How to Add Sort Button in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By Matthew Simpson

Adding a sort button in Excel is a nifty trick that can save you time and help you organize your data with ease. Simply put, it involves using the built-in sorting feature to arrange your data in a specific order, be it alphabetical, numerical, or even by date. Once you’ve added this button, you can sort your data with just one click – no need to go through multiple menus!

Step by Step Tutorial to Add Sort Button in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what this will achieve. Adding a sort button in Excel allows you to quickly sort your data by a specific column. This is especially helpful when dealing with large datasets where manual sorting would be impractical.

Step 1: Select the Data Range

Select the range of cells that you want to be able to sort.

This step is crucial because Excel needs to know which data you’re interested in sorting. Make sure to include the header row if you have one – this helps Excel understand how to sort the data correctly.

Step 2: Go to the Data Tab

Navigate to the Data tab on the Excel ribbon.

This is where all the magic happens. The Data tab is home to a myriad of features that can help you manipulate your data in various ways, including sorting and filtering.

Step 3: Click on Sort

Click on the ‘Sort’ button in the ‘Sort & Filter’ group.

By clicking this button, you’re telling Excel that you want to sort your selected data. A dialogue box will appear with further options.

Step 4: Choose Sort Options

Choose your sorting preferences in the Sort dialogue box.

This is where you specify how you want to sort your data. You can sort by a single column or multiple columns, and choose the order in which you want the data to appear.

Step 5: Add Sort to Quick Access Toolbar

Right-click the ‘Sort’ button and select ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’.

The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar where you can add buttons for your most-used Excel features. By adding the sort button here, you can access it easily, no matter which tab you’re on.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a sort button readily available in the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of your Excel window. With just a click on this button, your data will be sorted according to your specified preferences. It’s straightforward, efficient, and a real time-saver!

Tips for Adding Sort Button in Excel

  • Always include the header row when selecting the range to sort, to prevent your headers from being jumbled into the data.
  • If you’re working with multiple sheets, remember that adding the sort button to the Quick Access Toolbar makes it available across all sheets.
  • Make sure your data doesn’t contain any merged cells, as this can cause issues with sorting.
  • Use the ‘Sort by Color’ or ‘Sort by Icon’ options if you’ve used cell formatting to highlight specific data points.
  • Familiarize yourself with ‘Custom Sort’ options to gain more control over how your data is organized.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my data is not sorting correctly?

Ensure that you have selected the correct column to sort by and that there are no blank rows or columns within your data range.

Can I sort by multiple columns?

Yes, you can. Simply add more levels in the Sort dialogue box to sort by additional columns.

How do I sort data in descending order?

In the Sort dialogue box, select the ‘Order’ drop-down menu and choose ‘Largest to Smallest’ or ‘Z to A’ depending on your data type.

Can I save my sort preferences?

While Excel doesn’t save sort preferences, you can create a macro to quickly apply your favorite sorting settings to any range.

Why is the sort button greyed out?

The sort button may be greyed out if your worksheet is protected or if you’re trying to sort a chart or an image. Make sure you’re working with sortable data.


  1. Select the data range to sort.
  2. Navigate to the Data tab.
  3. Click the ‘Sort’ button.
  4. Choose sorting preferences in the dialogue box.
  5. Add the sort button to the Quick Access Toolbar.


Excel is a powerhouse for data analysis and organization, and adding a sort button is just one of the many tools at your disposal. With the steps outlined above, you can streamline your workflow and make data management a breeze. Remember, the sort button isn’t the only feature you should be utilizing; Excel is filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. So don’t stop here – dive deeper, explore more, and transform the way you handle data. And if you ever get stuck, just remember that the sort button in Excel is there to make your life a whole lot easier.