Simple & Complicated Ways on How to Sort by Date in Excel

sort warning microsoft excel found data next to your selection. since you have not selected this data, it will not be sorted

Excel is the one you really need when it comes to calculating, creating a spreadsheet, budgeting, and stuff. But, some people might still wonder whether they can sort rows by date in Excel. Here’s how to sort by date in Excel — simplified.

When you list data about age or want to see data and how it changes over time, it’s absolutely necessary to sort the rows by date. Excel has all the features you need to sort oldest to newest (and vice versa) and largest to smallest (and vice versa). Regardless of whether you want yearly or monthly data.

You can do this on Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, and probably Excel 2010 with a slight different interface.

How to sort by date in Excel: simplest Way

The quickest way to sort data by date is simply by selecting all of your cells. Then, on the Home tab, head to Editing section then click Sort & Filter.

Wait, that’s not as simple as it is. If you did that, you’ll not be able to sort by date from oldest to newest or vice versa, since you didn’t select which column as the main data you want the rows to be sorted based on. “Oldest to newest” and sorting options will not available.

Now, click just one cell in a column that represents dates.

how to sort by date in excel

Select all the cells. Click Sort & Filter. Now you’ll be able to sort them Oldest to Newest and vice versa.

sort by date - sort oldest to newest vs sort newest to oldest

Now the rows have been sorted by date. There’s another way:

excel rows have been sorted

You can also sort by date by clicking the column. It will select all the rows inside it.

select all excel cells

Click Sort & Filter. Choose Sort Oldest to Newest or vice versa to sort them.

sort all excel row by date

You’ll see a sorting warning. That’s fine. You can choose Expand the selection to sort the entire rows of your sheet based on the column (which is where all the dates are). Or, you can choose to Continue with the current selection only to sort the column Date, and the rest rows would not be affected.

sort warning microsoft excel found data next to your selection. since you have not selected this data, it will not be sorted

More complicated way to sort by date in Excel

Imagine you’re facing a data containing birthdates, and you have to sort the rows from the youngest person in the rows to the oldest ones while collecting their birth year.

To do that, simply create a new column called “Year” (for instance). Insert =YEAR(A2) on the first row in that column to collect each person’s birth year.

get year or month number from excel rows then sort them

Then click the right-bottom corner (which shows as + sign), drag it down until it fills the rest of the rows.

one cell sorted

Now, the rows have been filled the birth years.

get all years or month in excel

You can now sort them by clicking one cell inside the “Year” column, select all the cells, then click Sort & Filter. Choose how you want to sort the Excel sheet.

sort collected year

The data has been sorted by date. Now you can save the Excel file.

all excel rows have been sorted


Sorting by date isn’t that hard. It’s simple, but it gets harder if you want to sort the data in a more complex manner. Regardless, they’re still practically easy and don’t take so many minutes to do so.

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