The majority of cold and flulike illnesses are caused by human rhinoviruses (HRVs). Improved detection of HRV has shown that HRVs are also associated with more serious illness, such as exacerbation of asthma, wheezing illnesses in children, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiopulmonary disease, and fatal pneumonia in immune-compromised patients. HRV is a major cause of acute viral respiratory tract infections in hospitalized children and is among the leading causes of childhood mortality worldwide. Detection of the HRV genome by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and genomic sequencing has brought to light a new clade, HRV-C, to the already recognized HRV-A and HRV-B clades. The clinical complications related to all rhinovirus infections include acute otitis media, acute sinusitis, and acute bronchitis. The enormous public health implications from those diseases far overshadow those of the common cold. This article provides an overview of the pathogenesis of rhinovirus infection in the upper airways. Most research has been done in young healthy adults with self-limiting experimental and natural rhinovirus infections, and this may set the stage for understanding rhinovirus infections in the ear, sinus, and lower airways.