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This is a beginners' guide to solving the Rubik's cube layerbylayer. It is relatively easy to understand, compared to other methods, and it minimizes the need to memorize long sequences of moves. Practicing this method prepares you for a smooth transition to the Fridrich speed cubing method, which consistently produces times under 20 seconds in competition. With enough patience and determination, you too can conquer Erno Rubik's infuriating puzzle. Good luck!
Steps
Part 1
Part 1 of 5:How to Learn the Terms
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1Name the three types of piece. There are three types of piece on the Rubik's cube, based on their position in the cube:^{[1] X Research source }
 Center pieces are located in the center of each face, surrounded by eight other pieces. They have only one visible face, and do not move.
 Corner pieces are located at the corners of the cube. Each one has three visible faces.
 Edge pieces are located between the corner pieces. Each one has two visible faces.
 Note — Pieces can never switch to a different type. A corner piece will always be at a corner.

2Learn how to talk about the six faces. The Rubik's cube has six faces (sides), each with a different color center. For example, the "red face" is the face with a red center, even if the other red pieces are somewhere else. However, it's often more useful to talk about the faces based on where they are in relation to the face you're looking at. Here are the terms this guide will use:^{[2] X Research source }
 F (Front) — Hold the cube up at eye level. You're looking directly at the Front face.
 B (Back) — The face directly opposite you (not visible).
 U (Upper) — Facing up, toward the ceiling
 D (Down) — Facing down, toward the floor
 R (Right) — Facing to your right
 L (Left) — Facing to your left
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3Understand clockwise and counterclockwise rotation. The terms "clockwise" and "counterclockwise" always assume you are looking directly at the face you are working on. With this in mind, a oneletter instruction (such as L) means to rotate that face clockwise 90º (one quarter turn). One letter plus an apostrophe (such as L') means to rotate that face counterclockwise 90º. Here are a few examples:^{[3] X Research source }
 F' tells you to rotate the Front face counterclockwise.
 R tells you to rotate the Right face clockwise. This means rotating the Right face away from you. (To see why this is true, start turning the Front face clockwise, then move the cube so this becomes the Right face.)
 L tells you to rotate the Left face clockwise. This means rotating the Left face toward you.
 U' tells you to rotate the Upper face counterclockwise, from the ceiling's perspective. This means rotating it toward you.
 B instructs you to rotate the back face clockwise, from the back wall's perspective. Be careful not to get confused, as this looks like counterclockwise from the Front perspective.

4Add the number 2 to repeat the instruction. The number "2" after an instruction means you have to turn the face 180º instead of 90º. For example, D2 means rotate the down face 180º (two quarter turns).^{[4] X Research source }
 There's no need to specify clockwise or counterclockwise for these turns. Either way you'll end up in the same position.

5Refer to a specific piece of the cube. The instructions will also refer to a specific pieces on the Rubik's cube. To do this, it lists each face the pieces is a part of.Here are a few examples:
 BD = the edge piece that belongs to the Back and Down faces.
 UFR = The corner piece with one square each on the Upper, Front, and right faces.
 Note — if the instructions are referring to a square (a single colored sticker), the first letter tells you which face the square is found on. For example:
 The LFD square → Find the corner piece that is part of the Left, Front, and Down faces. On this piece, identify the square on the Left face (since this is the first letter).
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Part 2
Part 2 of 5:How to Solve the Upper Face
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1Turn the cube so the white center is on the U face. It will stay in this position until noted otherwise. The goal of this section is to put the white edge pieces around the white center, so it forms a '+ sign' or cross on the white face.^{[5] X Research source }
 These instructions assume you have a standard Rubik's cube, with the white face opposite the yellow face. If you have an older Rubik's cube, these instructions will be difficult to follow.
 Do not move the white center off of the Upper face. This is the most common mistake in this section.

