How to Fix “Cannot Verify Server Identity” Errors for Apple Devices

A bank of servers.

The common adage for anything Apple-related is that it “just works,” though sometimes it throws up an error instead. Once you dig deeper, you’ll find that fixing something like a “Cannot Verify Server Identity” error is a piece of cake, and you’ll be able to get back to everything working once again.

As such, this post will discuss the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” issue and show you some ways to fix it.

What the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” Error Is (And Why It Exists)

The “Cannot Verify Server Identity” error appears almost randomly and will be persistent. You may not be able to access your inbox or emails.

The Cannot Verify Server Identity message.

The reason this appears is due to some behind-the-scenes verification between your Apple device and the email server. The error in this case is clear: the device can’t verify the identity of the server, so for security reasons, it won’t serve you the information you need.

The simple reason behind this is that communication has broken down between your device and server. You may find that credentials have been changed in error, but there are bugs on both the device-side software and server-side, and there could be other security-based issues.

Luckily, there are a few fixes you can carry out to get things back up and running.

How to Fix “Cannot Verify Server Identity” Errors for Apple Devices

It’s worth pointing out that the error could be the result of your email server being down. As such, we’d encourage you to look at this aspect first before getting your hands dirty.

A quick reboot or cache clearance also may solve the issue, but we’re assuming you’ve already tried this. Also, the quick solution is to remove the email account from your device and set it up again. Even so, these aren’t permanent solutions in most cases.

In our opinion, there are two common reasons for the error:

  • There’s a mismatch between your server name and domain name.
  • Your server’s security certificate needs to be “trusted” again.

For the first reason, you’ll often find that you’ll configure a mail server on your device using one URL, but the issued certificate of security has something else defined.

You want to make sure that both the incoming and outgoing mail servers have the same host name.

The iOS Accounts screen.

You could play a guessing game to get this right, but we suggest contacting your host if you have any doubts.

The other reason is based around Apple’s stringent security checks. To fix it, you need to be looking at the error message. When it pops up, if you click “Details,” it will bring you to a screen detailing the certificate. From here, you can “Trust the certificate” again.

However, this doesn’t work on later iOS devices. As such, you’ll need to remove the account and add it back onto your phone. Depending on your email provider, you can do this through “Settings -> Mail -> Accounts.”

A list of accounts on an iOS device.

From here, choose your account and click the “Delete Account” button. In some cases, you may not see this option. Instead, head to “Settings -> General -> Profile.” This will show you a list of configuration settings, and you’ll want to choose the one relevant to your error, then click “Remove Profile.”

Removing a profile on iOS.

At this point, delete any remaining settings for this account in “Settings -> Mail” as before, as best you can, before reestablishing your email account.

In Summary

Computers and servers are great at keeping the lines of communication open, though in some cases, this can break down for reasons beyond your control. The “Cannot Verify Server Identity” error is a case in point, but the solution is straightforward. In many cases, removing and reestablishing your email account is the best approach. Other times, you’ll need to give explicit trust to the certificate to verify the server.

If you’re looking for an Apple Mail alternative, we’ve looked at this in the past. Have you ever come across the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” error, and if so, how did you fix it? Let us know in the comments section below!

Tom Rankin
Tom Rankin

Tom Rankin is a quality content writer for WordPress, tech, and small businesses. When he's not putting fingers to keyboard, he can be found taking photographs, writing music, playing computer games, and talking in the third-person.

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