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

Sorting dates in Google Sheets is a simple yet essential task to organize your data chronologically. By following a few straightforward steps, you can ensure your dates are in the order you need, whether that’s from the earliest to the latest or vice versa. This guide will walk you through the process, providing a detailed step-by-step tutorial, useful tips, and answers to common questions.

How to Sort Dates in Google Sheets

Sorting dates in Google Sheets will help you make sense of your data, especially when dealing with timelines or tracking events. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Open Your Google Sheets Document

Open your Google Sheets document that contains the dates you want to sort.

First things first, you need to have your Google Sheets document ready. Make sure you’re logged into your Google account and have the document open.

Step 2: Select the Date Column

Select the column that has the dates by clicking on the lettered header at the top.

Clicking the header ensures the entire column is selected, which is necessary for sorting all the dates in that column.

Step 3: Click on Data in the Menu

Click on the "Data" option in the top menu.

The "Data" menu is where you’ll find the sorting options. It’s located at the top of Google Sheets, between "Format" and "Tools."

Step 4: Choose Sort A-Z or Sort Z-A

Select either "Sort sheet A-Z" or "Sort sheet Z-A" from the dropdown.

"Sort A-Z" will arrange your dates from the earliest to the latest, while "Sort Z-A" will do the opposite, from the latest to the earliest.

Step 5: Verify the Sorted Dates

Check to ensure the dates are now sorted in the desired order.

Take a quick look through your column to confirm the dates are in the correct sequence.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your dates should be sorted either from the earliest to the latest or vice versa, depending on your chosen sorting direction.

Tips for Sorting Dates in Google Sheets

  • Ensure Date Format Consistency: Make sure all the dates in your column are in the same format; otherwise, it may cause sorting issues.
  • Use Date Functions: Leverage Google Sheets’ date functions like =DATE or =TODAY to ensure dates are recognized correctly.
  • Check for Empty Cells: Empty cells can disrupt your sorting. Fill them in or move them to the end of your data set.
  • Freeze Headers: If your first row contains headers, use the "Freeze" option to keep them in place while sorting.
  • Use Filters for Complex Sorting: For more intricate sorting, apply filters to sort by multiple columns or conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Sort Dates in Google Sheets

How do I sort dates in ascending order?

Select the column with dates, go to "Data" in the menu, and choose "Sort sheet A-Z."

Can I sort multiple columns by date?

Yes, use the "Data" menu and select "Sort range" to specify multiple columns.

What if my dates are not sorting correctly?

Ensure all dates are in the same format and check for any text entries in the date column.

How do I handle dates in different formats?

Standardize all your dates to the same format using the "Format" menu before sorting.

Can I sort dates automatically?

Use Google Sheets’ scripting tools to create an automatic sorting script if needed.

Summary of How to Sort Dates in Google Sheets

  1. Open your Google Sheets document.
  2. Select the date column.
  3. Click on Data in the menu.
  4. Choose Sort A-Z or Sort Z-A.
  5. Verify the sorted dates.


Sorting dates in Google Sheets is an essential skill that can greatly enhance your data management capabilities. With this step-by-step guide, you should now be able to sort your dates with ease and confidence. Remember, the key to successful sorting lies in ensuring your dates are consistently formatted and free of errors. Whether you’re organizing a project timeline, tracking events, or analyzing trends, sorting dates will help you make better sense of your data.

For further reading, you might explore more advanced features in Google Sheets, such as creating custom scripts for automation, using Pivot Tables, or integrating with other Google Workspace tools. So, go ahead, open Google Sheets, and give sorting dates a try. You’ll be amazed at how much more organized your data will become!