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How to sort by multiple columns or criteria in Outlook?

Author: Kelly Last Modified: 2014-11-29

It’s quite easy to sort emails, appointments, contacts, or tasks with clicking one of column headers in Outlook. But can you sort by two or more columns simultaneously? And what if sorting by multiple criteria that don’t show as columns in the folder view? In this article, I will show you two methods to sort by multiple columns or criteria in Outlook.

Sort by multiple columns with hotkeys

Sort by multiple columns or criteria with configuring view settings

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arrow blue right bubbleSort by multiple columns with hotkeys

We can quickly sort emails, appointments, contacts, or tasks by multiple columns with hotkeys as following:

Step 1: Open the folder where you will sort by multiple columns, and turn off the Reading Pane with clicking the Reading Pane > Off on the View tab in Outlook 2010 and 2013.

Note: In Outlook 2007, you need to click the View > Reading Pane > Off.

Step 2: Holding the Shift key, click the column headers one by one which you will sort by.

Note: You can specify no more than four sorting levers in Outlook.


arrow blue right bubbleSort by multiple columns or criteria with configuring view settings

The first method can’t sort by criteria not showing as column in the folder view, and it also can’t show you the sorting levers clearly. To solve both problems, you can sort emails, appointments, contacts, or tasks by multiple criteria with configuring the view settings of current folder in Outlook.

Step 1: Open the folder where you will sort by multiple criteria.

Step 2: Click the View Settings button on the View tab in Outlook 2010 and 2013.

Note: In Outlook 2007, you need to click the View > Current View > Customize Current View.

Step 3: In the coming Advanced View Settings/Customize View dialog box, click the Sort button.

Step 4: Now in the Sort dialog box, specify the sorting criteria in the Sort items by box and Then by boxes successively.

For example, it requires to sort emails by Importance, Attachment, From successively, you can:

(1) Click the Sort items by box and specify the Importance from the drop down list;

(2) Click the first Then by box and specify the Attachment from the drop down list;

(3) Click the second Then By box and specify the From from the drop down list.

(4) Click the OK button.

Step 5: Click the OK button in the Advanced View Settings/Customize View dialog box.

Then all items in the opening folder are sorted by the specified criteria in the proper sorting priority.


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