We use 2007–2011 Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) data to perform an arc-wide interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) time series survey of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) and to study time-dependent ground deformation of four Indonesian volcanoes selected following the 2007–2009 study of Chaussard and Amelung (2012). Our objectives are to examine whether arc volcanoes exhibit long-term edifice-wide cyclic deformation patterns that can be used to characterize open and closed volcanic systems and to better constrain in which cases precursory inflation is expected. We reveal deformation cycles at both regularly active and previously inactive Indonesian volcanoes, but we do not detect deformation in the TMVB, reflecting a lower activity level. We identify three types of relationships between deformation and activity: inflation prior to eruption and associated with or followed by deflation (Kerinci and Sinabung), inflation without eruption and followed by slow deflation (Agung), and eruption without precursory deformation (Merapi, Colima, and Popocatépetl; at Merapi, no significant deformation is detected even during eruption). The first two cases correspond to closed volcanic systems and suggest that the traditional model of magmatic systems and eruptive cycles do apply to andesitic volcanoes (i.e., inflation and deflation episodes associated with magma accumulation or volatile exsolution in a crustal reservoir followed by eruptions or in situ cooling). In contrast, the last case corresponds to open volcanic systems where no significant pressurization of the magmatic reservoirs is taking place prior to eruptions and thus no long-term edifice-wide ground deformation can be detected. We discuss these results in terms of InSAR's potential for forecasting volcanic unrest.