Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of dysregulated lipid and glucose metabolism, which is often associated with obesity, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. In view of the high morbidity and health risks of NAFLD, the lack of effective cure has drawn great attention. In recent years, a line of evidence has suggested a close linkage between the intestine and liver diseases such as NAFLD. We summarized the composition and characteristics of intestinal microbes and reviewed molecular insights into the intestinal microbiome in development and progression of NAFLD. Intestinal microbes mainly include bacteria, archaea, viruses and fungi, and the crosstalk between non-bacterial intestinal microbes and human liver diseases should be paid more attention. Intestinal microbiota imbalance may not only increase the intestinal permeability to gut microbes but also lead to liver exposure to harmful substances that promote hepatic lipogenesis and fibrosis. Furthermore, we focused on reviewing the latest “gut–liver axis”-targeting treatment, including the application of antibiotics, probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, farnesoid X receptor agonists, bile acid sequestrants, gut-derived hormones, adsorbents and fecal microbiota transplantation for NAFLD. In this review, we also discussed the potential mechanisms of “gut–liver axis” manipulation and efficacy of these therapeutic strategies for NAFLD treatment.