What To Do If Your iPhone Prompts an Error That Says That It Cannot Verify Server Identity

If your iPhone prompts an error saying it cannot verify server identity, the first thing you need to do is to restart your phone. If this trick fails to fix the problem, see the complete guide we mapped out below.

There are various types of errors that you may encounter when sending or receiving emails on your iPhone and among them is the error depicted by a message saying that it “iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity.” Read on to learn what exactly this error means and what to do whenever you’ll encounter it on your iPhone.

What does cannot verify server identity error means?

As the message implies, it’s telling you that something is wrong with the server information and so your iPhone is unable to send the email to the specified recipient through the Mail application.

This error is triggered when the Mail app is unable to verify the identity of the mail server that you’re trying to access or connect to. It’s possible that the iPhone deemed the mail server’s certificate as fake. What usually happens is that when you send email on your iPhone, your device will attempt to connect to the mail server securely and then fetch the server’s SSL certificate to verify if it is reliable. If the device finds that the certificate is not signed by a well-known firm, expired, or does not match the domain name, that certificate will be marked as unreliable. If that happens, the secure connection fails and your iPhone prompts the Cannot Verify Server Identity error.

This error is usually seen after changing the mail server’s certificate. It can also appear after setting up a new email account as well as after migrating an account. As common fixes, changing the mail server name, modifying the phone’s mail server settings or setting up a free dedicated certificate is recommended. These solutions require advanced email settings configuration thus talking to your email service provider or Internet service provider (carrier) would be necessary.

To rule out software bugs and iOS glitches that might have triggered the same error to occur on your iPhone, performing the following procedures can help fix it.

First solution: Quit the Mail app then reboot your iPhone.

The first things to eliminate are random app glitches particularly with the Mail app on your iPhone. In-app glitches usually emerged if the app is left running in the background for too long. As resolution, close out Mail and other running apps with these steps:

  1. Go to the Home screen to get started.
  2. Then swipe up from the bottom of the screen and then pause slightly in the middle.
  3. Swipe right or left to find Mail app.
  4. Then swipe up on the Mail app card/preview to close it.

If you’re using an iPhone 8 or earlier model, this is how you clear out background apps:

  1. Double-press the Home button to view your most recently used apps.
  2. Navigate through app previews by swiping left or right.
  3. Then, swipe up on the Mail app’s preview to end it.

Follow the same steps to clear all other apps that are left suspended or running in the background. Doing so prevents any of these background apps from causing conflicts to the Mail app.

After clearing all background apps, reboot your iPhone to dump its memory cache. Just refer to these subsequent steps as the reboot process varies between iPhone models.

If you’re using an iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR, follow these steps to soft reset:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your iPhone completely.
  3. Then after 30 seconds, press the Side button again to turn your iPhone back on.

If you’re using an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or earlier versions, performing a soft reset or restart is done this way:

  1. Press and hold the Top or Side button until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off the phone completely.
  3. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Top or Side button again to turn the phone back on.

Allow your device to finish booting up then launch the Mail app and retry sending a sample email to see if the error is gone. If the error “Cannot verify server identity” still shows, try the next solution.

Second solution: Delete your email account then add it back.

One way to delete invalid or mismatched server identify certificates of your email is by deleting the email account from your device and then adding it back. Doing so allows the Mail app to verify your email account. If you wish to give it a try, then here’s how it’s done:

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Tap Account & Passwords.
  3. Navigate to the Accounts section.
  4. Scroll to and tap to select the email account that you want to delete.
  5. Then tap the option to Delete Account at the bottom of the screen.
  6. If prompted, tap Delete Account again to confirm email account deletion.

After deleting the email account, reboot your iPhone to dump junk files from the Mail app cache and then continue with these steps to add your email account again:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Accounts & Passwords.
  3. Select the option to Add Account.
  4. Tap to select your email service provider.
  5. Enter all the required information to set up your email account.

Try to create a sample email to send after setting up your email account then see if the “Cannot verify server identity” error is gone.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone XS Max that keeps losing WiFi signal

Third solution: Update your iPhone software to the latest version available.

Installing an iOS update can also be the key to resolving the problem if iOS bugs and malwares are to blame. Aside from new features and system enhancements, iOS updates also offer fix patches to address existing issues and errors caused by system bugs and malwares. All you need is to connect your iPhone to a stable Wi-Fi internet, sufficient power and ample of storage space to allocate new update file. Then follow these steps whenever you’re ready:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

You may opt to back up all your important data beforehand for safekeeping. Then follow the onscreen instructions whenever you’re all set to download and install the update. Reboot your iPhone after updating so that the new system changes and bug fixes are properly implemented. If the “Cannot verify server identity” error still shows up after this, then try the next procedure.

Fourth solution: Update carrier settings on your iPhone.

Aside from iOS updates, you can also install new carrier updates for your iPhone. Carrier updates are periodic updates pushed by your service provider or carrier. These updates usually contain network system enhancements and patch codes to eliminate widespread network errors and pertinent issues. Here’s how to check and implement carrier settings update on your iPhone:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap About.

If a new carrier update is available, you should see a notification on the carrier section. Read and review the provided information to determine what the update contains and what it requires to be implemented on your device. Then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to update the carrier settings on your iPhone. We have readers who reported to have fixed the “Cannot verify server identity” error by doing this procedure but if this doesn’t work for you, then try the next solution.

Fifth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone.

Aside from installing updates, network-related errors can also be rectified by performing resets. There are different types of system resets you can do on your iPhone. In this case, a network reset is recommended. This will erase your recent network configurations including saved Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections along with network settings errors or misconfigured network options. Just refer to these steps whenever you’re all set to proceed:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset network settings.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm that you want to reset network settings on your phone.

All your saved network information will be deleted. Once the reset is finished, your iPhone should restart automatically and then loads up the default network options and configurations. To get back online, you will need to set up and connect to your Wi-Fi network like the first time you did. Be sure to enter the correct Wi-Fi password to connect successfully. If the error “Cannot verify server identity” continues to show, perhaps it’s time to reset all settings of your iPhone.

Sixth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone.

Invalid or incorrect settings that might have triggered the phone to prompt the error when trying to send emails can be difficult to trace individually. Nonetheless, they must be eliminated. And this is when you should consider performing a reset on all the settings of your iPhone. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Choose Reset all settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Finally, tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

When the reset is finished, your iPhone should reboot automatically and then loads up the default values and options. To use the features that are disabled by default, you need to re-enable them individually. Don’t forget to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network so that you can retry sending an email to see if the error is finally gone.

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Is your iPhone still prompting the “cannot verify server identity” error?

At this point, you should report the problem to your email provider or carrier so that they can check whether or not the problem is on their end. Let them know of the procedures that you’ve already applied in an attempt to fix the problem on your end.

Connect with us to know when your iPhone can’t verify server identity error

We are committed to helping our readers fix the problems with their phones as well as learn how to properly use their devices. So, if you have other issues, you may visit our Help Guides page so you can check by yourself the articles we’ve already published that contain solutions to common problems. Also, we do create videos to demonstrate how things are done on your phone. Visit our Youtube Channel and please subscribe to it. Thanks.


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