How To Solve A Rubik's Cube

This is the easiest solution. You only have to learn 6 moves!

Don't worry, this is not cheating. 99.9% can't solve the Rubik's Cube without help ;)

Warning
Brain activity required!

Scroll down to find out more!

The Easiest Method

We will learn this step by step:

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1
Experiment

Play with your cube and get familiar with it. Try to solve the white face without reading this tutorial.

analize
2
Notation

Learn the letters which are used to mark the rotations of the faces to describe the algorithms.

Notation
3
The Solution

We divide the Rubik's Cube into 7 layers and solve each group not messing up the solved pieces.

solution
4
Practice

Practice the moves, memorize the algorithms until you can solve the Rubik's Cube without help.

ractice
Keep scrolling down!

Discover the Rubik's Cube

Spend some time playing with the puzzle to familiarize with it before you read this solution tutorial and see how far you can get without help. Most people can solve one face after spending some time with the cube.


A few things you might notice:

 

Fixed Center Pieces
Fixed Center Pieces

Notice that no matter what kind of face rotation you do, the center pieces always stay in the same position. They determine the color of each face.

corners edges
Edges And Corners

Beside the fixed center pieces the cube is composed of 8 corner pieces with 3 stickers and 12 edge pieces with two stickers.

too many cases
Too Many Cases

There are so many possible configurations (over 43 quintillion) that it would be impossible to solve it by randomly turning the faces until it's all done.

strategy
The Strategy

It's hard not to break the solved pieces while fixing new ones. We need to divide the cube into layers and use algorithms in each step which don't break the finished parts.

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Notation Of The Rubik's Cube

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The Letters In The Algorithms

We've marked the six faces of the cube with the initials of their names.

rubiks cube notation

FFront RRight
UUp LLeft

We are not going to use the D (down) and B (back) faces in this tutorial.

A letter by itself means a clockwise rotation of the face while a counterclockwise turn is marked with an apostrophe.

U Quarter clockwise turn on the Up face (90°).
F' Front face counterclockwise turn.
R2 Double rotation on the Right face.

Click the buttons to see the animated rotations in action.

Clockwise face rotations:
U
L
F
R
B
D
Counterclockwise face rotations:
U'
L'
F'
R'
B'
D'
And now we're prepared to learn the solution!

1. Solve the white edges

We start by solving the white edge pieces. Of course you can start with any other color but in this solution guide we're going to use the white for a reference.

white edge cross

We already know that the center pieces are fixed and they define the color of each face. This is why we have to solve the white edges according to the color of the center piecess as illustrated above.

Solving the white edges is intuitive and quite easy because at this stage there are no solved pieces that we can break. In most cases you can just simply rotate each piece where they are supposed to be.

Here are a few examples which require a few extra moves.

white edge oriented wrong
F R' D' R F2

Apply this short algorithm when the piece is in the right spot (FU edge), but it's oriented wrong.

white edges white orange bottom layer
F' R' D' R F2

Do this when you can't simply just turn the front edge to its spot because it would be oriented wrong.

white edge in middle layer
R' D' R F2

The algorithm to solve the white edge when it's oriented wrong in the middle layer.

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2. Solve the white corners

The white edges are solved and we have to fix the white corners to complete the first face.

solved white face corners

This is another easy stage where you shouldn't memorize any algorithm just follow your instincts. If you have difficulties solving the white corners, here's an easy trick you can always apply, you just have to memorize a short algorithm and repeat it until the piece is solved:

R' D' R D

Bring the corner below the spot where it belongs (Front-Right-Down position highlighted with grey) and repeat the algorithm above until the white corner pops into its place oriented correctly. This algorithm sends the piece back and forth between the spots marked with dark, always changing the orientation.

solved white face corners

At the end of this step our cube should have a solid white face.

This trick always works but requires too many unnecessary steps. Here are the shortcuts:

white corner
F D F'
white corner
R' D2 R D R' D' R
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3. Middle Layer

Now that we've finished the white face, let's turn the cube upside down because we don't need to see the solved side anymore.

The solution was easy and intuitive until this point but this is where most people get stuck because the algorithm used to solve the second layer needs too many steps to foresee.

We have to learn two algorithms which are symmetric to each other. The right algorithm sends the edge piece from the Front-Up position to Front-Right while the left algorithm sends the piece to the Front-Left as marked with the arrows.

