The prime factors of 12 are 2 and 3. A prime number is a number greater than 1 that cannot be divided by any number except itself and 1. Both 2 and 3 are prime factors of 12 because they are prime numbers that can be divided into 12 with nothing remaining.
To find the prime factors of a number, first start by dividing the number by the smallest prime number, which is 2. For example, 12 can be divided evenly by 2; therefore, 2 is a prime factor of 12. However, 6 is not a prime number. Divide 6 by 2 to get 3, which is a prime number. Every factor of 12 is now a prime number, which can be written as: 2 x 2 x 3 = 12.