Detailed Guide to Sorting by Date in Google Sheets


Google Sheets is perhaps the most popular spreadsheet application in the market today (along with Microsoft Excel). Google Sheets provides a rich sorting capability as part of its feature set. One of the most commonly used sorting options is the ability to sort by date.

In this blog post, we will cover how to sort data by date in Google Sheets. Each step in the process will include a screenshot so that you can see exactly how to perform each step in the process.

The easiest way to sort a column by date in Google Sheets is to do the following:

  1. Open the Spreadsheet in Google Sheets
  2. Select the Headers of the column(s) you want to sort by date (make sure the column data type is Date)
  3. Click Data > Create a Filter Option
  4. Click on the filter icon
  5. Click Sort A – Z or Click Z – A in sort in first to last or last to first date respectively

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If you are relatively new to Google Sheets, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Google Sheets.

How to Sort by Date in Google Sheets Using Column Filters

Before you get started trying to sort a column by date, you must make sure that all the values you are looking to sort are actually dates. You can determine this using the Data -> Data Validation option. Once you have validated that all of your cells you want to sort are dates, do the following to sort your column by date:

A spreadsheet in Google Sheets
A spreadsheet in Google Sheets
  1. Open the spreadsheet in Google Sheets
Freezing rows in Google Sheets
  1. Freeze the rows above and including your header row by selecting the row and going to View -> Freeze -> Up to current row as shown in the screenshot above
Selecting a cell in Google Sheets
Selecting a cell in Google Sheets
  1. Select any cell in the column you want to sort by date
Sorting a date column in Google Sheets using the Sort Sheet by options
Sorting a date column in Google Sheets using the Sort Sheet by options
  1. Click Data -> and select either Sort sheet by column, A->Z to sort oldest to newest date or select Sort sheet by column, Z->A to sort from newest to oldest

Your date column should now be sorted by date.

How to Sort Using Sort Range in Google Sheets

You can also use the Sort Range function to sort a table in Google Sheet. Enclosed below are the steps to sort a table by date using Sort Range in Google Sheets:

  1. Open Your Spreadsheet in Google Sheets
  2. Select all the cells in the table except the headers 
  3. Click Data > Sort Range
  4. Choose the column you want to sort on
  5. Select A – Z or Z – A to sort earlier date to latest or latest to earliest date
  6. Press the Sort button
  7. Your table should now be sorted by date

Open Your Spreadsheet in Google Sheets

Spreadsheet containing dates in Google Sheets
Spreadsheet containing dates in Google Sheets

Open the spreadsheet you want to sort in Google Sheets.

Select all the Cells in the Table Except the Headers

Select all the cells in your table except the headers
Select all the cells in your table except the headers

Select all in the cells in the table EXCEPT the headers as shown in the screenshot above. There are unsorted dates in this table.

Date Sorting Using Sort Range

Select Sort Range from the menu in Google Sheets
Select Sort Range from the menu in Google Sheets

Next, go to Data -> Sort Range to bring up the Sort Range menu.

Choose the Column You Want to Sort

Select the column you want to sort in the Sort Range menu
Select the column you want to sort in the Sort Range menu

The Sort Range menu should now be visible. Find the “Sort by” option. Click the drop-down button and select the column that contains the dates you want to sort by in your table.

Select A->Z or Z->A to Sort Table either Earliest to Latest Date or Latest to Earliest date

Sorting options in Sort Range menu in Google Sheets
Sorting options in Sort Range menu in Google Sheets

To the right of the “Sort by” option are two radio buttons:

  • A->Z
  • Z->A

A->Z sorts your table from earliest date to latest date. Z->A sorts your table from latest date to earliest date. Select the option you want.

Click the “Sort” Button to Sort the Table

Click the "Sort" button in the Sort Range menu to sort your table
Click the “Sort” button in the Sort Range menu to sort your table

Finally, click the “Sort” button to sort your table.

A table sorted by date in Google Sheets
A table sorted by date in Google Sheets

Your table should now be sorted by date.

Now, let’s sort a table by day of the week.

