Illuminate: A Spotlight search metadata parsing tool

Shedding Light on the macOS Spotlight Desktop Search Service

llluminate is a free command line tool for parsing macOS and iOS Spotlight data. It can parse volume level ".Spotlight-V100" directory metadata store contents, including configuration and cache data, individual "store.db" files and iOS "NSFileProtection*" directory metadata store contents. Additionally, it includes a basic file carver for recovering store.db files. The download zip contains standalone executables for Windows and macOS. Illuminate is designed for research into Spotlight data and is definitely "beta."


  1. Illuminate is a beta-grade research tool and not for commercial use.
  2. This tool is made available for free for research and feedback purposes.