The effect of the magnetic field on the magnetic properties of NiFe/Cu composite wires electroplated under a longitudinal magnetic controlling field is presented. Composite wire samples of 20-μm-diameter Cu electroplated with a layer of Permalloy™ (Ni80Fe20) under the influence of a longitudinal magnetic field of intensities ranging from 0 to 400 Oe were produced, and the microstructure and magnetic properties were measured. The results showed that the longitudinal magnetic field in the composite wire plating makes the packing of the crystals in the plated layer more orderly, and thus increases the uniformity and magnetic softness of the plated material. It also shifts the magnetic anisotropy of the plated layer from circumferential to longitudinal, and increases the critical frequency of the plated composite wire in magnetoimpedance effect testing, at which the magnetoimpedance ratio reaches the maximum. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.