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Sqlite database format

SQLite databases are used by many programs including several forensics tools, e.g. Autopsy 3. SQLite 3 is current and older SQLite packages cannot use sqlite3 databases so use sqlite3 tools.


SQLite version 3 uses a page-based storage where the pages are used for various types of data e.g. there are:

  • lock-byte pages
  • freelist pages
  • freelist trunk pages
  • freelist leaf pages
  • B-tree pages
  • table B-tree interior pages
  • table B-tree leaf pages
  • index B-tree interior pages
  • index B-tree leaf pages
  • payload overflow pages
  • pointer map pages

Write-Ahead Log (WAL)

The default method by which SQLite implements atomic commit and rollback is a rollback journal. In version 3.7.0 a "Write-Ahead Log" option was added.

Temporary sqlite files

Seen in e.g.


Where "etilqs" is "sqlite" in reverse

Use Cases

Web Browser Data

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome both use SQLite version 3 databases for user data such as history, downloaded files.

Mobile OS

Google Android and Apple iOS use SQLite3 databases for many system applications. Phone data including calls, messages, and credentials are all stored in SQLite3.