How to Sort a Pivot Table in Google Sheets: Step-by-Step Guide

Sorting a pivot table in Google Sheets might sound like a task that requires a degree in computer science, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. To get started, you’ll need to have a pivot table already set up. Once you do, you can sort the data by clicking on the column or row headers and selecting "Sort A-Z" or "Sort Z-A" for alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order, or "Sort by values" for numerical order. And just like that, your data is sorted!

Step by Step Tutorial: Sorting a Pivot Table in Google Sheets

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s establish what we’re going to accomplish here. We’ll be taking an existing pivot table and sorting its data to make it easier to read and analyze. Here’s how:

Step 1: Select the Pivot Table

Click on any cell within your pivot table to select it.

When you select the pivot table, you’ll notice that the Pivot table editor will appear on the right side of your screen. This is where you’ll make most of your adjustments.

Step 2: Choose the Column or Row to Sort

Click on the column or row header that you want to sort by.

Remember, clicking the header selects all the data within that column or row, which is necessary for sorting.

Step 3: Click the "Sort" Option

After selecting the column or row, click on the "Sort" option that appears in the Pivot table editor.

You might have to click on "More" in the Pivot table editor to see all the available options.

Step 4: Select Your Sorting Preference

Choose "Sort A-Z," "Sort Z-A," or "Sort by values" depending on how you want your data organized.

If you’re sorting by values, ensure that you have selected the correct column for the values you want to sort by.

Step 5: Apply the Sorting

Click "OK" or "Apply" to sort the data as per your selection.

After applying the sorting, your pivot table data will rearrange itself in the order you specified, making it more organized and easier to analyze.

After completing these steps, your pivot table will be sorted in the order you chose. This makes it easier to spot trends, compare figures, and present your data in a way that’s simple to understand.

Tips for Sorting a Pivot Table in Google Sheets

  • Always ensure that you have selected the entire column or row before sorting to avoid partial sorting.
  • If your pivot table has a lot of data, give Google Sheets a few seconds to apply the sort.
  • Sorting by values is especially useful when dealing with numerical data that you want to rank.
  • Remember, sorting will not affect the original data set, only the way it’s displayed in the pivot table.
  • Use the "Undo" function (Ctrl + Z) if you make a mistake or want to revert to the original order.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sort a pivot table by multiple columns?

Yes, you can sort by multiple columns by using the "Add" option in the sort menu to add another sort condition.

Will sorting my pivot table change my original data?

No, sorting the pivot table only changes the way the data is displayed within the pivot table itself. Your original data remains unchanged.

Can I save the sorted pivot table as a new table?

While you can’t save the sorted view as a new pivot table, you can duplicate the sheet with the pivot table and it will retain the sorted order.

What if I don’t see the "Sort" option in my Pivot table editor?

If the "Sort" option isn’t visible, make sure you have selected the pivot table and that you’re clicking on the column or row header, not a specific cell within the pivot table.

Why is my pivot table not sorting correctly?

This could be due to several reasons such as incorrect selection of the column or row, or the presence of merged cells within the pivot table. Double-check your selections and ensure that there are no merged cells.


  1. Select the pivot table.
  2. Choose the column or row to sort.
  3. Click the "Sort" option.
  4. Select your sorting preference.
  5. Apply the sorting.


Sorting a pivot table in Google Sheets can transform a messy and overwhelming cluster of data into a clear, organized table that’s simple to analyze and understand. By following the steps outlined above, even those of us who aren’t spreadsheet wizards can easily rearrange our data to suit our needs. Whether you’re preparing a report, analyzing survey results, or just trying to make sense of a bunch of numbers, sorting a pivot table can help you find the order in the chaos. So go ahead, give it a try and watch as your data comes to life in a way that makes sense! Remember, a well-sorted pivot table isn’t just about making your data look neat; it’s about unlocking insights that could be crucial for your decisions or your business. Happy sorting!