How to Solve Rubik's Cubes

By Cindy Crabtree
A Rubik's Cube, a set, algorithms
Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Since mass production began in 1980, the Rubik's Cube has been frustrating people all over the world. It may take you longer to solve the Rubik's Cube than it does the record holder, Feliks Zemdegs of Australia --- who, according to the World Cube Association Official Results, solved it in 5.66 seconds, but it can be done. Practice the moves to solve the Rubik's Cube, and you can impress your friends with your skills.

Step 1

Mix up your Rubik's Cube, if all of the sides are solid colors. Find the side with the white square in the middle, and move the cube so that it is pointing straight up. Rotate the pieces of the cube, moving the white squares until they form a cross on the top face of the cube. Check to see that two blue and two red squares are on the right and front faces, in the top and middle center locations.

Step 2

Move the remaining white squares into place. Line them up below where you want them to go, and rotate them into place by rotating the right side down, the bottom to the left, the right side up and the bottom to the right. Repeat this algorithm until the white piece is where you want it. Repeat for all four corners, moving the top corners of the red and blue sides into place as well.

Step 3

Move the completed white side to the bottom by flipping the entire cube. Turn the top until any color, except for yellow, on the top middle piece matches the color of one of the side center pieces. If the match is with the left side, rotate the top to the left, the right up, the top to the right, the right down, the top to the right, the front counter-clockwise, the top to the left and the front clockwise, repeating the algorithm until the bottom two rows of the blue and red sides are lined up. If the match is with the right side, rotate the top to the right, the left up, the top to the left, the left down, the top to the left, the front clockwise, the top to the right and the front counter-clockwise, repeating the algorithm until the bottom two rows of the blue and red sides are lined up.

Step 4

Line up a yellow cross on the top, and go to the next step if you already have the cross in place. If you have only one yellow square and it is in the middle, rotate the front clockwise, the top to the left, the right up, the top to the right, the right down and the front counter-clockwise. When yellow squares are in the top middle, middle and left middle locations, rotate the front clockwise, the top to the left, the right up, the top to the right, the right down and the front counter-clockwise. When yellow squares are in the middle row, rotate the front clockwise, the right up, the top left, the right down, the top to the right and the front counter-clockwise.

Step 5

Complete the yellow squares on the top. If you don't already have a yellow corner on the top, rotate the top until a yellow square is in the top left corner of the front. Rotate the right up, the top to the left, the right down, the top to the left, the right up, the top to the left, the top to the left again and the right down. Repeat this algorithm until the top is solid yellow.

Step 6

Rotate the top until two of the corners are with their matching colored sides, and if only two of the corners are matching, turn the entire cube until at least one of the two corners is in the back. If both of your matching corners are in the back, rotate the right down, the front clockwise, the right down, the back counter-clockwise, the back counter-clockwise again, the right up, the front counter-clockwise, the right down, the back counter-clockwise, the back counter-clockwise again, the right up, the right up again and the top to the right. Rotate the entire sequence again if, and only if, you started with two matching locations on diagonal corners.

Step 7

Rotate the front clockwise, the front clockwise again, the top to the left, the left down, the right down, the front clockwise, the front clockwise again, the left up, the right up, the front clockwise and the front clockwise again if four squares don't match on the yellow side. Turn the entire cube so that the edge with a complete row is toward the back, and determine if the pieces that don't match need to move clockwise or counter-clockwise to move into place. If clockwise, rotate the front clockwise, the front clockwise again, the top to the left, the left down, the right down, the front clockwise, the front clockwise again, the left up, the right up, the front clockwise and the front clockwise again. If counter-clockwise, rotate the front clockwise, the front clockwise again, the top to the right, the left down, the right down, the front clockwise, the front clockwise again, the left up, the right up, the top to the right, the front clockwise and the front clockwise again.

About the Author

Cindy Crabtree's writing and editing career began in 2007. A former editor-in-chief of several magazines, she has contributed to "Boise Metropolitan Magazine," "Eagle Life Magazine" and "Meridian Magazine." Crabtree studied psychology at Boise State University and multimedia/Web design at the Art Institute of Phoenix.