Turning Off Automatic Sorting in PivotTables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 7, 2022)

When Katara creates a PivotTable, Excel automatically sorts the data that appears in the PivotTable. She would rather not have the data sorted at all—it is just fine in the data range on which she's basing the PivotTable. Katara wonders if there is any way to turn off the automatic sorting.

Automatic sorting can be turned off by taking advantage of a setting that is (honestly) not that easy to find. Follow these steps:

  1. Create your PivotTable as you normally would.
  2. Click the down-arrow at the right of the Column Labels cell or the Row Labels cell, depending on whether you want to affect column or row sorting. Excel displays some options.
  3. Choose More Sort Options. Excel displays the Sort dialog box.
  4. At the bottom left of the dialog box click More Options. Excel displays the More Sort Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The More Sort Options dialog box.

  6. Clear the first checkbox in the dialog box (Sort Automatically Every Time the Report is Updated).
  7. Click OK to dismiss the More Sort Options dialog box. Excel again displays the Sort dialog box.
  8. Click OK to dismiss the Sort dialog box.

If you would like to explore additional PivotTable sorting capabilities, you might find this web page, by Debra Dalgleish, to be helpful:


ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12880) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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