Modulation of material physical and chemical properties through selective surface engineering is currently one of the most active research fields, aimed at optimizing functional performance for applications. The activity of exposed crystal planes determines the catalytic, sensory, photocatalytic, and electrochemical behavior of a material. In the research on nanomagnets, it opens up new perspectives in the fields of nanoelectronics, spintronics, and quantum computation. Herein, we demonstrate controllable magnetic modulation of α-MnO2 nanowires, which displayed surface ferromagnetism or antiferromagnetism, depending on the exposed plane. First-principles density functional theory calculations confirm that both Mn- and O-terminated α-MnO2 (1 1 0) surfaces exhibit ferromagnetic ordering. The investigation of surface-controlled magnetic particles will lead to significant progress in our fundamental understanding of functional aspects of magnetism on the nanoscale, facilitating rational design of nanomagnets. Moreover, we approved that the facet engineering pave the way on designing semiconductors possessing unique properties for novel energy applications, owing to that the bandgap and the electronic transport of the semiconductor can be tailored via exposed surface modulations.