If you have not downloaded the Ethereum wallet, you can get the latest version here. Choose the version according to your operating system. Depending on your preferences, you can choose to use the provided installer or zip file.
Figure 1: Download the correct version
For this article, we will download the Windows version of zip file so that it is easier to follow along. Unzip the file and extract the contents to preferred location. Run the application by clicking the executable file.
Figure 2: Run the application (executable file)
The application will launch and will look for peers to connect with. Wait a while and the application will launch into the main interface. If you are impatient, then click 'Launch Application' manually.
Figure 3: Application launching
The wallet will need to sync the blockchain from the starting blocks for the first time. Notice that currently there are 2 peers online and the local blockchain data is behind by 3,367,385 blocks. This will take few hours or days depending on your local connection speed.
Figure 4: Main interface of wallet
While waiting for the sync to complete, we will go ahead to create an account to send and receive Ether, the default or base currency of Ethereum. Click 'Add Account'.
Figure 5: Create account
Enter a strong password that not easily to be brute forced with dictionary. Best practise is to use alphanumeric with camel case and symbols. Warning! The password cannot be changed after the account is created, so choose the password wisely and remember to the heart. Also keep safe of the password and never expose to anyone.
Figure 6: New account
Under Wallets > Accounts Overview, you will see the newly created account address (0x817A04eC8cD5C7BC1bb41D41ffd2EF5eC9eACe64). By default it is named as Main Account (Etherbase) as it is the first account generated in the wallet. An Ethereum address is 42 characters long and represents an account. Now you are ready to send and receive Ether.