How to Sort by Date in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Whether you’re working with a large dataset or just need to organize a few entries, sorting by date can help you quickly identify trends, track changes, and make informed decisions. In this article, we’ll explore how to sort by date in Excel, including different options for sorting by day, month, year, and more.

How to Sort Excel Columns

Sorting columns in Excel is a useful way to organize data in a specific order.

To sort a column by date, first, select the column you want to sort. Then, go to the “Data” tab on the ribbon and click on “Sort”.

A dialog box will appear, allowing you to choose the column you want to sort by and the order you want to sort in.

sort by date - dialog box

If you don’t see the same options, make sure the column is formatted as a date. You can do this by selecting the column and going to the “Home” tab on the ribbon. Then, click on the “Number Format” dropdown and choose “Date.”

sort by date - sorted

Once you have selected the column and chosen the sort order, click “OK” to sort the column. Excel will rearrange the data in the column based on the criteria you selected.

If you want to sort by multiple columns, for example if you also use the current time, you can do so by selecting the columns you want to sort and then going to the “Sort” dialog box. In this case, you can specify the order you want to sort each column in.

How to Sort Entire Tables By Ascending or Descending Date Without Mixing Data

Sorting data in Excel can be a powerful tool for analyzing and organizing large amounts of information. When working with tables that contain dates, it is important to sort them in the correct order to avoid mixing up data. Fortunately, Excel provides a simple solution for sorting tables by ascending or descending date without mixing data.

To begin, select the entire table that you want to sort. This can be done by clicking on the top left cell of the table and dragging the cursor to the bottom right cell. Once the table is selected, click on the “Data” tab in the Excel ribbon and then click on the “Sort” button.

In the Sort dialog box, select the column that contains the dates you want to sort by. Then, choose whether you want to sort the dates in ascending or descending order. It is important to note that Excel will automatically detect the data type of the selected column and sort it accordingly.

If you have other columns in your table that you want to sort by, you can add them as secondary sorting criteria. Simply click on the “Add Level” button in the Sort dialog box and select the column you want to sort by. You can add up to 64 levels of sorting criteria in Excel.

Using an Excel Formula To Sort by Date (Month and Day)

One way to sort data by month is to use an Excel formula that extracts the month and day from the date and then sorts the data based on the month and day values. This can be done using the following formula:


This formula extracts the month and day from the date in cell A2 and formats it as a text string in the format “MM/DD”. You can then use this formula to sort your data by month and day.

To use this formula, you can follow these steps:

  1. Insert a new column next to the column that contains your dates.
  2. Enter the formula above in the first cell of the new column and copy it down to the rest of the cells in the column.
  3. Select the entire table, including the new column with the formula.
  4. Click the “Sort & Filter” button on the “Home” tab and select “Custom Sort”.
  5. In the “Sort” dialog box, select the new column with the formula as the “Sort by” column.
  6. Select “Values” as the “Sort On” option and “A to Z” as the “Order” option.
  7. Click “OK” to sort the data by month and day.


Sorting data by date in Excel is a simple and efficient process that can save time and improve the organization of data. By using the built-in sorting feature, users can easily arrange data in ascending or descending order based on date values.

It is important to note that when sorting by date, Excel recognizes and sorts dates as serial numbers. Therefore, make sure to ensure that the date format is consistent throughout the data to avoid any errors or discrepancies in the sorting process.

Additionally, users can customize the sorting options by using the “Sort by” and “Then by” fields to sort data by multiple criteria, such as sorting by date and then by name. This feature is particularly useful for large datasets with multiple columns of data.

Overall, sorting data by date in Excel is a valuable tool for data management and analysis. With its user-friendly interface and customizable options, Excel provides a reliable solution for organizing and analyzing data based on date values.

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