How to upgrade SQLite on OS X Mavericks / Yosemite

OS X 10.9 Mavericks comes with pre-installed SQLite 3.7.13, and OS X 10.10 Yosemite comes with version 3.8.5. At the time of this writing, SQLite version 3.8.6 is already available. This post would like to show you how to upgrade SQLite in OS X to the latest version.

This tutorial should be also applicable for previous Mac OS X versions such as OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.


1. Run ‘sqlite3’ in the Terminal app to show the installed SQLite version.

$ sqlite3 
SQLite version 3.7.13 2012-07-17 17:46:21
Enter ".help" for instructions
Enter SQL statements terminated with a ";"

2. Go to page and download the Precompiled Binaries for Mac OS X (

3. Unzip the ‘’ file so you will get the new ‘sqlite3’ file.

4. Backup the current version of SQLite and make it non-executable file.

$ which sqlite3
$ sudo mv /usr/bin/sqlite3 /usr/bin/sqlite3-old
$ sudo chmod -x /usr/bin/sqlite3-old 

5. Now move the new downloaded sqlite3 file to /usr/bin/ directory and make it executable.

$ sudo mv sqlite3 /usr/bin/
$ sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/sqlite3

6. Verify that SQLite has been upgraded by issuing ‘sqlite3’ command in Terminal

$ sqlite3 
SQLite version 3.8.6 2014-08-15 11:46:33
Enter ".help" for usage hints.
Connected to a transient in-memory database.
Use ".open FILENAME" to reopen on a persistent database.

You can see on the above that the SQLite has been successfully upgraded to version 3.8.6

  • To just view the version, it’s more direct to use “sqlite3 –version” instead of actually starting an sqlite shell. Also, trying to modify the contents of /usr/bin will run afoul of the OS X System Integrity Protection security feature. Rather than updating sqlite by modifying /usr/bin, just install the new version in /usr/local/bin.