How To Auto Sort In Google Sheets

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to auto sort in Google Sheets.

When working with large datasets in Google Sheets, it’s often important that the information is sorted in order to be able to find what you need. While Google Sheets does offer the option of sorting a range using a menu option, a workflow that requires repeatedly sorting the same data wastes time and is prone to user error. Before you resign your team to sorting the same range each time you update your data, consider this alternative to auto sort your data

How to Sort Data Using the SORT Function

The best way to keep a range of data automatically sorted even when the data updates is to use the SORT function. This function is an array formula that generates a sorted copy of the input range. The SORT function can be used to sort a range based on one or more columns, each in ascending or descending order. Whenever data in the original range updates (for example, as new entries are added), the array formula generated by the SORT function will update to always display a sorted version of the most up to date data.

Follow these steps to sort your data automatically using SORT

Step 1

Select the cell you want the first cell of sorted data to display in. Be sure there are enough empty rows and columns after this cell for the SORT function to display all the data you want to sort

Step 2

Type the following formula into the cell: “=SORT(A3:B, 1, TRUE, 2, TRUE)”. In this formula, the range A3:B is the data to sort, then the formula specifies to sort first by the first column in that range in ascending order (“1, TRUE”) and then by the second column, also in ascending order.

Step 3

The sorted data will appear in the rows and/or columns following the SORT formula

Step 4

If you want to sort in descending or reverse order, replace TRUE with FALSE to reverse the sort order.

Any time the data in the original range is updated, the sorted data will update as well. Note that because this is an array formula and not the original data, any edits to the data should be made in the original range. The sorted range can, however, be referenced in other formulas. For example, you could use values in the sorted range to perform VLOOKUPs.


Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet

In this tutorial, I covered how to auto sort in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.