The benefits of increasing the number of surface hydroxyls on TiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) are known for environmental and energy applications; however, the roles of the hydroxyl groups have not been characterized and distinguished. Herein, TiO2 NPs with abundant surface hydroxyl groups were prepared using commercial titanium dioxide (ST-01) powder pretreated with alkaline hydrogen peroxide. Through this simple treatment, the pure anatase phase was retained with an average crystallite size of 5 nm and the surface hydroxyl group density was enhanced to 12.0 OH/nm2, estimated by thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Especially, this treatment increased the amounts of terminal hydroxyls five- to six-fold, which could raise the isoelectric point and the positive charges on the TiO2 surface in water. The photocatalytic efficiency of the obtained TiO2 NPs was investigated by the photodegradation of sulforhodamine B under visible light irradiation as a function of TiO2 content, pH of solution, and initial dye concentration. The high surface hydroxyl group density of TiO2 NPs can not only enhance water-dispersibility but also promote dye sensitization by generating more hydroxyl radicals.