for presenting your data in a logical and understandable manner. So, let’s dive in and learn how to sort those pesky numbers so you can become a Google Sheets pro!

Related: How to Alphabetize on Google Sheets

Step by Step Tutorial on Sorting Numbers in Google Sheets

Before we get into the specific steps, it’s important to understand that sorting your numbers can help you see patterns, make comparisons, or simply clean up your data.

Step 1: Select Your Range

Select the cells containing the numbers you want to sort.

Selecting the range of cells is critical because it tells Google Sheets exactly what data you want to work with. Clicking and dragging your mouse over the cells will highlight them, indicating your selection.

Step 2: Open the Data Tab

Click on the “Data” tab at the top of your Google Sheets document.

The “Data” tab is where all the magic happens for sorting and organizing your data. This is where you’ll find various options for manipulating your spreadsheet’s content.

Step 3: Choose Sort Range

From the dropdown menu, select “Sort range.”

Choosing “Sort range” will bring up additional options for you to specify exactly how you want your numbers sorted. It’s a simple yet powerful feature.

Step 4: Select Sort Order

Choose “A → Z” for an ascending sort or “Z → A” for a descending sort.

This step is where you decide the order in which your numbers will be arranged. “A → Z” will start with the smallest number, while “Z → A” will start with the largest.


Organized DataSorting numbers can drastically improve the readability and organization of your data. It allows you to quickly locate specific numerical values and makes your spreadsheet look neat and professional.
Enhanced AnalysisWith sorted data, it becomes easier to perform analysis, identify trends, and make comparisons. It transforms raw data into information that can be used for making informed decisions.
Time EfficiencySorting numbers saves you the time and hassle of manually searching for and arranging data points. This efficiency is especially beneficial when dealing with large datasets.


Potential DisruptionIf not done carefully, sorting can disrupt the original order of your data, which may be important for context or further analysis. It’s essential to ensure that you’re sorting the correct range of cells.
Limited CustomizationWhile sorting is great for simple numerical arrangements, Google Sheets’ basic sort function may not offer the level of customization needed for more complex datasets, requiring additional steps or functions.
Dependency on Data FormatSorting can be affected by the format of the data. Numbers stored as text, for example, may not sort correctly, leading to inaccurate results. Always check your data format before sorting.

Additional Information

Sorting numbers is just the beginning of data organization in Google Sheets. Beyond the basic ascending and descending order, you can sort by multiple columns, which is handy when you have a primary and secondary sorting criterion. Imagine you’re a teacher who wants to sort test scores (primary) and then by student names (secondary) – Google Sheets can handle that!

Another useful tip is to use filters along with sorting. Filters allow you to display only the rows that meet certain criteria while keeping your data sorted. This can be particularly useful when dealing with large datasets where you need to focus on specific subsets.

Also, remember that sorting can be combined with other functions in Google Sheets to create powerful data analysis tools. For instance, you can use the SORT function in a formula to automatically sort data as it’s entered or updated. This dynamic approach can save you even more time and ensure that your data is always presented in the order you prefer.

One last thing – when working with numerical data, always check for empty cells or non-numeric characters. These can sometimes throw a wrench in the works and cause your sorting to go awry. Make sure your numbers are clean and consistent for the best sorting experience.

Summary – How to Sort Numbers in Google Sheets

  1. Select the range of cells with the numbers you want to sort.
  2. Click on the “Data” tab.
  3. Choose “Sort range” from the dropdown menu.
  4. Decide on ascending (“A → Z”) or descending (“Z → A”) order.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sort multiple columns at once?

Yes, you can sort by multiple columns in Google Sheets. After selecting “Sort range,” click on “Add another sort column” to specify additional sorting criteria.

What if my numbers are formatted as text?

If your numbers are formatted as text, they may not sort correctly. You can change the format by highlighting the cells, clicking “Format,” then “Number,” and selecting the appropriate number format.

Can I sort a range that includes formulas?

Yes, you can sort ranges that include formulas. However, the sort will be based on the resulting values, not the formulas themselves.

Is there a way to sort my data automatically?

Yes, using the SORT function in a formula allows you to automatically sort data as it’s entered or updated.

Can I undo a sort if I make a mistake?

Yes, you can undo a sort by clicking “Edit” and then “Undo,” or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Z (Cmd+Z on Mac).


Sorting numbers in Google Sheets is a fundamental skill that can help you manage and analyze your data more effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned spreadsheet user or just getting started, these steps will guide you through the sorting process, ensuring that you can quickly organize your numerical data in a way that makes sense for your specific needs.

Remember to consider the pros and cons of sorting, and utilize the additional tips provided to enhance your sorting experience. With a little practice, sorting numbers will become second nature, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Google Sheets expert.

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