Fluorinated-titanium dioxide (TiO2-F) nanoparticles in a pure anatase polymorph was precipitated from solution by hydrolysis of titanium oxychloride, using urea and ammonia as precipitation agents and potassium fluoride as a source of fluorine anion. A further wet attrition milling in presence of glycine completed by a heat treatment allowed an additional nitrogen doping of TiO2 (TiO2-F&N-HT). The morphology and crystalline structure of the as-synthesized powder was determined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) and showed that TiO2 powder was composed of nanoparticles with narrow size distribution which crystallized in the anatase phase. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) revealed that fluorine and nitrogen are present in TiO2 as surface fluorination and interstitial doping, respectively. UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) showed an increased optical absorption in the visible for TiO2-F&N-HT sample. Under visible light irradiation, TiO2-F nanoparticles showed a high photocatalytic performance, showing the high potential of an improved surface fluorination for Escherichia coli (E. coli) disinfection in suspension. These results show the importance of anatase-TiO2 nanoparticles synthesis and modification by using a wet chemical approach leading to low aggregation and high specific surface area for effective bacterial inactivation. The co-doped TiO2-F&N-HT powder showed slightly improved performance compared to the fluorinated sample. The significant degree of aggregation after the heat treatment is postulated as being a limiting factor in its photocatalytic activity.