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FAQ: Why is a shapefile's icon a green question mark in ArcCatalog?

Question

Why is a shapefile's icon a green question mark in ArcCatalog?

Answer

ArcCatalog does not recognize the file as a valid shapefile. In order for a shapefile to be valid, it must have at least these three component files: shp, shx, and dbf. One of these three files is missing. Replace the missing file.