Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

[Fix] Excel Sort by Date Not Working (2 Causes with Solutions)

Sort by Date is not working in your Excel worksheet? Here in this article, we will discuss two fixes to this.


Download Practice Workbook

Download this practice workbook to exercise while you are reading this article.


2 Solutions: Excel Sort by Date Not Working

Let’s introduce a sample problem.

Problem:

Consider the following dataset of some dates. We will try to sort the dates.

After applying the sort command, we have got the following results.

Excel Sort by Date not Working

Dates are not sorted from the newest to the oldest accurately.

Let’s find the reason.

From the Home tab, we view the data type.

Excel Sort by Date not Working

The selected data are in text format. As a result, sorting is not working.

Now, we will solve this sort by date in 2 methods.


1. Change the Cell Format to Sort Date

We can solve this sort by date problem in Excel by changing the cell format.

Step 1:

  • Select all the cells first.
  • Press the right button of the mouse.
  • Choose Format Cells from the options.
  • You can also go to the Format cells option by using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + 1.
  • You can go to the Format cells options from the Number group of the Home

Change the Cell Format to Sort Date

Step 2:

  • Choose a date format from the Format Cells dialog box.
  • Then press OK.

Change the Cell Format to Sort Date

Step 3:

  • Now, modify the dates from the data cells. Insert 0 with single-digit months.
  • Then, select all the cells containing a date.
  • Go to the Data tab.
  • Again select Newest to Oldest from the Sort and Filter group.

Change the Cell Format to Sort Date

Now, look at the below image.

Dates are sorted from latest to oldest.

Read More: Difference Between Sort and Filter in Excel


Similar Readings


2. Apply Text to Columns Feature to Sort Date in Excel

We will use the Text to Columns option to solve the problem of Excel sorting by date.

Step 1:

  • Select all the cells first.
  • Go to the Data tab.
  • From the Data Tolls group choose Text to Columns.

Apply Text to Columns Feature to Sort Date in Excel

Step 2:

  • A dialog box named Convert Text to Columns Wizard will appear. Choose Delimited.
  • Then press on Next.

Apply Text to Columns Feature to Sort Date in Excel

Step 3:

  • In the next dialog box again press on Next.

Step 4:

  • In the last dialog box, choose Date as Column data format.
  • Select a format of Date. We choose the MDY option.
  • Now, press on Finish.

Apply Text to Columns Feature to Sort Date in Excel

Step 5:

  • Again, select all the data cells to apply the sort operation.
  • Go to the Data Choose Newest to the Oldest option.

Look at the following image.

Apply Text to Columns Feature to Sort Date in Excel

The sort operation was successfully done with dates.

Read More: How to Sort Data by Value in Excel (5 Easy Methods)


Things to Remember

  • When Input date must follow any of the date formats.
  • Do not mix up time with dates.
  • Carefully check if there is an error in month and day values.

Conclusion

In this article, we tried to show some methods to solve the sort by the date that is not working in Excel. I hope this will satisfy your needs. Please have a look at our website Exceldemy.com and give your suggestions in the comment box.


Related Articles

Alok

Alok

Hello, this is Alok. I am working as an Excel & VBA Content Developer at Exceldemy. I want to provide solutions to various Excel-based problems. I completed my study at East West University major in Telecommunications Engineering. I love traveling, reading books, playing cricket.

4 Comments
  1. This was perfect! don’t know why my source data wouldn’t convert to dates well but this fixed the problem. Nice job!

  2. Thanks for this! All my relevant cells were registered as dates, but not the same date format (they were copied over from different files/users), and this fixed my issues.

    • You’re welcome, LAUREN! I hope, you’ll find more other solutions in our blog related to Excel problems in future!

Leave a reply

ExcelDemy
Logo