Aeolian desertification, one of the most serious environmental issues, has hampered socioeconomic development on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). However, research on aeolian desertification in this region has been limited. To develop a set of science-based preventive measures to mitigate desertification in this region, it is first necessary to clarify the status, evolution, and driving factors of aeolian desertification. In this study, based on extensive field investigations and a current classification system for aeolian desertification, we established a new system for interpreting aeolian desertified land (ADL) on the plateau using Landsat images from 1977, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2015 and obtained the distribution of ADL through visual interpretation of the images. The results showed that ADL covered 392,914 km 2 (15.1% of the study area) in 2015, including gravel ADL, sandy ADL, and aeolian monadnocks. Controlled by climate, landforms, the type of Quaternary deposit, and human activities, ADL is scattered throughout the plateau but is concentrated mostly in the western and northern parts. Aeolian desertification on the plateau expanded from 1977 to 2000 and then began to reverse. The evolution during the study period is the result of the combined effects of natural and human factors. Irrational human activities were the dominant factor responsible for the expansion of ADL prior to 2000, whereas the subsequent reversal was mainly caused by climate change combined with large ecological restoration projects.