Supported catalysts are at the heart of manufacturing essential chemical, agricultural and pharmaceutical products. While the longevity of such systems is critically hinged on the durability of metal nanoparticles, the conventional deposition/dispersion techniques are difficult to enhance the stability of the metal nanoparticles due to the lack of control over the interaction between metal-support. Regarding this matter, ex-solution has begun to be recognized as one of the most promising methodologies to develop thermally and chemically robust nanoparticles. By dissolving desired catalysts as a cation form into a parent oxide, fine and uniformly distributed metal nano-catalysts can be subsequently grown in situ under reductive heat treatment, which is referred to ex-solution. Over the several years, ex-solved analog has resulted in tremendous progress in the chemical-electrochemical applications due to the exceptional robustness coupled with ease synthesis. Herein, we describe the ex-solution process in detail which therein introducing the unique characteristics of ex-solved particles that distinguish them from conventionally dispersed nanoparticles. We then go through the history of science regarding the ex-solution phenomena and summarize several major research achievements which embrace the ex-solved nanoparticles to markedly promote the catalytic performances. In conclusion, we address the remaining challenges and the future perspectives of this rapidly growing field.