Heavy metals (HMs) pose serious threat to both human and environmental health and therefore, effective and low-cost techniques to remove HMs are urgently required. Because HMs are difficult to be biodegraded and transformed, adsorption is a most promising treatment method in recent times. Biochar (BC), a low-cost and sustainable adsorbent material, has recently attracted much research attention due to its broad application prospects. While BC has many merits, it has a lower HMs adsorption efficiency than traditional activated carbon, limiting its practical applications. Furthermore, the HMs retained by BC are difficult to be desorbed, making the used sorbent material hazardous wastes if not well disposed of under natural conditions. Therefore, it is critical to seek effective surface modifications for BC, to improve its ability to HMs removal ability and the recyclability of BC loaded with HMs. This review represents and evaluates the reported modification methods for BC, the corresponding HMs removal mechanisms and the potential for reutilization of BC loaded with HMs. This review provides a basis for the effective practical application of BC in the treatment of HMs containing wastewater.