This study reviewed the defrosting techniques applicable for the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration industry, including passive, active, and system techniques. The passive methods normally use treated surfaces by changing the surface morphology through micro-grooved, anti-frost coating, hydrophilic, hydrophilic, or superhydropholic coating. For passive defrosting techniques, the microgrooved surfaces can improve the drainage of the frost melt effectively. It is generally agreed that the superhydropholic coating can delay the initialization of frosting and provides less water adhesion during defrosting. Yet defrosting performance for hydrophobic surfaces outperforms hydrophilic and uncoated surfaces. Active and system techniques, including electrohydrodynamic (EHD), low-frequency oscillation, and ultrasonic vibration methods, hot gas reverse cycle, electric heater, desiccant dehumidifiers and controlling strategies are reviewed. The EHD defrosting method is proved to be comparatively effective in natural or laminar flow operation. Test results also indicate that utilization of alternative current source is superior to the direct current source. The electrode with negative polarity is better than positive polarity as far as frost accumulation is concerned. The low-frequency oscillation is ineffective in defrosting while ultrasonic vibration provides effective frost removal and can delay the frost growth appreciably. Test results indicate that the ultrasonic oscillation poses considerable positive influence on defrosting either operated continuously or intermittently, in direct contact or not. For system defrosting, the hot gas reverse cycle is comparatively expensive to install but the efficiency, COP, and energy consumption are superior to the other system methods. Desiccants, either solid or liquid, can be employed in association with the system defrosting methods to lower energy consumption. There were various controlling strategies to detect the frost formation and to decide the best time to initiate defrosting. However, many of them were applicable to some specific systems and environments and require further investigations to test the relevant reliability, stability, and repeatability.