Pathogenic microorganism is a serious threat to human health. As a novel kind of antibacterial materials, silver nanoparticles involving their preparation approaches and applications are of great research interest in the field of nanomaterials. This review summarized a summary of synthesis methods of silver nanoparticles, including polysaccharide, Tollens, irradiation, biological and polyoxometalates, which enjoy numerous advantages such as wide range of raw materials, gentle reaction condition, low-cost and environmental-friendly and etc.. Furthermore, based on the antibacterial property of silver nanoparticles, the antibacterial mechanism and applications were described. The development of silver nanoparticles in antibacterial application was also prospected, such as antibacterial coating and antibacterial packaging.