Anatase of TiO2films were supplied on the surface of 316L stainless steel by a sol–gel process followed by hydrothermal treatment in water. The as-prepared samples were characterized with filed emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Raman spectroscopy. The corrosion performances of the films in 3.5 wt% NaCl solution were evaluated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and polarization measurements. The results revealed that the corrosion resistance of the TiO2 films via the hydrothermal treatment at 170°C for 4h exceeded that of the counterparts treated by conventional calcination at 450°C. This could be attributed that the surface of such a sample was more compact and uniform, relatively well-crystallized, able to act as an optimal barrier layer to metallic substrates.