How to fix “Unable to verify server identity” error on iPhone or iPad

Can’t send or receive email on your iPhone or iPad because the Mail app keeps showing the “Unable to verify server identity” error? That’s most likely because the Mail app can’t communicate securely with the email provider’s server. For example, you’ll get this error if your email provider’s Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is expired or untrusted.

Other factors like software bugs, poor network connections, server outages, and temporary system glitches can also trigger the Mail app to show this error. We will show you some solutions that have fixed the error for users who have problems. Likewise, we will also list other effective solutions that we have discovered from personal testing.

First thing, make sure you have an active internet connection. Open your web browser and check if you can access any website. That will help you determine if your Internet is working correctly. If your connection is not the problem, one of the solutions listed below should work wonders.

Close and reopen the mail app

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the iOS App Switcher. For iPhones and iPads with a home button, double-clicking the Home button brings up the App Switcher. Then, swipe the Mail app up until it disappears from the screen.

Try the following troubleshooting solutions if the error still appears when you reopen the Mail app.

Switch to Mobile Connection

According to some iPhone users in this Apple Discussion thread, the error message only pops up when accessing mail over Wi-Fi. Surprisingly, switching to cellular or cellular data solved the problem. If you’re still getting the “Unable to verify server identity” error on your Wi-Fi connection, switch to mobile data and open the Mail app again.

Restart your iPhone or iPad

Restarting your device may temporarily fix the problem that prevents the Mail app from verifying or identifying email servers.

Go Setting > Shared > Turn off and move the “slide to power off” slider to the right.

Wait about 10-20 seconds for your device to turn off. Then hold the side button to turn it back on. Then, turn on mobile data or join a Wi-Fi network, launch the Mail app and check if you can send and receive emails without any error messages.

Check Email Provider Status

The Mail app may not be able to verify an account’s identity if the email client server is experiencing downtime. Use third-party outage monitoring tools like DownDetector to confirm the status of your email service provider’s servers.

For example, if the affected email is a Gmail account, go to DownDetector and type “gmail” in the search bar. Typing “outlook” or “yahoo mail” in the search bar will bring up the server status for Outlook and Yahoo! Mail, respectively.

If DownDetector reports server-side downtime, you must wait until your email provider resolves the issue. If not, try the other troubleshooting solutions below.

Disable Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption

Some iPhone and iPad users have successfully resolved the “unable to verify server identity” error by disabling Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption for email accounts. Try that and see if it gives the desired results on your device.

  1. Open the Settings app and select Letters.
  1. Option Account.
  1. In the Accounts section, select the affected email account.
  1. Select the account again to continue.
  1. Option Advanced.
  1. In the “Incoming settings” section, turn off Use SSL right to buy.

That will disable SSL encryption for incoming emails for that particular address. While this troubleshooting trick can help fix the problem, it’s worth mentioning that disabling this option makes incoming emails less secure.

Deactivate and reactivate the account

Temporarily disabling the problematic account can enable the Mail account to verify the email client’s server. This will only remove the email account from the Mail app, not from your device. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open the Settings app, navigate to Letters > Account and select the affected account.
  1. Switch to mode Letters right to buy.
  1. Wait about 10 seconds and switch Letters return option.

That will prompt the Mail app to sync and re-verify the email address from scratch. If the problem persists, remove the email account (see steps in the next section) and reconnect from scratch.

Delete and re-add email accounts

When you remove the problematic account from the Mail app, it will also remove the account from your iPhone or iPad. This troubleshooting technique fixed the problem for some iPad users. Here’s how to delete an account on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Mail settings menu (Setting > Letters > Account) and select the problematic account.
  2. Option Delete the account.

You’ll get a warning prompt informing you that deleting your account will delete your calendar, contacts, and other data associated with the account.

  1. Option Remove from my iPhone proceed with.
  1. Return to the iOS Account settings menu and select More account.
  1. Select the account’s customer/vendor.
  1. Enter your account credentials to log in.

Upgrade or update iOS

If you haven’t installed an iOS update for a long time, the “Unable to verify server identity” error could be caused by a bug in your iOS build or in the Mail app.

Connect your iPhone or iPad to a Wi-Fi network, go to Setting > Shared > Software updatesand press Download and install.

Installing an operating system update will also install the latest version of the Mail app on your device.

Conversely, if you notice this error after installing an iOS Beta or an unstable iOS upgrade, consider downgrading your iPhone. Refer to this guide on how to roll back to iOS update to learn how to downgrade your iPhone correctly.

Enjoy an error-free emailing experience

While we believe that at least one of these suggestions will prevent the error message, you should contact your email service provider if the problem persists.

You can also try resetting your iPhone network settings (go to Setting > Shared > Reset > Reset Network Settings). That should resolve any network related issues interrupting the handshake between the Mail client and your email client server.

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