How to Sort Google Sheets by Date

Written by Tijana Google Workplace / Sheets

- 4 min read

When you’re using Google Sheets on a daily basis, and especially if the Sheets contain dates, organizing them properly is crucial in order to be able to keep track of all information you have.

However, due to the Sheets’ complexity, information that you enter, such as dates, need to be in a proper format.

Since Sheets is widely used due to its amazing capabilities to sort data, as well as how convenient it is to share the Sheets files, learning some shortcuts is really important.

However, when it comes to sorting out dates, it is important to know that they need to be in a certain format in order for Google Sheets to consider them as valid.

Hence, if you’re trying to make your job easier and you’re wondering how to sort your Sheets by date, you’re in the right place.

We tailored a detailed step-by-step guide to help you with the process, and no need to worry - it’s not as complex as it seems.

Which dates are considered valid?

As we already mentioned, Sheets has a certain criteria by which it determines data validity.

Since there’s so many ways to type in a date, you’ll need to learn which ones will be accepted by Google Sheets, and which ones will not.

Sheets considers the right-aligned dates as valid, however, since it’s difficult to tell which ones are right-aligned, and which ones are left-aligned, there’s a shortcut for that as well.


To double check, you should select the columns with the dates, click on ‘Insert’ in the upper section of the sheet, click on ‘Function’, then on ‘Date’, and under ‘Date’, find the ‘DATEVALUE’ function.

After finishing the steps, all wrong formats will be shown under ‘Date Value’.

How to sort by date in Google Sheets

There are several different ways to sort by date when using Google Sheets.

  1. Sorting by using the SORT function

When you’re trying to sort data in Sheets, the easiest way is to use the ‘Sort’ function. Once you do, Sheets will take the original data of the column you want to sort, and transform it into new, already sorted information.

Additionally, you can have more than one column sorted at once, which will make it less time-consuming.

As an example, if you have a date column filled with information such as this:


You will need a formula, which will convert and sort your dates appropriately:


The function to sort dates will affect three aspects:

  1. A2:A5 - the columns that need to be sorted.
  2. 1 - this number tells the function which column needs to be affected by its action.
  3. TRUE - this section will sort the dates in an ascending order.

Additionally, the column where the sorted dates are supposed to get entered needs to be empty, otherwise, Google Sheets will show you there’s an error, and the sorting function will fail.

Also, make sure to not make any changes in the columns that were a part of the formula, because if you make any adjustments, an error will pop-up.

2. Sorting by using the Sort Range Functionality in Google Sheets

Google Sheets also has a built-in sorting functionality that gives dynamic results, and is mostly used by people who will need to sort by date only once.

  1. Select the data that needs to be sorted.
  2. In the menu in the upper part of the Sheet, click on ‘Data’.
  3. Under ‘Data’, click on ‘Sort Range’.
  4. If your data has a header row, select that option, if it doesn’t leave it unchecked.
  5. Select how you want to sort the column - by ‘Date’.
  6. Click on ‘A-Z’, which means ascending order.
  7. Finally, click on ‘Sort’.

Continue reading more about how to indent in Google Sheets