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iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity – How to Fix

Posted by Arch on October 8, 2019
iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity

One of the most common problems affecting iPhone users is the iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity issue. As a matter of fact, this problem has also been reported across other iOS devices.

The problem at hand affects both POP3 and IMAP account types. However, users whose devices run Mac iOS 10.2x have most often complained about this iOS issue.

Since the iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity is such a popular topic among users who prefer Apple’s products, we have decided to explain the issue and help you solve it.

Let’s start with why this problem occurs in the first place.

What Is the iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity Error?

Whenever you want to use a certain email service, your iPhone tries to connect to that email provider’s server. This process involves a lot of data circulating back and forth between your iPhone and the server. The server is reading your iPhone’s data, checking it, and validating it. After that process is completed, a different set of data is being sent back to your iPhone.

This data can be manipulated by a third party (like cybercriminals) and your sensitive information could get easily exposed.

What Is the iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity Error

Since connecting to a server is necessary but still represents a risk, servers have incorporated safety certificates that iPhones and other devices can read. So, how does that work?

Simply put, your iPhone will request the server’s SSL certificate whenever it’s trying to connect to it. The server will then respond by sending the certificate to your iPhone for validation. Your iPhone will essentially check if the certificate is reliable or not. It will also go through your account’s details and see if everything matches. All of that happens in the background.

In case your iPhone determines that the certificate has expired, doesn’t match the domain name, or that it hasn’t been signed by a well-trusted company, it will throw it away and break the connection.

Once the connection between the server and your iPhone has been broken, you will see the iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity error displayed on your screen.

Although reading certificates has been implemented due to safety reasons, sometimes this process can make a mistake and display the error even though nothing is wrong.

This error most often occurs when:

  1. You have switched to a different account.
  2. You have created a new account on your iPhone device.
  3. The server has changed their certificate or the certificate has expired.

How Can You Solve This Issue on Your iPhone?

There are a few fixes that can solve this issue. However, sometimes the developers on the server’s end have to do their “magic” behind the scenes to help users connect. We will go into what you, as an iPhone user, can do.

Recreate Your iPhone Mail Account

The most common suggestion coming straight from Apple’s developers is to completely remove your iPhone email account and replace it with a new one. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Log into your iPhone device.
  2. Navigate to your iPhone’s Settings.
  3. Tap on the Mail option.
  4. Select Accounts. That will display all accounts that you have stored on your iPhone device.
  5. Tap on the account that you want to remove.
  6. Slide that window up and you will be prompted with additional options that you can use.
  7. Tap the Delete Account button on the bottom of the screen. This button is usually red.
  8. After you’ve tapped on the Delete Account button, iOS will ask you to confirm your decision. Tap on Confirm.

That is all when it comes to removing an iPhone mail account. Now, it is time to create and add a new one. The following steps will show you how you can do that.

  1. Navigate to your iPhone’s Settings.
  2. Search for the Mail, Contacts, Calendars icon and tap on it.
    Mail, Contacts, Calendars icon
  3. Tap on Add Account. This feature is located in the Accounts section.
  4. Select Other.
  5. After that, you will be able to see the Add Mail Account option. Tap on it to proceed.
  6. A new window will appear where you’ll have to enter the requested information. This includes your email address, password, etc.
  7. Enter the settings for the incoming and outgoing mail server.
  8. After everything has been verified, you will notice the Cancel or Save options at the top of the screen. Tap on Save to add your new iPhone account.

Since you have experienced the error at hand, it means that your phone is using SSL with your iPhone account. Because of that, you need to be careful when you are choosing the ports for the incoming and outgoing server.

Our suggestion is to use the following secure ports:

Outgoing Server Port for Both IMAP and POP: 465 (port number)

Incoming Server for IMAP: 993 (port number)

Incoming Server Port for POP3: 995 (port number)

This method usually solves the issue.

Turn Off SSL in Your iPhone Mail Account

As we have already mentioned, the reason why you are getting this error message is because your iPhone is using SSL. Although there is an option that allows you to turn SSL off, this isn’t recommended. Still, if you want to proceed with it, here’s what you should do:

  1. Log in to your iPhone device.
  2. Navigate to its Settings menu.
  3. Tap on Mail.
  4. Select Accounts.
  5. Tap on your email account to select it.
  6. Tap on your account’s label again.
  7. Select Advanced.
  8. Locate the Use SSL slider and tap on it. The slider should be green before tapping.
  9. Tap on Account, which is located in the top-right corner of your screen.
  10. Tap on Done to finish.

Adding to Trusted Certificates

Take a look at the error window that you receive. In case you notice the Details button, you should be able to manually mark that certificate as trusted.

To do so, tap on the Details button and then select Trust.

Test It Out and Get Rid of This Error

Now you know more about this common iPhone error message. You know why it occurs and what you can do to solve it. Test out the methods that we have explained in this article and see if any of them helps you resolve the problem.

Do you maybe have an alternative method that can do the trick? Share it with the TechJunkie community in the comments below.

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