Islet amyloid accumulation is a hallmark of human type 2 diabetes (T2D). In contrast to human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP), murine islet amyloid polypeptide (mIAPP) does not exhibit amyloidogenic propensity. Because autophagy is important in the clearance of amyloid-like proteins, we studied transgenic mice with β cell-specific expression of hIAPP to evaluate the contribution of autophagy in T2D-associated accumulation of hIAPP. In mice with β cell-specific expression of hIAPP, a deficiency in autophagy resulted in development of overt diabetes, which was not observed in mice expressing hIAPP alone or lacking autophagy alone. Furthermore, lack of autophagy in hIAPP-expressing animals resulted in hIAPP oligomer and amyloid accumulation in pancreatic islets, leading to increased death and decreased mass of β cells. Expression of hIAPP in purified monkey islet cells or a murine β cell line resulted in pro-hIAPP dimer formation, while dimer formation was absent or reduced dramatically in cells expressing either nonamyloidogenic mIAPP or nonfibrillar mutant hIAPP. In autophagy-deficient cells, accumulation of pro-hIAPP dimers increased markedly, and pro-hIAPP trimers were detected in the detergent-insoluble fraction. Enhancement of autophagy improved the metabolic profile of hIAPP-expressing mice fed a high-fat diet. These results suggest that autophagy promotes clearance of amyloidogenic hIAPP, autophagy deficiency exacerbates pathogenesis of human T2D, and autophagy enhancers have therapeutic potential for islet amyloid accumulation-associated human T2D.