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We have experimentally investigated a method of controlling the magnetization direction of a CoFe pinned layer in a spin-valve-type magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) with an IrMn layer. Arbitrary control of the direction of the pinned layer magnetization was performed by a postannealing process in conditions above the blocking temperature of IrMn and in a magnetic field to saturate the magnetization of the pinned layer. The results show that it is possible to control and to uniformly rearrange the direction of the pinned layer magnetization in MTJs with a postannealing process in the magnetic random access memories manufacturing process. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.