Barrier islands (BIs) have been designated as the first line of defense for coastal human assets against rising sea level. Global mean sea level may rise from 0.21 to 0.83 m by the end of 21st century as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Although the Indus Delta covers an area of 41,440 km² surrounded by a chain of BIs, this may result in an encroachment area of 3750 km2 in Indus Delta with each 1 m rise of sea level. This study has used a long-term (1976 to 2017) satellite data record to study the development, movement and dynamics of BIs located along the Indus Delta. For this purpose, imagery from Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS), Thematic Mapper (TM), Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), and Operational Land Imager (OLI) sensors was used. From all these sensors, the Near Infrared (NIR) band (0.7–0.9 µm) was used for the delineation and extraction of the boundaries of 18 BIs. It was found that the area and magnitude of these BIs is so dynamic, and their movement is so great that changes in their positions and land areas have continuously been changing. Among these BIs, 38% were found to be vulnerable to oceanic factors, 37% were found to be partially vulnerable, 17% remained partially sustainable, and only 8% of these BIs sustained against the ocean controlling factors. The dramatic gain and loss in area of BIs is due to variant sediment budget transportation through number of floods in the Indus Delta and sea-level rise. Coastal protection and management along the Indus Delta should be adopted to defend against the erosive action of the ocean.