Autophagy is a major intracellular pathway for degradation and recycling of long-lived proteins and cytoplasmic organelles that plays an essential role in maintenance of homeostasis in response to starvation and other cellular stresses. Autophagy is also important for a variety of other processes including restriction of intracellular pathogen replication. Our understanding of the fascinating relationship between viruses and the autophagy machinery is still in its infancy but it is clear that autophagy is a newly recognized facet of innate and adaptive immunity against viral infection. Although the autophagy pathway is emerging as a component of host defense, certain viruses have developed strategies to counteract these antiviral mechanisms, and others appear to have co-opted the autophagy machinery as proviral host factors favoring viral replication. The complex interplay between autophagy and viral infection will be discussed in this review.