Learn to solve

About this guide

Solving a Rubik's Cube can look difficult, and people tend to think it's just for mathematical geniuses, but that's not the case! Everyone can learn how to solve, all you need is a cube, some time, and a little patience.

This guide teaches how to solve a 3x3 Rubik's Cube in a simple way aimed towards beginners. The method has been chosen to be easy to learn, while also being a good foundation if you want to learn more advanced methods to get faster in the future.
This beginner method is based on the method CFOP, which is the by far most popular speedcubing method. Should you later want to get faster, you can therefore easily build on this method in your own pace, and you don't have to start over.

All moves and algorithms are written using the notation used for scrambling in competitions. To follow the guide you need to be familiar with the notation.
Read about the notation, moves, algorithms, and the animation boxes through the link below.

At the bottom of the page, you can send us feedback and questions about the guide. You are more than welcome to use this, so that the guide can get better over time!

First layer

The first step to solving the cube is to solve the first layer, like in the image on the right. The first layer is usually done in two steps, first a cross made of 4 edge pieces, then completing the layer with 4 corner pieces.

The first layer is usually done on the bottom of the cube. Some color will always have at least some piece already solved, get used to always starting with the color with the best starting case (i.e. not starting with the same color on every solve).

A good exercise and fun challenge is to try and solve as much as possible of the first without instructions, to get to know the cube and how it works. If you get stuck there are some tips further down.

A good exercise is to make a cross of four edge pieces of one color (image to the left below), then a diagonal cross of four corner pieces of another color (image to the right below). When you are confident with both, try to combine the two steps to make a solved layer.

Tips for the first layer


See the animations below for tips on how to get different edge pieces into the cross without destroying other cross pieces.
Make sure to also match the center pieces on the sides! All 4 cross pieces are not the same, they have to be in their correct spots in relation to the other sides.


See the animations below for tips on how to insert corner pieces without destroying the cross.
Here you also need to make sure that the corners end up in their correct spots, and match both the colors on the bottom and on the other two sides adjacent to the corner piece.

Second layer

The second (middle) layer consists of 4 edge pieces that need to be put in place. To do this, there are two algorithms. Flip the cube so that the first solved layer is on the bottom. Then, locate an edge piece in the top layer that needs to be moved to the middle layer. Rotate the top layer so that the piece matches with a center piece in the middle layer (see figures below). Hold the side where the edge matches the center towards you, and look if the piece needs to be moved down to the left, or down to the right.

If it should move down to the left, use the algorithm:

U’ L’ U L – U F U’ F’

If instead it should be moved down to the right, use the algorithm:

U R U’ R’ – U’ F’ U F

Repeat this until all 4 edge pieces are in their correct spots in the middle layer.

Sometimes, all 4 edge pieces may already be in the middle layer, but placed incorrectly (i.e. needing to switch place with one another, or just being flipped in place). In that case, move a different edge piece from the top layer to a spot in the middle layer (using the same method as above), so that an edge piece is released into the top layer and can be moved down to its correct spot.

Cross on the last layer

Now it's time to make a cross on the last layer!

You only need one algorithm, but you might need to apply it several times, depending on the case you get.
If you look at the center piece on the top layer, and the edge pieces with the same color (ignoring the corners), they either form a dot, an L, a line, or a cross.

Look at the images below to see which orientation to hold the cube. If for example you have the line, it should be held horizontally, not vertically.
Then perform the algorithm to move on the the next case.

If you had the dot case you will need to apply the algorithm 3 times, but if you get the line it only takes 1, and so on.

The algorithm is:

F – R U R’ U’ – F’

Orienting the corners on the last layer

The corners on the last layer ar solved in a similar way as the cross, but with a different algorithm and more cases.
Start by looking at the images below and find you case to find out which orientation to hold the cube.

The algorithm is:

R U R’ U R U2 R’

Again, you might need to apply the algorithm up to 3 times.

Permuting the corners on the last layer

Now it's time to permute the corners, i.e. putting them in their correct positions.
First, you need to check if you have headlights on any side. To check that, look at the top of the front, right, back, and left sides, and see if the two corners on any side have the same color (see image).

The algorithm is:

R’ F R’ B2 – R F’ R’ B2 – R2

  • If you don't have any headlights, you can hold the cube in any orientation (with the last layer on top), and apply the algorithm. Then you should have headlights on one side.
  • If you have headlights on one side, hold the cube so that the headlights are on the back, and apply the algorithm. Then, you should have headlights on all 4 sides.
  • If you have headlights on all 4 sides, you are done with this step. Turn the top layer so that each pair of headlights match the side with their corresponding color, and move on to the next step.

Permuting the edges on the last layer

The last step is to permute the edges, i.e. moving the last 4 pieces around until they are solved.

  • If none of the 4 pieces are solved, hold the cube in any orientation (last layer on top), and apply the algorithm. Then, one piece should be solved.
  • If one piece is solved, hold that piece on the backside as in the image below, and execute the algorithm. You may need to do it twice.

The algorithm is:

R U’ – R U – R U – R U’ – R’ U’ R2

Feedback and questions

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