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How to Sort by Date in Google Sheets [Easiest Way]

May 8, 2024

In this article we will show how to sort by date in google sheets using the sort range function.  This is one of the basic skills you need to know to be able to organize your spreadsheet. Scroll down to learn how!

How to Sort Google Sheets by Date 

We regularly get emails asking how to sort google sheets by date. Thankfully this can be easily achieved using the built-in sort range function. Check the steps below:

Step 1: Select the range

In your spreadsheet, click on a single cell that is part of the target range and then press Ctrl+A on your keyboard. This will select the cells with data in your spreadsheet that forms a table. For small ranges, you can drag your cursor to select the entire range, but the Ctrl+A keyboard shortcut is better for large ranges. 

Step 2: Click Data on the main toolbar

Step 3: Select Sort range

If you select the Sort sheet option, you will not be able to separate the header, which will mess up your data.

Step 4: Select Advanced options

You can already click the other two options but if you set the first row of your spreadsheet as the header, Google Sheets will also include it in the process. While this helps you in scrolling down the sheet, locking the first header by dragging down the bar won’t keep the header row secure from the action:

Additionally, this method automatically detects the column where your originally-selected cell is (marked by a blue border) and sets it as the basis for the action. This reduces your flexibility.

This is why you need to select Advanced range sorting options instead of clicking one of the other options. This allows you to keep the header at the top. 

Step 5: Tick Data has header row

Once you tick it, Google Sheets will scan your sheets for the column headers and the dropdown box below it will update its list to the header names. 

Step 6: Click the dropdown box, then select the column header for the dates

When doing this step, make sure you take note of the header name for the column containing the date.

Step 7: Select either ascending or descending order

By default, the ascending order is selected, which puts the earliest record first. You can see this with the A->Z already selected. For example, if the list is a list of tasks to do, the ascending order will allow you to see the tasks with the earliest due date, and then work on it.

The descending order, represented by Z->A, will put the latest record first. This works best, for example, when trying to track the latest orders or transactions in your business. 

Step 8: Click Sort

Here is the result:

We managed to arrange the list from earliest to latest while keeping the header row intact!

You can check the screen recording of the steps below to see how the steps fit together:

See? It’s easy to sort Google spreadsheet by date! Next time you need to do it again, bookmark this page and follow the steps listed here!

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our article on how to use the SORT function in Google Sheets or our article on how to alphabetize in Google Sheets

If you want a copy of our contact list template in Google Sheets, we also suggest checking out our detailed guide. 

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