A systematic investigation on the structural, optical, photo catalytic and antimicrobial properties of pure and cobalt doped ZnO nanoparticles synthesized by Co-precipitation method is presented. X-ray diffraction analysis of these samples showed the formation of phase pure nanoparticles with wurtzite ZnO structure. Optical studies showed a blue shift in the absorbance spectrum with increasing the doping concentration. The Methylene Blue (MB) decomposition rate of the synthesized pure ZnO and cobalt doped ZnO nanoparticles were studied under the UV region. In the UV region, synthesized pure ZnO and cobalt doped ZnO decomposed Methylene Blue (MB). However, the MB decomposition rate obtained using pure ZnO was much higher than that by doped ZnO. The antibacterial property test was carried out via disk diffusion method, and the result indicated antibacterial activity of the prepared samples.