Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a technology offering the possibility to prepare thin films of high quality materials on high aspect ratio substrates with precise thickness control, high uniformity and excellent conformality, a unique capability. Therefore, this route is particularly suited for the structural modification and pore tailoring of synthetic membranes. ALD coatings have been prepared on a wide variety of membrane substrates, from inorganic templated supports to porous polymers. This minireview aims to provide an extensive summary of the advances of ALD applied to membranes. A selected list of studies will be used to illustrate how the ALD route can be implemented to improve the operational performance of different inorganic, organic, hybrid or composite membranes. Furthermore, the challenges and opportunities of the route for this specific membrane application are also discussed. This work comprehensively shows the benefits of ALD and its application in various facets of membranes and membrane associated engineering processes, and will help exploiting the numerous prospects of this emerging and growing field.