3 x 3 Solution

Learn to solve the 3x3 Rubik's® Cube in 6 easy stages!

Watch all stages with these new animated video guides to help get you started.

Whether you complete all 6 stages or 1, be sure to tell your teacher about this program so all your classmates can solve with you! Teachers from all over the country use our program, at no cost, to teach their classes not only to solve, but math, art, science, and more. Hundreds of schools compete at solving cubes as a group and classes create really cool mosaic designs too. We even have ongoing mosaic contests each year. So check out our site and learn how you can do even more with a Rubik's® Cube!

3x3 Stage 1 - Get to Know Your Cube

Definitions of the Rubik's Cube pieces

Edge Pieces

Pieces with two (2) colors. There are twelve (12) edge pieces located in the middle rows.

Edge Pieces

Corner Pieces

Pieces with three (3) colors. There are eight (8) corner pieces located on the corners.

Corner Pieces

Center Pieces

Pieces with one color. There are six center pieces located in the center of each side, center pieces DO NOT MOVE and represent the color of their side.

Center piece colors are always opposite each other:

  • WHITE opposite YELLOW
  • ORANGE opposite RED
  • GREEN opposite BLUE
Center Pieces

Sides of the Cube

Each side of the cube is represented by a letter.

R = Right Face - Right side of the cube
L = Left Face - Left side of the cube
U = Up Face - Top side of the cube
D = Down Face - Bottom side of the cube
F = Front Face - Front side of the cube
B = Back Face - Back side of the cube

Twisting the Cube

A letter with an "i" after it means an inverted or counter-clockwise move when looking at the face directly.

Very Important!

When making the moves below, hold your cube full-face front with logo on top as shown. Dark grey on the pictures means the color does not matter. Each move is a 1/4 turn rotation.

Twisting the Cube

Video

Get to know your Rubik's Cube

This video provides a basic understanding of the Rubik’s cube and will set you up nicely for the rest of the video guides. This stuff is really important, so listen up and let’s get started.

3x3 Stage 2 - Solve the White Cross

Goal:

To make a WHITE Cross with Edge pieces matching the Center pieces.

Goal:

PART 1: Making the Daisy

  1. Hold the Cube with the YELLOW Center on the UP face.
  2. Find an Edge piece that has a WHITE tile.

3. Turn the face without the WHITE tile until the WHITE tile is in the UP face.

4. Repeat these steps until all 4 WHITE Edge pieces are on the UP face.

PART 1: Making the Daisy

Part 2: Making the WHITE Cross

  1. Pick one of the WHITE Edges.
  2. Turn the UP layer until the non-white tile on the Edge matches the Center tile. 
  3. Make 2 turns of that face (LEFT in this example). The WHITE tile will be on the DOWN face.

4. Repeat matching Edge to Center and making 2 turns for all 4 WHITE Edges.

5. Turn your Cube over to reveal your WHITE cross. It's ok if you have more WHITE pieces on the face with the WHITE Cross.

Congratulations!

If your Cube has a WHITE Cross that looks like this picture, you can move to Stage 3!

Share your success with your teacher and classmates so your whole class can get in on the fun!

Congratulations!

Video

Solving the White Cross

In this video we teach you the first step – creating a white cross on the white face of the cube. Once you can do this, there’s no stopping you, so pay attention.

3x3 Stage 3 - Solve the White Corners

Holding Your Cube

The WHITE cross is on UP face while you are solving the WHITE Corner pieces.

Holding Your Cube

Solving the WHITE Corners

  • Corner pieces will have one WHITE side plus 2 other colors
  • Rotate the DOWN (D) face until a corner is directly below its intended location by matching the colored tiles to the centers of the faces the corner is between. In these examples, the RED-BLUE-WHITE corner is between the RED and BLUE face. 

If your Cube looks like this, with the WHITE tile on the FRONT face:

If your Cube looks like this, with the WHITE tile on the RIGHT face:

If your Cube looks like this, with the WHITE tile on the DOWN face:

  • Repeat Stage 3 for all 4 Corners

Tip

If a Corner with a WHITE tile is in the UP face, move it to the BOTTOM layer.

Congratulations!

If your WHITE layer looks like the picture below, you have completed one third of the Cube and you can move to stage 4! Share your success with your teachers and classmates by printing out this page to give to your teacher.

Congratulations!

Video

Solve the White Corners

If you’ve made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back! This video teaches the next step – solving the white corners. There is a knack to it, but keep your cool - we take it one step at a time.

3x3 Stage 4 - Solve the Middle Layer

Holding Your Cube

With the COMPLETED WHITE LAYER on the BOTTOM, now you have to solve the middle layer, which means positioning the "edge pieces" in the correct place.