 

Left

f2l left

U' L' U L U F U' F'

Right

solution second layer right algorithm

U R U' R' U' F' U F

Wrong orientation

solution f2l middle layer

When there's no edge piece to insert into the middle layer you will have to execute the algorithm twice to pop the piece out in the first step. For example, when the edge is on its place but turned incorrectly:

U R U' R' U' F' U F - U2 - U R U' R' U' F' U F
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4. Top Cross

In the fourth step we want to form a yellow cross on the top of the cube. Don't worry if the side colors don't match the side centers because we will send the pieces to their final positions in the next step.

 

top yellow cross

In this step, when all other edge pieces are solved, except the yellow ones you can have these patterns on the top of your cube. Use the algorithm to transform to the next state until you reach the cross.

F R U R' U' F'
  • Dot – we have to apply the formula three times when all top edges are oriented wrong and there are no yellow stickers around the center. Make sure you reorient the cube in your hands after the first stage because the "L"-shape will be upside down.
  • "L"-shape – You're two algorithms away from the target. Make sure the yellow edges are located on the left and back positions as illustrated.
    (There's a shortcut which jumps from the "L"-shape to the cross in one step, reducing the solution time: F U R U' R' F').
  • Line – Perform the algorithm once holding the line horizontally and you're done.
  • Cross – The cross is complete, you can go to the next level!

 

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5. Swap Last Layer Edges

We have the cross on the top but the sides of the yellow edges don't match the side colors yet. We need to put them in their final destinations.

To sort this out we use an algorithm which swaps the Front-Up and the Left-Up adjacent edges marked with the arrow.

R U R' U R U2 R' U

solution how to solve the rubiks cube yellow edges

In some cases two opposite pieces have to be swapped which needs to be done in two steps.
Perform the algorithm once, then rotate the cube to make sure you are changing the right pieces in the second round.

 

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6. Position Last Layer Corners

We have almost finished solving our Rubik's Cube. Only the yellow corners remained which we are going to sort out in two steps. First we have to relocate them and we'll orient them in the next step.

rubiks cube solution tutorial

U R U' L' U R' U' L

This trick cycles the corners marked with the numbers on the image above, while the Front-Right-Up corner, marked with "OK" stays in place.

When you reach this point in the solution look for a corner piece which is in the right place. If you found one then reorient the cube in your hands so it is on the OK position and perform the formula. In some cases you have to apply it twice.

If there's no yellow corner on the right spot then do the algorithm to reorganize the corners and then look around again because there must be one this time.

An interesting fact is that in this step the number of pieces in the right spot can only be 0, 1 or 4.

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7. Orient last layer corners

In the last step every piece is where it's supposed to be, but the yellow corners are oriented wrong.
To complete our cube we will use the same algorithm we used to solve the first layer corners but with a little trick:

R' D' R D

solution of rubiks cube fix corners

Start by holding the cube in your hand having a misaligned yellow corner in the highlighted Front-Right-Up spot (see image). Repeat the R' D' R D algorithm until this piece is on its place with the yellow sticker up.

Turning only the Up face, move another wrong yellow corner to the highlighted spot and repeat the R' D' R D algorithm until that yellow piece is oriented correctly.

Move other misaligned yellow corners to the marked spot one by one and do the formula until all corners are solved.

The puzzle might seem to be scrambled between the moves but don't worry because everything will come together when all yellow corners are oriented properly.

The example below demonstrates a case when all corners are oriented the wrong way. It moves the yellow corners one by one to the Front-Right-Up space and performs the (R' D' R D) until they're all fixed.

Press the Play button to see the animation:

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Summary

Here are all moves together to help you practice.

How to solve your Rubik's Cube

Notation

how to solve the rubiks cube cheat sheet

Front, Right, Up, Left
L – Left clockwise
F' – Front inverted

1,2. White Face

Cross, then corners.

3. Middle layer

Right: U R U' R' U' F' U F
Left: U' L' U L U F U' F'
rubix solution guide left right

4. Top Cross

rubiks solver cross
F R U R' U' F'

5. Swap Top Edges

rubik cube solve swap edge
R U R' U R U2 R' U

6. Position Top Corners

rubik cube solve swap edge
U R U' L' U R' U' L

7. Orient Top Corners

how to solve the rubiks cube cheat sheet
Move the misaligned yellow corners one by one to the highlighted position rotating the top layer and do R' D' R D until the current piece is solved.

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Useful links

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Rubik's Cube Solver
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If this tutorial didn't help try the online solver!
Let the program calculate the solution in 20 steps.

Input the colors of the scrambled puzzle, hit the solve button and follow the instructions.

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