I am trying to add a geodatabase (.gdb) vector layer into QGIS but I am running into an error. It says the .gdb file is not a valid or recognized data source.

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I have spoken with the agency that maintains the file and they said it should work - it works fine on their end in ArcGIS Desktop. It's a version 9.3 .gdb file.

I have successfully opened and edited other .gdb files in QGIS. I use Directory --> OpenFileGDB. I am using QGIS version 2.18.15. What could be causing the problem now?

A link to download the GDB file is here: https://vgin.maps.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=29627d7c051a47dc8ce71b4484531ab3

Here is a screenshot of the files within the .gdb file. Is something missing?

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  • "it works fine on their end." In QGIS? Or ArcGIS?
    – Dan C
    Dec 14, 2017 at 21:28
  • It works for them in ArcGIS
    – csft306
    Dec 14, 2017 at 21:32
  • @csft306 - Could you share your dataset or provide a link to it if it is available to the public?
    – Joseph
    Dec 15, 2017 at 14:46
  • 1
    @joseph - Just edited the post to include the link. Thanks.
    – csft306
    Dec 15, 2017 at 14:51
  • Did you, @csft306, get to open the .gdb? I had the same problem with another dataset, tried yours and I am seeing the same problem. Running QGIS 2.18 64bit with GDAL/ORG 2.2.4 and QGIS 3.4.0 32bit with GDAL/ORG 2.3.2 on Win7.
    – aae
    Feb 13, 2019 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


Not sure what version of QGIS you are using but try opening it using the "Directory", "OpenFileGDB" options:

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  • This is the method I used and got the error. Directory --> OpenFileGDB...
    – csft306
    Dec 14, 2017 at 21:25
  • I'm using QGIS version 2.18.15
    – csft306
    Dec 14, 2017 at 21:28

Try 'dragging & dropping' the files into QGIS. Not from the QGIS browser panel but directly from a file explorer window into the QGIS map canvas. I remember having a similar problem a while ago and the 'drag & drop' method worked for me.

  • Thanks for the comment but this didn't work either.
    – csft306
    Dec 15, 2017 at 14:40

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