Were you about to send an email through your iPhone or iPad, but the annoying “Cannot Verify Server Identity Errors Apple Devices” error message keeps popping up every second on your Apple devices?
Through this article, we will help you weed out this pesky problem in a matter of minutes through 15 easy troubleshooting fixes.
What is Cannot Verify Server Identity Errors On iPhone and iPad Devices?
Users have repeatedly reported an incredibly annoying error message on Apple forums, stating, “Cannot Verify Server Identity. The identity of “imap-mail.outlook.com” cannot be verified”.
This error message frequently appears on opening the iPhone or iPad Mail app but doesn’t affect email sending and receiving.
- Whenever an account is added to your Mail app, the Apple device will retrieve its SSL certificate to check its reliability.
- If your iPhone/iPad cannot verify your email’s server identity certificates, it shows this error to maintain the security of your Apple device.
- The mail server’s certificate might be expired, not match the domain name, or signed by an unknown third-party server.
- Using a malicious Internet connection, outdated iOS update, or wrong carrier settings.
Fixes for Cannot Verify Server Identity Errors Apple Devices
- Fix Domain Name and Mail Server Name Mismatch
- Mark Mail Server’s Certificate as Trusted (iOS 10 or lower)
- Ensure Connected Network Security
- Correct the Date and Time on iOS Devices
- Reset the iOS Mail App
- Restart the Apple Device
- Reinstall Mail Server Certificates for Outlook/Gmail
- Disable SSL Certificate Encryption
- Check If Mail Servers Are Down
- Disable and Enable the Email Account Again
- Add Account After Deletion of Previous Mail Account
- Change or Reset Network Settings on iPhone
- Update iOS Carrier Settings
- Install the Latest iOS Update
- Perform Factory Reset of The Apple Device
1. Fix Domain Name and Mail Server Name Mismatch
- Changing the mail server name: Modify the Host Name under outgoing and incoming settings to match the error message server (e.g., IMAP-mail.outlook.com)
- Fixing mail configuration: Change the iPhone Mail Domain name from mail.website-name.com to mail.server-name.com through Settings > Mail > Accounts.
- Setting a free trusted certificate: Set up a secure SSL certificate from a free service like Let’s Encrypt, which is a valid CA with free SSLs.
2. Mark Mail Server’s Certificate as Trusted (iOS 10 or lower)
You can explicitly verify and mark the SSL certificate as Trusted from the Cannot Verify Server Identity error message on Apple Devices:
- Tap on Details from the error message.
- Tap Trust at the top-right corner.
Note: The Trust option is visible only for iPhone devices with iOS < 10.0. Follow other methods for alternate fixes.
3. Ensure Connected Network Security
Connecting to a public Internet connection might give rise to this issue. You can fix this by
- Making sure that no one is connected to your network.
- Connecting to a private network (mobile hotspot) or home Wi-Fi network.
4. Correct the Date and Time on iOS Devices
Incorrect Date and Time values might make the email account certificate invalid:
- Open the Settings menu in iOS.
- Head to the General Settings menu.
- Open Date & Time.
- Enable the toggle beside Set Automatically.
5. Reset the iOS Mail App
Resetting the Mail App might prevent the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” errors on Apple devices:
- Double Tap the physical home button or swipe up from the bottom to open the App Switcher.
- Swipe right to find the Mail app.
- Swipe up to close it.
- Open Settings.
- Head to General > iPhone Storage.
- Search for Mail using the search icon.
- Tapping Offload App will kill the mail app and remove the app cache.
- Relaunch Mail from the home screen.
6. Restart the Apple Device
If resetting the Mail app didn’t work out, a simple restart might work wonders:
- iPhone SE 5 or earlier: Hold the top power button and drag the Power Off slider. Press the top button again to boot up.
- iPhone SE 6,7,8: Hold the side button and drag the Power Off slider. Press the power button until the Apple logo appears.
- iPhone X, Xr, Xs Max, and later: Hold the Volume Down and Side button together and drag the Power Off slider. Long Press the side button until the Apple logo appears.
7. Reinstall Mail Server Certificates for Outlook/Gmail
The Cannot Verify Server Identity error for an Outlook or Gmail email account can be fixed by installing the mail server certificates again:
- Upon receiving an Internet security warning with 3 options – Yes, No, View Certificate, tap on View Certificate.
- Tap Install Certificate.
- Select Current User and tap Next.
- Select Automatically select the certificate store based on the type of certificate.
- Tap Finish.
8. Disable SSL Certificate Encryption
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates provided by the email service provider are checked for proper SSL encryption before authentication. Disabling SSL might bypass this error pop-up:
- Open Settings.
- Head to Mail > Accounts.
- Tap the email account creating the issue.
- Tap Account.
- Tap Advanced.
- Disable Use SSL Toggle.
- Head back and Tap Done.
- Tap SMTP.
- Tap the Primary Server.
- Disable the Use SSL toggle under Passwords.
- Press Done to confirm, and head back.
9. Check If Mail Servers Are Down
You might receive the Cannot Verify Server Identity Errors in Apple devices if the mail servers are down due to routine maintenance checks.
- You can verify if the server is down using Downdetector.
- Simply search for the server website (Outlook or Gmail), and their status will be displayed instantly.
10. Disable and Enable the Email Account Again
Disabling the mail account temporarily and enabling it will trigger the mail server verification by the Mail app. Here are the steps:
- Open Settings and head to Mail > Accounts.
- Select the problematic email account.
- Disable the Mail toggle, and enable it after 10 seconds.
- This trick will attempt to reverify the mail server’s certificate.
11. Add Account After Deletion of Previous Mail Account
Removing the account from the mail app and adding it separately fixes the ”Cannot Verify Server Identity” errors on iPhones and iPads. Follow the steps for more:
- Open Mail Settings (Settings > Mail > Accounts)
- Select the account creating the error.
- Tap the Delete Account button.
- Select Delete Account again from the warning prompt. This will erase all account information from your iPhone/iPad.
- Return to the Accounts menu and select Add Account.
- Select your desired email service and enter your account information again to log in.
- Enable the Mail toggle and click on Save.
12. Change or Reset Network Settings on iPhone
Another way to fix the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” Errors on Apple Devices is to Reset Network Settings:
- Firstly, head to Settings > General > Reset.
- Tap Reset Network Settings.
- Enter your iPhone/iPad passcode to confirm.
Resetting Network Settings will delete saved Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, VPN profiles, and other connectivity settings.
13. Update iOS Carrier Settings
Carrier Settings Updates fixes your iPhone/iPad network connectivity, solving the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” error. Here’s how to check for carrier updates:
- Head to Settings > General > About.
- Tap on Update and follow the on-screen instructions to update your carrier section.
14. Install the Latest iOS Update
Updating your iPhone/iPad software is the best way to get rid of unnecessary glitches, and here’s how to update your iOS version:
- Open the Settings > General > Software Update menu.
- After checking for updates, the latest iOS update will be displayed if available.
- Tap the Download and Install under the update description.
- Wait patiently as the update proceed, and you will receive new features after a restart.
15. Perform Factory Reset of The Apple Device
If all the fixes above fail for you, a factory reset is the only option to save your Apple device from this error/ This will erase everything from your Apple device and provide you with a blank slate.
- Navigate to Settings > General > Reset.
- Select Erase All Content and Settings.
- Enter your passcode to confirm the full factory reset.
While we are sure that one of these solutions will undoubtedly fix the Cannot Verify Server Identity Errors on Apple Devices, feel free to reach out to Apple’s Customer Support page to receive further help.