Detailed biochemical analysis of unmanipulated germinal center (GC) B cells has not been achieved. Previously, we designed and used a simple, economical and new magnetic bead separation scheme for the purification of 'untouched' mature GC and non-GC B cells from the spleens of immunized mice and reported the first biochemical assessment of the signaling cascades that contribute to cyclin D stability and GC B cell proliferation. Here we provide a detailed protocol for the method we used, which involves preparing single-cell suspension from the spleens of immunized mice, followed by labeling of nontarget cells with biotinylated antibodies specific for CD43, CD11c and IgD (for GC enrichment) or GL7 (for non-GC enrichment); these steps are followed by cell depletion using standard magnetic bead technology. This protocol can yield GC and non-GC B cells with purities exceeding 90%. The sorting process can be carried out in ∼1 h and provides a population of GC B cells of sufficient purity and quantity to allow ex vivo manipulation, including biochemical and genetic analysis as well as cell culture.