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How To Sort Rows In Google Sheets (With Examples)

One of the fundamental tasks you’ll encounter when working with data is sorting rows. Whether you’re arranging a list of names, dates, or numerical values, learning how to sort rows in Google Sheets can greatly enhance your data manipulation abilities. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of sorting rows, along with real-world scenarios to help you grasp the concept quickly.

Scenario/Use Case

Let’s envision a scenario where you’re a teacher responsible for grading an important exam. You’ve compiled a Google Sheets spreadsheet containing student information, including their names, test scores, and exam dates.

As the class grows, the list becomes increasingly complex and disorganized, making it challenging to extract meaningful insights. This is where the ability to sort rows in Google Sheets proves very useful.

In this guide, we will show you the step-by-step process of how to sort rows in Google Sheets.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Sorting Rows In Google Sheets- Practical Examples

After familiarizing ourselves with the basics and providing you with a scenario to make the concept of sorting rows in Google Sheets more understandable, it’s time to delve into practical examples.

To begin, let’s consider the following sample data:

With our sample data now figured out, let’s quickly show you how to sort rows in Google Sheets. 

Step 1: Select The Range Of Data You Want To Sort

Let’s start by selecting the data range we want to sort. For this first example, we will select the entire sample data in our spreadsheet. 

Step 2: Data > Sort Range > Advanced Range Sorting Options

Now that we have selected the data we want to sort, let’s go to the “Data” menu. Look for the “Sort range” option, then select “Advanced range sorting options.” This will help us organize our information the way we want it.

Google sheets: Data > Sort Range > Advanced Range Sorting Options

Step 3: Tweak The Sort Range Option

Once you’ve picked the “Advanced range sorting options,” a little window will appear. In this window, you’ll want to check the box for “Data as a header. Then, find the option to sort by “test scores” and pick “A-Z” to arrange them from low to high. Once you’ve made these choices, go ahead and give that “Sort” button a click. That’s it. Your data will be sorted accordingly.

Sort Range Option in Google sheets

If you followed along with our instructions, you’ll notice that we’ve successfully organized the rows in column B based on the settings we chose.

Check out how ours turned out:

From the image above, you can see that we have been able to sort rows in Google Sheets to show the lowest to the highest scores. 

Sort Rows In Google Sheets Using The Sort Function

Now that you’ve gained insight into sorting rows through the manual process, let’s explore another convenient method using the Sort function. But before we dive into this approach, let’s recap the previous example to solidify your understanding.

In our earlier example, we walked you through the process of sorting rows in Google Sheets. We selected data, accessed the “Sort range” options, and arranged student test scores in ascending order. This manual method allowed us to gain hands-on experience sorting data, making it more comprehensible for beginners.

Sort Function: A Swift And Efficient Method

The Sort function in Google Sheets offers a quick and efficient way to sort rows based on specific columns. This method uses a formula to define the sorting criteria, making it easy to sort data with a single command.

To demonstrate, let’s continue with our student exam scores scenario. Suppose you have a similar dataset with student names in column A, test scores in column B, and exam dates in column C.

Here’s how you can use the Sort function to sort rows in Google Sheets:

Step 1: Select An Empty Cell

To use the Sort function to sort rows in Google Sheets, you need to first select an empty cell. This is where you want the sorted data to be generated. 

For our example, we will use cell F1, so we’ll go ahead and select that cell. 

Step 2: Type The Sort Formula

With the cell where we want our data sorted to selected, we need to now type in the Sort formula. To do that, navigate to the formula bar and type in the following formula: 


Step 3: Hit Enter

With our Sort formula now correctly typed in, as explained in the previous step, we can now hit the Enter button on our keyboard. This action instructs Google Sheets to generate the sorted result in the selected area of our spreadsheet. 

Here, take a look at what ours looks like: 

From the image shown above, you can easily observe that by using the Sort function, we’ve successfully arranged the rows in column G. If you take a glance at columns B and G, it’s evident that we’ve sorted the information in column G to display the test scores from the highest to the lowest.

So, that’s how you utilize the Sort function to sort rows in Google Sheets. It wasn’t too tricky, was it?

Final Thoughts

In our journey to understanding how to sort rows in Google Sheets, we’ve covered the basics, explored scenarios, and delved into practical methods. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or someone just starting with spreadsheets, sorting data doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

We began by unraveling the manual sorting process, helping you grasp the fundamental steps. With our scenario of student test scores, you got a hands-on feel for transforming chaotic data into organized insights.

Then, we introduced you to the handy Sort function. This tool swiftly rearranges rows according to your criteria, saving you time and effort. 

Remember, sorting rows isn’t about complex formulas or tech wizardry. It’s about gaining control over your data, making informed decisions, and unlocking hidden patterns. 

So whether you’re arranging exam scores, sales data, or any other information, these sorting techniques equip you with the skills to manage data with confidence.

With these tools in your toolkit, you’re ready to take on data sorting challenges, transforming messiness into clarity. 

Keep experimenting, keep learning, and soon you’ll find that you’ve become a proficient data organizer in Google Sheets. 

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