The “cannot verify server identity” error message on your iPhone means that the certificate for the mail server is not valid. This error is caused by your iPhone’s strict verification of your mail server certificates. When using the Mail app on an iOS device, this is one of the most common errors.

Check if your phone is one of the devices we support if you found our site while looking for a solution for your iPhone. You can use our solutions and workarounds to address issues similar to your own by visiting the troubleshooting page for that device. 

Why does your iPhone display the “cannot verify server identity” error?

Server

The iPhone attempts to obtain a server’s SSL certificate and then determines if it is reliable to connect to a mail server. The certificate will be marked as unreliable if it does not match the domain name, is expired, or is not signed by the company. An error message entitled “Cannot Verify Server Identity” now appears. Usually, this error occurs when you set up a new email account on your iOS device or after modifying the server certificate. If you migrate an email account, the error may also occur.

An untrusted or invalid email server setting is generally to blame for the error. Occasionally, iOS bugs are also to blame for the error. Here are a few recommended troubleshooting methods and possible solutions to give you a grasp of what to do. If you ever need assistance getting rid of the “cannot verify server identity” error on your iPhone, you can refer to this walkthrough.

Check and ensure that the date and time information on your iPhone is accurate before troubleshooting. You can set the time and date automatically if necessary. You may try these subsequent solutions if everything is in order with the date and time.

Solutions:

Quit and restart the Mail app.

You may also encounter this among other random in-app errors with the Mail app. The most common solution to errors like these is to restart the application. It is best to close the Mail app on your device before trying to restart it if you’ve recently opened it.

On earlier iPhones with a physical Home button, you can quit background apps by following these steps:

  1. To get started, go to the Home screen.
  2. Tap in the middle of the screen and then swipe up from the bottom.
  3. You can find the Messages app by swiping right or left.
  4. Swipe up on the card/preview of the Messages app to close it.

If you’re using an iPhone 8 or earlier model, here’s how to clear your background apps:

  1. You can view your most recently used apps by double-pressing the Home button.
  2. By swiping left or right, you can navigate app previews.
  3. Swipe up on the preview of the app to close and relaunch Mail and see if the error has disappeared after you have terminated all background applications.

Relaunch Mail and see if the error has disappeared after you have terminated all background applications. In the case of a recurrence, you must move on to the next possible solution.

Soft reset/reboot the iPhone

Restarting your device or performing a soft reset may also solve this issue. If you are experiencing a system error due to a minor glitch, then this is what you need. Soft resetting an iPhone can be done in several different ways.

If you have an iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR, you can soft reset it by following the steps below:

  1. Hold down the Side and Volume buttons until the Power off slider appears.
  2. You can turn your iPhone off completely by dragging the slider.
  3. You can then turn your iPhone back on by pressing the Side button again after 30 seconds.

You can perform a soft reset or restart on an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or older versions by following these steps:

  1. Once the Power off slider appears, hold down the Top or Side buttons.
  2. You can power off the phone completely by dragging the slider.
  3. Holding the Side or Top button again for about 30 seconds will turn the phone back on.

The above steps won’t affect any stored information on your phone’s internal memory, so there is no need to create a backup. Check if the error “cannot verify server identity” still appears after this.

Remove your email account then add it back.

People who experienced the same error when using Mail on their iOS devices were able to resolve the issue by removing and re-adding the email account. This is how it’s done if you’d like to give it a shot:

  1. Go to Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Go to Accounts & Passwords.
  3. Access the Accounts section.
  4. To delete an email account, tap it and choose it from the list.
  5. You can delete your account by tapping the Delete Account button at the bottom tton at the bottom of the screen.
  6. Once you’ve confirmed that you want to delete the account, tap Delete from My iPhone. It will then be removed from your iPhone.
  7. Go to Settings-> Accounts & Passwords after deleting the email account.
  8. Tap the option to add an account.
  9. Choose your email service provider.
  10. Provide all the information you need.

Once you’ve completed the email setup process, just follow the onscreen instructions. You should also remove and recreate any multiple email accounts that you’ve set up on your iPhone. Continue to the next solution if the error “cannot verify server identity” still occurs.  

Update iOS and carrier settings.

The “cannot verify server identity” error may also be remedied with updates if it is caused by iOS bugs. Patches are usually embedded in updates to fix existing device issues caused by system bugs. Wirelessly updating iOS is possible if your iPhone does not have any problems with the internet connection. Your device must have enough storage space and battery life to complete the entire process.

  • Go to Settings -> General -> Software Update to check for iOS updates.

When an iOS update is available, an update notification will appear. When you are ready to download and install the update, review the update information and follow the onscreen instructions.

Installing carrier updates may also be an option if the error is caused by network issues aside from iOS updates.

  • Navigate to Settings->General->About menu and scroll down to the Carrier section to check for carrier settings updates.

The update can be downloaded and installed on your iPhone by following the on-screen instructions.

If you want to apply the recent system changes, wait for your iPhone to finish updating, then reboot it.

Reset network settings.

Resetting your network settings removes recent changes, including customized networks, and restores the defaults. The problem may be cured by performing this reset if it is caused by incorrect or invalid network settings. The process is as follows:

  1. Tap the Settings icon on the Home screen.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Tap Reset when you reach the bottom of the screen.
  4. Reset the network settings by selecting this option.
  5. Continue by entering the passcode if prompted.
  6. Then confirm that you want to reset your phone’s network settings by tapping the option.

Upon completion of the reset, the phone reboots automatically. You can then connect to the Internet and use online services after setting up your Wi-Fi network. Try opening the Mail app after connecting your device and see if the error has been fixed.

Factory reset/master reset.

If the underlying cause is complex system errors, the error is likely to persist. If you are in this situation, your last resort would be to take your iPhone through a master reset or factory reset. Including fatal system errors that may have caused conflicts with your email server settings and triggered the stubborn “cannot verify server identity” error, this will erase everything from your device. We encourage you to back up your important data to iCloud or iTunes so you can still retrieve them in the future. Following these steps will help your factory reset your iPhone through settings:

  1. Tap the Settings icon on the Home screen.
  2. Press the General button.
  3. Tap Reset when you reach the bottom of the screen.
  4. Erase all content and settings by selecting this option.
  5. To proceed, enter your passcode when prompted.
  6. Your iPhone will now offer you the option to confirm a full system reset.

Your iPhone will need to be set up again after the reset, just as you did when you first used it. To set up your iPhone as new, use the start-up wizard. Make sure that you enter the correct email account credentials when setting up your email account. Check to see if the error has been resolved by launching the Mail app after everything is set up and your device is online.

Are you still experiencing “cannot verify server identity” errors on your iPhone?

There may be a problem with your email service provider causing the error to persist. The email server may be experiencing some technical difficulties, or it may be undergoing maintenance. If this is the case, you should contact your service provider to verify the current status of the email server. Your service provider/carrier can also help you check and re-configure the SMTP settings on your device, as well as the incoming and outgoing servers.

The problem can also be reported to Apple Support so that they can conduct additional assessments to determine if the problem is with Apple servers.

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