The fusion by exocytosis of many vesicles to the plasma membrane induces the discharge to the extracellular space of their abundant luminal cargoes. Other exocytic vesicles, however, do not contain cargoes, and thus, their fusion is not followed by secretion. Therefore, two distinct processes of exocytosis exist, one secretory and the other non-secretory. The present review deals with the knowledge of non-secretory exocytosis developed during recent years. Among such developments are the dual generation of the exocytic vesicles, initially released either from the trans-Golgi network or by endocytosis; their traffic with activation of receptors, channels, pumps, and transporters; the identification of their tethering and soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor complexes that govern membrane fusions; the growth of axons and the membrane repair. Examples of potential relevance of these processes for pathology and medicine are also reported. The developments presented here offer interesting chances for future progress in the field. © 2019 The Author(s) (2019). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, IBCB, SIBS, CAS.