How to Fix Cannot Verify Server Identity Error on iPhone

One of the more common errors that iPhone owners encounter is the “cannot verify server identity” error — a problem related to mail certificate issues.

While the error may seem alarming, it’s an issue that can easily be remedied using several methods. For the most part, an app restart, device reboot, or email reset will do the trick.

Here, we provide five step-by-step walkthroughs to help you fix the error whenever you encounter it.

What Causes “Cannot Verify Server Identity” on an iPhone?

When the message “cannot verify server identity” keeps popping up, it’s essentially telling you that the server of the mail certificate is illegitimate (or not secure). When your iPhone attempts to connect with a mail server, it tries to secure an SSL certificate by determining whether the mail server is legitimate.

If the operating system finds that the certificate is sketchy, you’ll spot a “cannot verify server identity” on your screen. The error often surfaces when:

  • Setting up a new email account on your device
  • Switching to a different server certificate
  • Experiencing a glitch in your iPhone’s operating system

Related: Check Why Your iPhone Keeps Disconnecting from WiFi

How to Fix a “Cannot Verify Server Identity” Error

While this error is an inconvenience that can hinder you from properly setting up email accounts, it’s usually exceedingly simple and straightforward to fix the problem.

Method 1. Exit & Relaunch the Mail App

The Mail app on your iPhone has its fair share of bugs — the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” error is one of them. If the app itself is the culprit, there’s a good chance that closing and restarting it can fix things.

For more recent iPhone models, here’s how to get rid of “cannot verify server identity” errors by restarting the mail app:

  1. To start things off, close all the apps on your iPhone that are running in the background.
  2. From there, launch the Mail app on the home screen to see if relaunching it solved the problem.
    Relaunch the mail app

Method 2. Restart Your iPhone

If rerunning the Mail app didn’t work, try giving your iPhone a soft reboot. The number of system issues that can be remedied by a quick device restart is pretty surprising.

For iPhone 8 and Older:

  1. Press and hold the side or top button (not the volume buttons) for a few seconds until a slider appears on-screen.
  2. Swipe the slider. The device will power down after half a minute or so.
  3. Press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on your phone screen.

For iPhone X And Newer:

  1. Simultaneously press and hold one of the volume buttons and the side button for a few seconds. Do so until a slider appears on-screen.
  2. Swipe the slider across the screen. The device will power down after half a minute or so.
  3. Press and hold the side button once more until the Apple logo appears on your phone screen.

Method 3. Remove Your Email Account and Add it Again

The next recommendation is to remove the email account that’s causing the “cannot verify server identity” error, then add it back. This technique seems to have worked for many users who’ve faced this problem. :

  1. From your iPhone home screen, tap “Settings.”

    Cannot verify server identity—Locating settings app on iPhone
  2. Scroll down and tap “Mail.”

    Where to find the Mail app in iPhone settings
  3. Select “Accounts.”

    Where to find mail Accounts under settings
  1. Choose the email account you’re looking to delete. Hit the “Delete Account” button (found at the bottom of the screen). A confirmation pop-up should appear. Confirm the account deletion if you’re certain.


Cannot Verify Server Identity - Account information


  1. From there, you can add your email account back by heading to “Settings” > “Mail” > “Accounts” and select the “Add account” option. You’ll then be provided with instructions on how to set up your email account again.


How to delete mail account in iPhone settings

Method 4. Make Sure Your iOS Is updated to the Latest Version

An outdated iOS might be another reason your iPhone cannot verify server identity in 2023. You’ll want to ensure that yours is updated to the latest version.

  1. From your iPhone home screen, tap “Settings.”


Cannot verify server identity—Locating settings app on iPhone


  1. Select “General.”

    General settings on iPhone
  2. Tap “Software Update.”

    Where to find software update in iPhone
  1. Your iPhone will check whether your iOS is updated to the latest version. This may take a few seconds. If there’s a new update available, tap “Download and Install” and follow the on-screen instructions until the update is complete.


Download and install iOS update on iPhone


Related: “Connected” Without Internet? Here are 15 Easy Fixes

Method 5. Restore Factory Settings

If all else fails, you may need to restore your iPhone to its factory settings. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll lose all the data on the device, so be sure to create a backup before doing so.

  1. From your iPhone home screen, tap “Settings.”

    Cannot verify server identity—Locating settings app on iPhone
  2. Select “General.”
    General settings on iPhone
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of this section and tap “Transfer or Reset iPhone.”
    Where to locate transfer or reset option on iPhone
  1. Hit the “Erase all content and settings” option and enter your passcode if requested. From there, follow the provided instructions. Your iPhone’s factory settings will be restored.


 Erase all content and settings on iPhone

Wrapping Up

Being unable to check, send, or receive emails because of a “cannot verify server identity” error certainly is a hassle. It’s also an issue encountered by a large number of iPhone users. That said, fixing the issue usually only takes a few minutes. All you have to do is follow the steps outlined in this guide, and you’ll be able to access your email accounts as intended!

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Emma Collins is a tech writer for Productivity Spot. She's been writing tech tutorials & how-to guides on Windows, Android, iOS, Social Media, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more as a tech writer for over 6 years. You can find her work on many established tech websites, including, MakeUseOf, Help Desk Geek, Online Tech Tips, Switching To Mac, HandyRecovery, Cleverfiles, and more.

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