2Move white edges to the upper face to form a cross. There are so many possible starting configurations that it is not possible to give a stepbystep method for this process, but this process should help you get there:^{[6] X Research source }
 If there's a white edge square in the bottom row of the R or L face, rotate that face once to bring the white square to the top row. Continue to the next bullet point.
 If there's a white edge square in the middle row of the R or L face, rotate either the F or B side, whichever is next to the white square. Rotate until the white square is in the Down face. Continue to the next bullet point.
 If there's a white edge square on the Down face, rotate the Down face until the white square is directly opposite an empty (nonwhite) edge space in the Upper face. Turn the entire cube so that "empty space" is located at UF (Upper face, next to Front face). Rotate F2 (forward 180º) to bring the white square into that UF position.
 Repeat for each white edge square, until they are all on the upper face.

3Extend the cross down to the corners. Take a look at the upper edge pieces on the F, R, B, and L faces. You want each one to extend down to a center of the same color. For example, if the edge square FU (front face, next to upper face) is orange, then the F center square should also be orange. Here's how to accomplish this for all four of these faces:^{[7] X Research source }
 Rotate the U face until at least two of these faces have matching center and upper edge. (If all four match, skip the rest of this step.)
 Turn the whole cube so one of the incorrect edges is on the F face (and the white cross is still on the U face).
 Rotate F2 and confirm that one white edge is now on the D face. Check the other color on the same piece (position FD). For this example, this square is red.
 Rotate the D face until the red square is directly beneath the red center.
 Rotate the red face 180º degrees. The white edge should return to the U face.
 Check the D face for a new white edge square. Again, look for the other color attached to the same piece. For this example, this is green.
 Rotate the D face until the green square is directly beneath the green center.
 Rotate the green face 180º. The white cross should now be back on the U face. The F, R, B, and L faces should all have a matching center piece and upper edge.

4Bring a white corner to the white face. This gets tricky, so read these instructions carefully. By the end of this step, your white face should have a white corner in addition to the white center and edges.^{[8] X Research source }
 Find a corner piece on the D face that includes white. The corner piece should have squares of three colors, which this article will call white, X, and Y. (At this point, the white face may not necessarily be on the D face.)
 Rotate the D face until the white/X/Y corner piece is between the X and Y faces. (Remember, the "X face" is the face with X as its center piece.)
 Turn the entire cube so the white/X/Y corner piece is in the DFR position, but don't worry about the exact position of each color on this piece. The F and R center squares should match the colors X and Y. Note that the Upper face is still white.
 From here there are three possibilities for the corner piece:
 If the white square is on the Front face (FRD position), apply F D F'.
 If the white square is on the Right face (RFD position), apply R' D' R.
 If the white square is on the Down face (DFR position), apply F D2 F' D' F D F'.

5Repeat with the remaining corners. Use the same process to bring the three other white corners to the white face. At the end of this step, you should have a completely white Upper face. The F, R, B, and L faces should all have an upper row of three squares that match the center color.^{[9] X Research source }
 Sometimes, a white corner happens to already be in the U (white) face, but in the wrong position, so the other two squares do not match the center on the same face. If this happens, turn the cube so that corner is in the UFR position, then apply F D F'. Now the white square is in the D face, and you can move it to the right position as described above.
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Part 3
Part 3 of 5:How to Complete the Middle Layer
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1Find an edge piece in the D face that does not have yellow in it. The white face is still in the Upper position, and the incomplete yellow face is in the Down position. Check the D face and find an edge piece that does not have any yellow on it. Make a note of the two colors on this edge piece:^{[10] X Research source }
 The color on the D face is color X.
 The other color on the same piece is color Y.
 This must be an edge piece. Do not start with a corner piece.

2Turn the whole cube until the X center is the Front face. Turn the entire cube on its vertical axis (as a globe would spin). Stop when the face with a center square of color X is the new Front face.
 The U and D faces should stay the same during this movement.

3Rotate the D face. Rotate the D face in either direction, until the X/Y edge piece is in the DB position. X should be on the D face, and Y should be on the B face.^{[11] X Research source }

4Adjust the cube depending on the position of color Y. The exact move necessary depends on where the center with color Y is located:^{[12] X Research source }
 If color Y matches the center of the R face, apply F D F' D' R' D' R.
 If color Y matches the center of the L face, apply F' D' F D L D L'.