Holding Your Cube

Tips

  • Notice the vertical row of blue (this could be red, orange, green) - THIS IS CRITICAL!
  • Create a vertical line by rotating the top (U) face until the front color of the edge piece on the top (U) face without yellow on it matches a side center piece. The color on the edge piece's top (U) face will determine the direction the edge piece should move.

1. If you're moving the edge piece in the same direction as indicated here...

Stage 4 Move

... then follow the sequential moves pictured below:

Stage 4 Moves

2. If you're moving the edge piece in the same direction as indicated here ...

Stage 4 Moves

... then follow the sequential moves pictured below:

Stage 4 Moves

Continue these steps until all the edge pieces are in the correct position.

NOTE: If one of the edge pieces is already in the middle row, but in the wrong position, then do either one of the sequential moves, and it will move to the top layer. Then you can do the appropriate sequential moves to position it in the correct location of the middle layer.

Congratulations!

If your bottom two layers look like this picture, you can move to Stage 5. You are two thirds of the way done! Share your success with your teachers and classmates by printing out this page to give to your teacher.

Congratulations!

Video

Solving the middle later

Well done! You’re halfway there. The next stage of the solution is solving the middle layer. Take a deep breathe, you’re doing really well.

3x3 Stage 5 - Solve the Top Layer

Get the yellow cross

Holding Your Cube

  1. Match the yellow pattern on the top (U) face of your cube to one of the yellow patterns shown on the cubes below.
  2. Then follow the correct sequence.
Holding Your Cube

Tip

Yellow edge pieces on the top (U) face do NOT need to match on the side pieces... yet!

1st Step: Make a Yellow Cross

State 1.

Stage 5 - State 1

Proceed to the 2nd Step, below.

State 2.

Stage 5 - State 2

Then match the result to State 3 or 4, hold the cube to match that State and do that sequence.

State 3.

Stage 5 - State 3

State 4.

Stage 5 - State 4

2nd Step: Make All the Corners Yellow

NOW look at the top (U) face and match your top (U) face to one of the states below.

2nd Step: Make All the Corners Yellow

State 1. 

If No Corner Cubes are Yellow on the top (U) face, you must have Yellow Left Corner on Left Face as shown

Stage 5 Top U face

State 2.

If One Corner Cube is Yellow match your top (U) face as shown and do the sequence below.

Stage 5 Yellow Corner Cube

State 3. If any Two Corner Cubes are Yellow don't worry about their position. You MUST match the front (F) face with a yellow left corner as shown.

Stage 5 Yellow Left Corner

Do this sequence 1, 2 or 3 times to achieve a complete yellow top (U) face. After each sequence, orient the cube to REMATCH the top (U) face to the appropriate state and repeat the sequence until all corners are yellow.

Stage 5 Orient Cube

Congratulations!

If your cube looks like this picture, you can move to Stage 6! Share your success with your teachers and classmates by printing out this page to give to your teacher.

Congratulations!

Video

Solve the Top Face

You’re over the hump now! This video teaches you how to solve the yellow face. You can see the finish line now so keep your focus.

3x3 Stage 6 - Position the Yellow Corners

Position the Yellow Corners Correctly

Your goal for this stage:

Holding Your Cube

While holding your cube as shown, here:

Stage 6 Cube

NOW twist the top (U) face until at least 2 corners are in the right location. 2 Corners MUST be in the right location as A, B or A, D or B, C as shown, below. If all 4 corners are in the right place then proceed to the 2nd Step.

1st Step: Position yellow corners correctly

While holding your cube as shown above, look at the top (U) face. Place the 2 correct corners in the back A, B or diagonally A, D or B, C across from each other.

Stage 6 - Top U Face

If corners A and B are in the right place then switch C and D, do the sequence below:

Stage 6 - Sequence

If you need to switch diagonal corners like B and C or C and A, then do the sequence once. Then, orient the cube so the 2 correct corners are in the back and do the sequence again.

Congratulations!

If your cube looks like this picture, you can move to the 2nd Step

Congratulations!

2nd Step: Position the yellow edges correctly

Your goal for this step is:

2nd Step: Position the yellow edges correctly

Stage 6 - Top U Face 1

If 1 edge is correct and 3 edges are incorrect, orient the cube so the face with the correct edge is the back (B) face. Then, determine if the edge pieces need to move clockwise or counter-clockwise and do the correct sequence below.

Stage 6 - Top U Face 2

If all 4 edges are incorrect, then do either sequence below once, and then determine what direction the three edge pieces need to move and do the correct sequence below.