How to Sort a Table by Day of the Week in Google Sheets

Enclosed below are the steps required to sort a table by day of the week in Google Sheets:

  1. Open your Spreadsheet in Google Sheets
  2. Create two new columns and name them “Day of the Week number” and “Day of Week”
  3. Click first empty cell in “Day of the Week number” column and type =WEEKDAY(“your date cell“) and hit Enter
  4. Click and drag blue square box to auto-populate equation in the rest of your cells in your table
  5. In the first empty cell in the “Day of Week” column, type the following equation: =CHOOSE( weekday(your day of the week cell), “Sunday”, “Monday”, “Tuesday”, “Wednesday”, “Thursday”, “Friday”, “Saturday”) and hit Enter
  6. Click and drag blue square box to auto-populate equation in rest of the column
  7. Select all the cells in your table except the headers and go to Data->Sort Range
  8. Select the “Day of the Week number” column and click “Sort” button to sort table by day of week
  9. Your table should now be sorted by the day of the week

Open your Spreadsheet in Google Sheets

A basic spreadsheet in Google Sheets
A basic spreadsheet in Google Sheets

Open up the spreadsheet you want to sort by day of the week in Google Calendar.

Create Two New Columns and Name Them “Day of the Week number” and “Day of Week”

Add two columns for day of the week in Google Sheets
Add two columns for day of the week in Google Sheets

Next, we need to add two new columns to our spreadsheet:

  • Day of Week in Number
  • Day of Week

The reason why we need to do this is that the WEEKDAY function we will use to determine the day of the week based on our date column returns a number representing the day of the week, not the name of the day of the week. Each day of the week is numbered from 1 – 7 as follows:

Day of the WeekDay of the Week Number
Sunday1
Monday2
Tuesday3
Wednesday4
Thursday5
Friday6
Saturday7
Days of the Week by number in Google Sheets table

So, as a result, we first need to figure out the day of the week number then we can assign the day of week name.

Click First Empty Cell in “Day of the Week number” column and Type =WEEKDAY(“your date cell“) and hit Enter

Using the WEEKDAY function in Google Sheets
Using the WEEKDAY function in Google Sheets

Now, click the first empty cell in the “Day of the Week number” column and type in the following:

=WEEKDAY(YOURDATECELL)

Where it says YOURDATECELL, type in the address of the “Date” cell that is next to your “Day of Week in Number” column.

Day of Week in Number form in Google Sheets
Day of Week in Number form in Google Sheets

You should now see a number in your “Day of Week in Number” cell as shown in the screenshot above. For my example, my number is 3 which represents Tuesday.

Click and Drap the Blue Square Box in Lower Right Corner of Cell to End of Column in Table to Auto-populate Column with Formula

Dragging blue box to apply formula to rest of column in Google Sheets
Dragging blue box to apply formula to rest of column in Google Sheets

Next, click the blue box and drag it to the bottom of your column and release the mouse button. This will apply the same formula to the rest of the column. You should now see numeric values for each of your dates.

In the First Empty Cell in the “Day of Week” column, type the following equation: =CHOOSE( weekday(your day of the week cell), “Sunday”, “Monday”, “Tuesday”, “Wednesday”, “Thursday”, “Friday”, “Saturday”) and hit Enter

Applying the CHOOSE function to a nested WEEKDAY function to assign the day of week name
Applying the CHOOSE function to a nested WEEKDAY function to assign the day of week name

The next step involves a complicated looking formula but don’t sweat it. Click in the first empty cell in the “Day of Week” column and type in the following formula:

=CHOOSE( weekday(your day of the week cell), "Sunday", "Monday", "Tuesday", "Wednesday", "Thursday", "Friday", "Saturday")

Where is says “your day of the week cell), type in the address of the first cell in the “Day of Week in Number” column. In our example that is B3. Hit Enter to save your formula to the cell.

Click and drag blue square box to auto-populate equation in rest of the column

Days of Week in Google Sheets
Days of Week in Google Sheets

Click and drag the blue square box in the first cell to the end of the column and release the mouse button. This will apply the formula to the rest of the column. You should now see the days of the week for each date as shown in the screenshot above.

Now let’s sort the table by day of the week.

Select All of the Cells in Your Table EXCEPT the Headers and go to Data -> Sort Range

Select all of the cells in the table except the headers
Select all of the cells in the table except the headers

Select all of the cells in your table EXCEPT the headers.

Selecting the Sort Range function in Google Sheets
Selecting the Sort Range function in Google Sheets

Next, go to Data-> Sort Range to bring up the Sort Range menu.

Select the “Day of the Week number” Column and Click the “Sort” Button to Sort Table by Day of Week

selecting our day of week number column and clicking Sort in Sort Range menu in Google Sheets
selecting our day of week number column and clicking Sort in Sort Range menu in Google Sheets

In the Sort Range menu, select your “Day of Week in Number” column. Then click the “Sort” button to sort your table by the day of the week.

A table in Google Sheets sorted by the day of the week

Your table should now be sorted by the day of the week.

I hope this tutorial was helpful to you. Good luck!

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How to Sort by Date in Google Sheets