5Repeat this step until the top two layers are finished. Find a new edge piece on the D face with no yellow squares. (If you can't find one, go to the next step.) Repeat the above steps in this section to move it to the correct position. Once you're finished, the F, R, B, and L faces should each have matching top and middle rows.^{[13] X Research source }

6Make adjustments if all of the D edge pieces include yellow. Make sure you've checked all four edge pieces on the D face. Each one has two colored squares, and both squares must not be yellow for the steps in this section to work. If none of the edge pieces match this description (and the top two layers aren't finished yet), make the following adjustments:^{[14] X Research source }
 Pick an edge piece that does contain yellow.
 Rotate the whole cube so this edge piece is in the FR position. The white face should still be on top. (Do not change any faces; just turn the entire cube.)
 Apply F D F' D' R' D' R.
 Now you should have a nonyellow edge piece on the D face. Go back to the start of this section and repeat the instructions for that edge piece.
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Part 4
Part 4 of 5:How to Complete the Yellow Face
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1Turn the cube so the U face has a yellow center. The cube will remain in this position until the cube is solved.^{[15] X Research source }

2Make a plus sign on the yellow face. Note the number of yellow edges on the U face. (Remember, corners are not edge pieces). From here there are four possibilities:^{[16] X Research source }
 If there are exactly two opposite yellow edges on the U face: Rotate the U face until the two edges are in the UL and UR positions. Apply B L U L' U' B'.
 If there are exactly two adjacent yellow pieces, UF and UR (like an arrow pointing to back left): Apply B U L U' L' B'.
 If there are no yellow edges: Apply either one of the above move sequences. This should bring two yellow edges to the top. Use one of the sequences above again, depending on where the edges are located.
 If there are four edges: You're done creating the yellow cross. Go to the next step.

3Bring a yellow corner to the upper face. Turn the whole cube until the blue face is in Front, and the yellow face is still the Upper face. Move the yellow corners in place as follows:
 Rotate the U face until the UFR corner piece does not have yellow on the Upper face.
 There are two possibilities for the corner:
 If this corner piece has yellow on the F face, apply F D F' D' F D F' D'.
 If this piece has yellow on the R face, apply D F D' F' D F D' F'.
 Note: At this point, the cube is going to look screwed up. Don't worry. It will fix itself later.

4Repeat with the remaining yellow corners. Keeping blue as your Front face, rotate the U face to bring another corner to the UFR position. Repeat the step above to move the yellow to the Upper face. Repeat until the entire Upper face is yellow.^{[17] X Research source }Advertisement
Part 5
Part 5 of 5:How to Finish the Puzzle
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1Rotate the U face until exactly one edge piece matches the color of the center it touches. For example, if the F face has a blue center, rotate the U face until the square above the blue center is also blue. You must have exactly one edge pieces that matches the center, not two or three.^{[18] X Research source }
 If all four edge pieces line up with the matching center: line them up and skip down to "Complete the Cube."
 If this is not possible: apply R2 D' R' L F2 L' R U2 D R2 and try again.

2Position the remaining edge pieces. Once you've lined up exactly 1 of the 4 edge pieces, adjust the cube as follows:^{[19] X Research source }
 Turn the cube so this matching edge is on the Left face.
 Check whether square FU matches the R center:
 If it does, apply R2 D' R' L F2 L' R U2 D R2 and move on to the next step. The cube should now be finished except for the corners.
 If it doesn't, apply U2 and turn the whole cube as though it were a globe, so the F face becomes the R face. Apply R2 D' R' L F2 L' R U2 D R2.

3Complete the cube. Now we only have the corners to go:^{[20] X Research source }
 If you have a corner in the correct position, move down to the next bullet point. If none of the corners are in the correct position, apply L2 B2 L' F' L B2 L' F L'. Repeat until you have a corner in the correct position.
 Rotate the cube so the correct corner is in the FUR position, and the FUR square matches the F center color.
 Apply L2 B2 L' F' L B2 L' F L' .
 If the cube is not complete, apply L2 B2 L' F' L B2 L' F L' an additional time. You have now solved the Rubik's cube!
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Community Q&A

QuestionWhat are easy methods for solving a Rubik's cube?Community AnswerThis is one of the simplest methods. Check out YouTube video tutorials by Badmephisto and Dan Brown.

