Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), a significant cause of pneumonia, leads to severe inflammation. Few effective treatments or drugs have been reported for S. aureus infection. Interferon tau (IFN-τ) is a type I interferon with low cellular toxicity even at high doses. Previous studies have reported that IFN-τ could significantly mitigate tissue inflammation; however, IFN-τ treatment in S. aureus-induced pneumonia has not been well reported. Thus, the aim of this study was to identify the anti-inflammatory mechanism of IFN-τ in S. aureus-induced pneumonia in mice. A S. aureus-induced pneumonia model and RAW 264.7 cells were used in this research. The histopathological as well as lung wet to dry ratio (W/D) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity results showed that IFN-τ could protect the lung from S. aureus damage. In addition, ELISA and qPCR revealed that IFN-τ treatment led to a decreased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) in both the cells and mouse model, but IL-10 was increased. TLR2, which is involved in the response during S. aureus infection, was also down-regulated by IFN-τ treatment and directly affected NF-κB and MAPK pathway activation. Then, we examined the phosphorylation of IκBα, NF-κB p65 and MAPKs by western blotting, and the results displayed that the phosphorylation of IκBα, NF-κB p65 and MAPKs was inhibited upon IFN-τ treatment in both the cells and mouse model. These findings indicate that IFN-τ has anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in vivo through the inhibition of NF-κB and MAPK activation, suggesting that IFN-τ may have potential as a therapeutic agent against S. aureus-induced inflammatory diseases.