To cycle E F G Clockwise or E F G H Clockwise

Stage 6 - Sequence 2

 

To cycle E F G Counter-Clockwise or E F G H Counter-Clockwise

Stage 6 Sequence 3

Congratulations!

You have completed the Rubik's Cube! Share your success with your teachers and classmates by printing out this page to give to your teacher.

Congratulations!

Video

Solving the final layer

We’ve found a really simple way to teach the final solution stage. Take it as your own pace, there’s no rush! You almost have superhero status…

  • Stage 1 Know Your Cube

    3x3 Stage 1 - Get to Know Your Cube

    Definitions of the Rubik's Cube pieces

    Edge Pieces

    Pieces with two (2) colors. There are twelve (12) edge pieces located in the middle rows.

    Edge Pieces

    Corner Pieces

    Pieces with three (3) colors. There are eight (8) corner pieces located on the corners.

    Corner Pieces

    Center Pieces

    Pieces with one color. There are six center pieces located in the center of each side, center pieces DO NOT MOVE and represent the color of their side.

    Center piece colors are always opposite each other:

    • WHITE opposite YELLOW
    • ORANGE opposite RED
    • GREEN opposite BLUE
    Center Pieces

    Sides of the Cube

    Each side of the cube is represented by a letter.

    R = Right Face - Right side of the cube
    L = Left Face - Left side of the cube
    U = Up Face - Top side of the cube
    D = Down Face - Bottom side of the cube
    F = Front Face - Front side of the cube
    B = Back Face - Back side of the cube

    Twisting the Cube

    A letter with an "i" after it means an inverted or counter-clockwise move when looking at the face directly.

    Very Important!

    When making the moves below, hold your cube full-face front with logo on top as shown. Dark grey on the pictures means the color does not matter. Each move is a 1/4 turn rotation.

    Twisting the Cube
  • Stage 2 The White Cross

    3x3 Stage 2 - Solve the White Cross

    Goal:

    To make a WHITE Cross with Edge pieces matching the Center pieces.

    Goal:

    PART 1: Making the Daisy

    1. Hold the Cube with the YELLOW Center on the UP face.
    2. Find an Edge piece that has a WHITE tile.

    3. Turn the face without the WHITE tile until the WHITE tile is in the UP face.

    4. Repeat these steps until all 4 WHITE Edge pieces are on the UP face.

    PART 1: Making the Daisy

    Part 2: Making the WHITE Cross

    1. Pick one of the WHITE Edges.
    2. Turn the UP layer until the non-white tile on the Edge matches the Center tile. 
    3. Make 2 turns of that face (LEFT in this example). The WHITE tile will be on the DOWN face.

    4. Repeat matching Edge to Center and making 2 turns for all 4 WHITE Edges.

    5. Turn your Cube over to reveal your WHITE cross. It's ok if you have more WHITE pieces on the face with the WHITE Cross.

    Congratulations!

    If your Cube has a WHITE Cross that looks like this picture, you can move to Stage 3!

    Share your success with your teacher and classmates so your whole class can get in on the fun!

    Congratulations!
  • Stage 3 The White Corners

    3x3 Stage 3 - Solve the White Corners

    Holding Your Cube

    The WHITE cross is on UP face while you are solving the WHITE Corner pieces.

    Holding Your Cube

    Solving the WHITE Corners

    • Corner pieces will have one WHITE side plus 2 other colors
    • Rotate the DOWN (D) face until a corner is directly below its intended location by matching the colored tiles to the centers of the faces the corner is between. In these examples, the RED-BLUE-WHITE corner is between the RED and BLUE face. 

    If your Cube looks like this, with the WHITE tile on the FRONT face:

    If your Cube looks like this, with the WHITE tile on the RIGHT face:

    If your Cube looks like this, with the WHITE tile on the DOWN face:

    • Repeat Stage 3 for all 4 Corners

    Tip

    If a Corner with a WHITE tile is in the UP face, move it to the BOTTOM layer.

    Congratulations!

    If your WHITE layer looks like the picture below, you have completed one third of the Cube and you can move to stage 4! Share your success with your teachers and classmates by printing out this page to give to your teacher.

    Congratulations!
  • Stage 4 The Middle Layer

    3x3 Stage 4 - Solve the Middle Layer

    Holding Your Cube

    With the COMPLETED WHITE LAYER on the BOTTOM, now you have to solve the middle layer, which means positioning the "edge pieces" in the correct place.

    Holding Your Cube

    Tips

    • Notice the vertical row of blue (this could be red, orange, green) - THIS IS CRITICAL!
    • Create a vertical line by rotating the top (U) face until the front color of the edge piece on the top (U) face without yellow on it matches a side center piece. The color on the edge piece's top (U) face will determine the direction the edge piece should move.