QuestionIs there a shorter way to do it?Community AnswerYes, there are shorter ways. These include many speed methods, such as the Fridrich method, which combines the white corners step with the second layer step, the yellow edges step and the yellow corners step, and the positioning of edges step and the positioning of corners step.

QuestionWhat is the difficulty level of this method to solve a Rubik's cube?Community AnswerThis is an easier version of what is usually called the "beginner method". It's really easy: the only hard part is memorizing the algorithms.

QuestionWhat should I do if I can't solve the middle layer?Community AnswerYou have to make sure that the piece you're trying to get in is in the right spot in the beginning, and that you do the moves correctly.

QuestionHow do I solve a 3x3 Rubik's Cube quickly?Community AnswerIf you want to solve a cube quickly, you need a good cube, such as a Moyu Aolong. Quicker methods such as F2L are hard to learn, but make solving much quicker. Learn finger tricks on YouTube.

QuestionI don't understand the algorithms for the middle layer?Community AnswerIf you don't understand, you could try looking at a YouTube video or finding different instructions. There are different ways to complete the layer method.

QuestionWhat if I followed the instructions, but it didn't work?Community AnswerJust keep trying, and follow the directions exactly. It should work.

QuestionI completed the second to last part, and then I tried the last part, but it's not solved. I don't think I made any mistakes along the way, so what happened?Dieyun DingTop AnswererThis method requires a lot of repetition. Check what remains unsolved, and go back over the steps to look for your mistake.

QuestionHow can I solve it when mine is in a different configuration?Dieyun DingTop AnswererUse your mind! This is the beauty of solving twisty puzzles: you have to use these algorithms smartly. Know what they do, and use that knowledge to set up the pieces until they can be solved easily.

QuestionWhy does the front color change throughout the tutorial?Community AnswerThere is no front "color." The front face is whichever face is facing you at the time you are executing the algorithm.
Video
Tips
 If you have trouble remembering the algorithms, write down which setup requires which algorithm, and keep that list handy when practicing.Thanks!
 This becomes easier and faster once you stop thinking about the memorized sequences in terms of letters and numbers and start moving them to your muscle memory. This will take quite a bit of practice.Thanks!
 A fast time using this method is 4560 seconds. After you can do it in about 1:30 you'll want to start looking into the Fridrich method. But beware, it is harder than the above method. Petrus, Roux, and Waterman are alternatives. ZB is the fastest method, but extremely difficult.Thanks!
 You can make your cube go faster by taking it apart and putting a lubricant on the inner parts, or by sanding down the inner edges of the cube. Silicon oil works best. Cooking oil is good too but it doesn't last as long.^{[21] X Research source }Thanks!
Warnings
 Repetitive use may cause musculoskeletal disorders (i.e."Rubik's wrist" or "cube thumb.")Thanks!
Things You'll Need
 Rubik's Cube, with the white face opposite yellow (some older cubes have different configurations).
References
 ↑ https://mzrg.com/rubik/mech.shtml
 ↑ http://www.rubiksplace.com/movenotations/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/notation/
 ↑ http://www.rubiksplace.com/
 ↑ https://howtosolvearubixcube.com/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/howtosolvetherubikscubebeginnersmethod/
 ↑ https://ruwix.com/therubikscube/lubricaterubikscubewithsiliconeorvaselinepetroleumjelly/
About This Article
To solve a Rubik’s cube with the Layer method, start by shifting the cube until you have five cubes of the same color in a cross shape on one side of the cube. Then, find a corner piece with the same color as the side you’re working on, but on the opposite side of the cube. Move it to the correct location using 1 of 3 formulas, based on where the square is. Once you’ve solved the top of the cube, the top layer of the four sides should also be solved and you can start working your way down. Keep reading to learn how to use the formulas to move the squares!