The gate forward leakage current in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) is investigated. It is shown that the current which originated from the forward biased Schottky-gate contributed to the gate forward leakage current. Therefore, a fluorine-plasma surface treatment is presented to induce the negative ions into the AlGaN layer which results in a higher metal-semiconductor barrier. Consequently, the gate forward leakage current shrinks. Experimental results confirm that the gate forward leakage current is decreased by one order magnitude lower than that of HEMT device without plasma treatment. In addition, the DC characteristics of the HEMT device with plasma treatment have been studied.