The use of the iodinating reagent 1,3,4,6-tetrachloro-3alpha,6alpha-diphenylglycouril (chloroglycoluril) to selectively label membrane surface proteins was investigated with the following systems: enveloped viruses (Sendai and Newcastle disease viruses), human erythrocytes, and nucleated cells propagated both in suspension (EL-4) and in monolayer culture (BHK-21). Conditions are described for specifically iodinating surface proteins while maintaining full virus integrity or cell viability. Comparison of the chloroglycoluril method with the lactoperoxidase and chloramine-T methods for labeling surface membrane proteins shows that the chloroglycoluril method has a number of advantages: It routinely produces a 3- to 17-fold greater specific radioactivity without sacrificing viral or cellular integrity, it is technically simpler to use, it does not require the addition of extraneous protein to initiate the reaction nor a strong reducing reagent to terminate it. Chloroglycoluril also proved to be an effective substitute for chloramine-T in the nonvectorial labeling of viral and cellular proteins. Membrane protein samples were solubilized with the detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate before iodination or labeled in the presence of high iodide concentrations without prior solubilization. The resulting specific radioactivities generated by the use of chloroglycoluril were equal to or greater than those generated by the chloramine-T method. The effectiveness, simplicity of use, and versatility of chloroglycoluril recommend it as an iodinating reagent for both surface-specific and nonvectorial labeling of membrane systems.