In this Note we derive a posteriori error estimates for a multiscale method, the so-called heterogeneous multiscale method, applied to elliptic homogenization problems. The multiscale method is based on a macro-to-micro formulation. The macroscopic method discretizes the physical problem in a macroscopic finite element space, while the microscopic method recovers the unknown macroscopic data on the fly during the macroscopic stiffness matrix assembly process. We propose a framework for the analysis allowing to take advantage of standard techniques for a posteriori error estimates at the macroscopic level and to derive residual-based indicators in the macroscopic domain for adaptive mesh refinement. To cite this article: A. Abdulle, A. Nonnenmacher, C. R. Acad. Sci Paris, Ser. 1347 (2009). (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Masson SAS on behalf of Academie des sciences.