Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) occurs in approximately 6% of the world's population. Carriers of the virus are at risk for life-threatening complications, and developing curative treatment remains a priority. The main shortcoming of licensed therapies is that they do not affect viral covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), a stable intermediate of replication. Harnessing gene editing to mutate cccDNA provides the means to inactivate HBV gene expression permanently. Reports have described use of engineered zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) with CRISPR-associated (Cas) nucleases. Although inhibition of viral replication has been demonstrated, reliably detecting mutations in cccDNA has been difficult. Also, the dearth of murine models that mimic cccDNA formation has hampered analysis in vivo. To reach a stage of clinical use, efficient delivery of the editors to HBV-infected hepatocytes and limiting unintended off-target effects will be important. Investigating therapeutic efficacy in combination with other treatment strategies, such as immunotherapies, may be useful to augment antiviral effects. Advancing gene editing as a mode of treating HBV infection is now at an interesting stage and significant progress is likely to be made in the immediate future.