A couple of questions:
It's only catalog backups that are zipped. Are you trying to use a backup catalog because there's something wrong with the master catalog?
I note that you say that the unzipped catalog will not open LR now.....which sort of implies that you normally start LR by double-clicking on a catalog file? Is that correct? It's certainly not the method that most people would use, simply clicking on the LR icon is the usual method.
What version of Windows are you using? I've never heard of an unzip utility dropping the file extension, are you sure it's done that (the default Windows/File Explorer setting is to hide file extensions, have you changed that to show file extensions)?
What's the error message when you try to start LR?
Thanks for replying Jim
When I first opened the latest LR I did so with the desktop icon as normal and it did so, and then I tried to change catalogues and that is when the problem started so I tried to open a back catalogue and noticed that all of them were zipped and now when I try to open LR with the desktop icon all I get is a banner saying 'LR Opening Catalogue From.......' and nothing else. The original catalogue is now also zipped, which wasn't the case when I first downloaded LR 7.3.1
I only tried the back catalogue when LR failed to open normally. I am running Windows 10.
No error message just the banner at the start of opening then zilch
Just to be clear, you are unzipping the backup LrCat files before you try to use them, correct?
Unzip the file,
copy it to a new location (or overwrite the old master LrCat file),
point LR to the newly unzipped LrCat file.
The LrCat file cannot be used while it is still in the ZIP file even though your file browser may know how to navigate the ZIP file as if it was a folder.
What ManiacJoe said, and additionally: you say when you unzip them and they're not .lrcat files, that would seem to be problem #1. What files are they if not .lrcat files? Are you sure they were .lrcat files when you zipped them, did they lose their extension, or what? It sounds as if you either have the wrong files, or renamed them prior to zipping, or as Joe said, not really unzipped them.
Thank you ManiacJoe and joefry99 I have unzipped the files which were never zipped before all this and I may have been mistaken as I think they may be lrcat files (not too sure) but they will not open LR.
LR will not even open so no use placing in different location as I have tried that. The big problem is getting LR to open, I get the banner saying Lightroom is opening with .............and then freezes.
I have the same problem - usually I open LR and my catalogue is there - now I have zero photos in LR - I go to OPEN RECENT and SYNC CATALOGUE = 3 photos
I can see the LRCAT.zip - so I need to unzip, move to a new location and then pick it up as a NEW catalogue in LR?
Why would this happen? I've never had to do this before
LR backups of the catalog are zipped, so maybe that's what you're seeing that has a zip extension. Of course such a catalog would be as of whenever the backup was done that created it.
No way could I open LR so I gave up and reinstalled Windows again and now the problem has disappeared. I can only presume that a bug must have got in the way last time I installed Windows, but now all is OK. after 3 re installs.