Applications of remote sensing for studies of volcanic activity and hazards have developed rapidly in the past 40 years. This has facilitated the observation of volcanic processes, such as ground deformation and thermal emission changes, lava flows, eruption clouds, ash and gas emissions, as well as mapping of volcanic structures and hazardous terrain, even for volcanoes in remote regions. Advances in the remote sensing of volcanoes, from ground-based sensors to sensors onboard airborne and spaceborne platforms, are reviewed. A key point made in this review is that volcanic remote sensing could have a much broader impact if the techniques and data were readily available to scientists studying/monitoring potentially hazardous volcanoes in developing countries. Perspectives on particular needs, with regard to sensor types, data availability and training, required to take volcanic remote sensing further in coming years are highlighted.