How to Fix Cannot Verify Server Identity Error on iPhone

The ‘cannot verify server identity’ error is your iPhone’s way of informing you that the certificate of the mail server is fake or no longer valid. It is kind of a security notification. The ‘cannot verify server identity’ error is very common in iOS devices, especially those that use the Mail app.

If you are one of those who has faced the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error quite a few times, look no further. Read the following sections to know how you can solve the ‘cannot verify server identity’ problem for good.

To fix cannot verify server identity error on iPhone, firstly quit the Mail app to close all of its instances and then launch it again. If this does not solve the problem then try rebooting the iPhone. The next step we will see in detail below.

Why does the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error happen?

Like I said, this is a security related notification. To establish a secure connection with a mail server, iPhone will check the reliability of the server via its SSL certificate. It will be flagged off as unreliable in case the certificate and the domain name do not match with each other. This causes the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error to pop up. This check is done for all the mailing servers. 

The ‘cannot verify server identity’ error is also caused due to the server settings of the email that are untrustworthy. Before you go ahead to solve the ‘iPhone cannot verify server identity’ error, make sure that the time and date info on the iPhone is accurate. However, if you are getting this notification for every email even when you know that the mail is genuine and feel like your device is throwing an unnecessary error then you can fix this annoying error. 

How to solve the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error?

Now that the reasons behind the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error are clear, let us jump straight into the ways in which you fix the problem. We are going to list down many different ways in which you can fix this error in iPhone or iPad. Any one of these methods should help you get rid of ‘cannot verify server identity’ error. 

1. Quitting and restarting the Mail app

The most common technique of rectifying the ‘iPhone cannot verify server identity’ error is by restarting the app. You can quit the Mail app first on your iPhone and then proceed to restart it. Quitting will ensure that all the instances of the Mail app have been terminated. 

After restarting it, open the Mail app to see if the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error still exists. If there was a glitch with the Mail app then quitting and restarting the app should fix that. 

2. Rebooting the device

You can also solve the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error through a soft reset or rebooting the device. Different versions of the iPhone will require different methods of soft resetting to solve the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error.

For example, iPhone X, XS, and XR has a particular way of dealing with the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error.

  • Press either volume button or the side button for long so that the “Power Off option” appears.
  • Choose the “Power Off option” and then wait for 30 seconds.
  • Now repeat the same step to switch on the phone.

The best part about this process is that all the information on your device will remain safe. You will not have to create a backup and will get rid of the ‘iPhone cannot verify server identity’ error. Make sure you close the open instances of the Mail app before restarting the device.

3. Removing the email account and then adding it back

Many iPhone users have stated that this method has been helpful in solving the ‘cannot verify server identity iPhone’ error. You too can give this method a shot.

  • Click on the “Settings option” and choose “Accounts & Passwords”.
  • Go to the section on Accounts and choose the email account to be deleted.
  • Click on the “Delete Account” button to the bottom of your screen and click “Delete” from my iPhone for confirming the action.
  • Once again, open “Settings” and go to “Accounts & Passwords”.
  • Click on “Add Account” and enter all the necessary information followed by the instructions shown on screen.
  • Check if your device is still facing the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error.

If you have a different email account then maybe try signing in with that one and see if the system still throws the same error.

4. Updating the device

Chances are that if your device has not been updated for long, it may face the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error. If you have not updated your device, it may lead to the creation of system bugs which in turn causes the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error. 

System updates are useful in multiple ways. Timely system updates removes/fixes the existing bugs and improves the overall performance of the device hence making it faster.

Before you update your device though, ensure that the battery life and its storage is substantial.

  • To see whether you have an update notification or not, open Settings.
  • Go to “General” and look for the option that says: Software Update.
  • If you see an update notification, read all the information provided and then proceed with the instruction on your screen.
  • In addition to the updates on the device, there are also carrier updates that can solve the ‘cannot verify server identity iPhone’ error.
  • Once again you will have to open Settings, go to “General” and then search for the Carrier section.

The instructions will be provided on your screen. Follow them to solve the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error. Once this is done, reboot your device so that the system changes can be applied properly. If this method of solving the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error doesn’t work, keep reading. 

5. Resetting network settings

Another way of solving the ‘cannot verify server identity’ problem is by resetting the network. Resetting helps to clear out all the network settings recently conducted. If the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error is caused because of faulty network settings, you should try out this solution.

  • Go to Settings and then click on “General”.
  • Search for the “Reset option” and then click on it as well.
  • Look for the Reset network settings option and select it.
  • Type the passcode and continue.
  • Click on the option notifying your confirmation about resetting the network on your device.

Your device will automatically reboot after the resetting is done. You can open the Mail app to find out if the ‘cannot verify server identity iPhone’ error is still there or not.

6. Factory or Master resetting

Sometimes the ‘cannot verify server identity imap.gmail’ error is attributed to complicated system errors. If this is the case with your device too, you are left with only one option that is Master resetting. The caveat regarding this method is that it can erase everything from your device.

Therefore, before you choose to proceed, make sure that all your data has been backed up to iCloud or iTunes. Also, choose this method of solving the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error only when the above methods have failed. 

  • Go to Settings and select “General”.
  • Search for the “Reset” option and then click on it.
  • Choose the “Erase All Content and Settings” option.
  • Type the passcode and proceed.
  • Confirm that you want a full resetting on your device.

Do this only as a last resort and create a backup of your device before you perform master resetting on it. Master resetting will not only erase all the data but will also delete all the app settings. Do this only if you are very much sure that you have got the backup of all the data and you are able to handle a brand new device with no previous data.

After doing the master resetting on your device, you can restore the backup either from iTunes or using a third party backup and restore software.

Parting Words

You are a few steps away from getting rid of the ‘cannot verify server identity imap.gmail’ error. Once the resetting is done, set up your device the same way you did when you started using the iPhone. After this is over, open the Mail app to check if the ‘cannot verify server identity’ error still persists.

Try all the above tricks to fix the error chronologically, if any step does not do the trick for you then try the next one. You should be able to fix the problem on your own.

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