Thin film metallic glasses are a new class of promising materials for advanced structural applications. In this work, binary Zr-based thin film metallic glasses (TFMGs) were deposited by the magnetron co-sputtering process from pure metal targets. Two similar enrichments were investigated (44 at.% for the nickel, 43 at.% for the cobalt), in order to determine the effect of the alloying element's nature on the structural, mechanical and electrochemical behaviors. Structure of films was determined by in situ XRD measurements carried out during heating up to 600 °C, while their morphology was characterized by SEM observations. Mechanical properties of amorphous and crystallized films (hardness and Young's modulus) were measured by nanoindentation. Intrinsic electrochemical properties are deduced from polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements carried out in Na2SO4 aqueous solution. It is found that the surface morphology of TFMGs was very smooth with a compact and dense microstructure. When heated, glassy films exhibit a high structural stability (up to 440 °C) with crystallization occurring through a multistage process for the Co-containing film. Whatever the coating, Zr affords its beneficial passive-ability, while crystallization process accelerates the global corrosion kinetics. Corrosion mechanisms of the Zr-based TFMGs were discussed in the light of the alloying element (Ni or Co) and the structure of films (amorphous or crystallized). © 2015 Acta Materialia Inc.