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.

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

3x3 Stage 2 - Solve the White Cross

Holding Your Cube

Holding your cube with the white center pice on the top (U) face, you must create a white cross as shown below. Much of this level is achieved with practice and by trial and error... but we do have some tips!

Holding Your Cube

Tips

  • Be sure to solve the sections of the white cross in the following order - blue, orange, green, red.
  • Notice the EDGE PIECE COLORS, above, match the top white center piece and the side red and blue center pieces. This is how we know the edge pieces are in the correct positions.
  • Keeping the white center piece on top, move the blue/white edge piece to the bottom (D) face, then rotate it on the bottom until it is directly under the blue center piece.
  • Now hold your cube so the blue center piece and blue/white edge piece are on the right (R) face.

Rotate Right

  • Rotate the right (R) face until the blue/white edge piece is on the top (U) face and above the blue center piece
  • If your cube looks like this, hold your cube so the orange center piece is on the right (R) face and start solving the side with the orange center piece the same way as stated above.

R Face

  • If your cube looks like this:

... do this sequence, making sure the blue center piece is on the right (R) face.

Congratulations!

If your cube has a white cross that looks like this picture, you can move to Stage 3!

Congratulations!

3x3 Stage 3 - Solve the White Corners

Holding Your Cube

With the white cross on top (U) face you must solve the white corner pieces.

Holding Your Cube

Tips

  • Corner pieces will have one white side plus 2 other colors
  • If the corner piece is already on the bottom (D) face, then rotate the bottom (D) face until the corner is directly below its intended location.
  • Once in that position, your cube may look like any one of the three pictures below.

  • THEN do the sequence below 1x, 2x or 3x or UNTIL it is in the correct position

  • Repeat this process for all four corners
  • If the corner piece is on the top (U) face, move it to the bottom (D) face by doing this.
  • NOW rotate the bottom (D) face UNTIL the corner is directly below its intended top (U) face location.

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!

Congratulations!

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!

Congratulations!

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!

Congratulations!

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!

Congratulations!
  • 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

    Holding Your Cube

    Holding your cube with the white center pice on the top (U) face, you must create a white cross as shown below. Much of this level is achieved with practice and by trial and error... but we do have some tips!

    Holding Your Cube

    Tips

    • Be sure to solve the sections of the white cross in the following order - blue, orange, green, red.
    • Notice the EDGE PIECE COLORS, above, match the top white center piece and the side red and blue center pieces. This is how we know the edge pieces are in the correct positions.
    • Keeping the white center piece on top, move the blue/white edge piece to the bottom (D) face, then rotate it on the bottom until it is directly under the blue center piece.
    • Now hold your cube so the blue center piece and blue/white edge piece are on the right (R) face.

    Rotate Right

    • Rotate the right (R) face until the blue/white edge piece is on the top (U) face and above the blue center piece
    • If your cube looks like this, hold your cube so the orange center piece is on the right (R) face and start solving the side with the orange center piece the same way as stated above.

    R Face

    • If your cube looks like this:

    ... do this sequence, making sure the blue center piece is on the right (R) face.

    Congratulations!

    If your cube has a white cross that looks like this picture, you can move to Stage 3!

    Congratulations!
  • Stage 3 The White Corners

    3x3 Stage 3 - Solve the White Corners

    Holding Your Cube

    With the white cross on top (U) face you must solve the white corner pieces.

    Holding Your Cube

    Tips

    • Corner pieces will have one white side plus 2 other colors
    • If the corner piece is already on the bottom (D) face, then rotate the bottom (D) face until the corner is directly below its intended location.
    • Once in that position, your cube may look like any one of the three pictures below.

    • THEN do the sequence below 1x, 2x or 3x or UNTIL it is in the correct position

    • Repeat this process for all four corners
    • If the corner piece is on the top (U) face, move it to the bottom (D) face by doing this.
    • NOW rotate the bottom (D) face UNTIL the corner is directly below its intended top (U) face location.

    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!

    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!

    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!

    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!

    Congratulations!