Macroautophagy, hereafter autophagy, is a degradative process conserved among eukaryotes, which is essential to maintain cellular homeostasis. Defects in autophagy lead to numerous human diseases, including various types of cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. The hallmark of autophagy is the de novo formation of autophagosomes, which are double-membrane vesicles that sequester and deliver cytoplasmic materials to lysosomes/vacuoles for degradation. The mechanism of autophagosome biogenesis entered a molecular era with the identification of autophagy-related (ATG) proteins. Although there are many unanswered questions and aspects that have raised some controversies, enormous advances have been done in our understanding of the process of autophagy in recent years. In this review, we describe the current knowledge about the molecular regulation of autophagosome formation, with a particular focus on budding yeast and mammalian cells.