    1. If you're moving the edge piece in the same direction as indicated here...

    Stage 4 Move

    ... then follow the sequential moves pictured below:

    Stage 4 Moves

    2. If you're moving the edge piece in the same direction as indicated here ...

    Stage 4 Moves

    ... then follow the sequential moves pictured below:

    Stage 4 Moves

    Continue these steps until all the edge pieces are in the correct position.

    NOTE: If one of the edge pieces is already in the middle row, but in the wrong position, then do either one of the sequential moves, and it will move to the top layer. Then you can do the appropriate sequential moves to position it in the correct location of the middle layer.

    Congratulations!

    If your bottom two layers look like this picture, you can move to Stage 5. You are two thirds of the way done! Share your success with your teachers and classmates by printing out this page to give to your teacher.

    Congratulations!
  • Stage 5 The Top Layer

    3x3 Stage 5 - Solve the Top Layer

    Get the yellow cross

    Holding Your Cube

    1. Match the yellow pattern on the top (U) face of your cube to one of the yellow patterns shown on the cubes below.
    2. Then follow the correct sequence.
    Holding Your Cube

    Tip

    Yellow edge pieces on the top (U) face do NOT need to match on the side pieces... yet!

    1st Step: Make a Yellow Cross

    State 1.

    Stage 5 - State 1

    Proceed to the 2nd Step, below.

    State 2.

    Stage 5 - State 2

    Then match the result to State 3 or 4, hold the cube to match that State and do that sequence.

    State 3.

    Stage 5 - State 3

    State 4.

    Stage 5 - State 4

    2nd Step: Make All the Corners Yellow

    NOW look at the top (U) face and match your top (U) face to one of the states below.

    2nd Step: Make All the Corners Yellow

    State 1. 

    If No Corner Cubes are Yellow on the top (U) face, you must have Yellow Left Corner on Left Face as shown

    Stage 5 Top U face

    State 2.

    If One Corner Cube is Yellow match your top (U) face as shown and do the sequence below.

    Stage 5 Yellow Corner Cube

    State 3. If any Two Corner Cubes are Yellow don't worry about their position. You MUST match the front (F) face with a yellow left corner as shown.

    Stage 5 Yellow Left Corner

    Do this sequence 1, 2 or 3 times to achieve a complete yellow top (U) face. After each sequence, orient the cube to REMATCH the top (U) face to the appropriate state and repeat the sequence until all corners are yellow.

    Stage 5 Orient Cube

    Congratulations!

    If your cube looks like this picture, you can move to Stage 6! Share your success with your teachers and classmates by printing out this page to give to your teacher.

    Congratulations!
  • Stage 6 The Yellow Corners

    3x3 Stage 6 - Position the Yellow Corners

    Position the Yellow Corners Correctly

    Your goal for this stage:

    Holding Your Cube

    While holding your cube as shown, here:

    Stage 6 Cube

    NOW twist the top (U) face until at least 2 corners are in the right location. 2 Corners MUST be in the right location as A, B or A, D or B, C as shown, below. If all 4 corners are in the right place then proceed to the 2nd Step.

    1st Step: Position yellow corners correctly

    While holding your cube as shown above, look at the top (U) face. Place the 2 correct corners in the back A, B or diagonally A, D or B, C across from each other.

    Stage 6 - Top U Face

    If corners A and B are in the right place then switch C and D, do the sequence below:

    Stage 6 - Sequence

    If you need to switch diagonal corners like B and C or C and A, then do the sequence once. Then, orient the cube so the 2 correct corners are in the back and do the sequence again.

    Congratulations!

    If your cube looks like this picture, you can move to the 2nd Step

    Congratulations!

    2nd Step: Position the yellow edges correctly

    Your goal for this step is:

    2nd Step: Position the yellow edges correctly

    Stage 6 - Top U Face 1

    If 1 edge is correct and 3 edges are incorrect, orient the cube so the face with the correct edge is the back (B) face. Then, determine if the edge pieces need to move clockwise or counter-clockwise and do the correct sequence below.

    Stage 6 - Top U Face 2

    If all 4 edges are incorrect, then do either sequence below once, and then determine what direction the three edge pieces need to move and do the correct sequence below.

    To cycle E F G Clockwise or E F G H Clockwise

    Stage 6 - Sequence 2

     

    To cycle E F G Counter-Clockwise or E F G H Counter-Clockwise

    Stage 6 Sequence 3

    Congratulations!

    You have completed the Rubik's Cube! Share your success with your teachers and classmates by printing out this page to give to your teacher.

    Congratulations!