Chromium dioxide (CrO2) films have been grown epitaxially on (100) TiO2 substrates using chemical vapor deposition and their magnetic properties were studied as a function of film thickness (500 Å–1.2 μm). Because of the lattice mismatch with the substrate, the films are strained as evidenced by x-ray diffraction measurements. The amount of strain depends on the thickness and also on the substrate cleaning conditions used prior to growth. Independent of their thickness, the films exhibit a sharp ferromagnetic transition with a Curie temperature in the range of 390–395 K. In-plane magnetic anisotropy is observed for the films, with  and  being the easy axis and hard axis directions, respectively, for the thicker films. The anisotropy field decreases with decreasing thickness, with the easy and hard axes switching directions for the thinnest films. The results are explained in terms of the competition between magnetocrystalline and strain anisotropies that favor the  and  magnetization directions, respectively. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.