Type 1 diabetes results from apoptotic destruction of insulin-producing beta cells by a range of effector molecules produced by immune cells that infiltrate pancreatic islets. Interferons are found within the inflammatory infiltrate of islets during progression to type 1 diabetes. Interferons can promote the action of effector cells that induce beta cell death. They can also act directly on islet cells to induce gene expression, and together with other cytokines they can cause beta cell death. Because of their pleiotropic nature, it was proposed that this family of cytokines may be involved in type 1 diabetes development. In the non-obese diabetic mouse model, interventions have been made at multiple points in the signalling pathways of interferons. This review aims to construct a clear picture of the outcomes of these interventions to determine how interferons are involved in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.