How to Fix ‘Cannot Verify Server Identity’ for Mails and Safari in iOS

I’m a daily user of the Mails app on my iOS device. Unlike Gmail or other dedicated email apps that only work with one single service, the stock Mails application on the iPhone allows you to connect with multiple mail servers such as iCloud, Outlook, Google, Yahoo!, AOL, and more.

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Recently, it stopped working as usual. A weird error would constantly pop up that says something like:

CANNOT VERIFY SERVER IDENTITY IMAP GMAIL

Mail account cannot verify the identity of “mail. (URL)”. Would you like to continue anyway?

And the popup also contains the Cancel button, Details, and Continue. For firmware below iOS 10, when you tap on the Details button, you will be able to Trust the certificate and go on with your day. However, users who upgraded to iOS 10 and higher have found it harder to fix the Server Identity verification issue on their Mail app.

(Note: Please double check the domain and its validity before trusting).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN THE IPHONE SAYS CANNOT VERIFY SERVER IDENTITY?

If you see this error pop up on your mobile device, then it is telling you that the mail server’s certificate is fake. This means that this error may be occurring because of the iPhone’s strict verification of your mail server certificates.

If you see a message saying that verification failed after you restore or perform an iOS update, then this typically means that your device is just not allowing you to connect to Apple’s iCloud verification servers. Usually, you will find that this error is not the result of anything related to your Apple ID.

If you have an iOS 10.2 or earlier, to verify your identity on your iPhone, navigate to Settings and iCloud. Tap your Apple ID username. If the device is currently offline, then you will click to get a verification code. However, if the device is online, you will then navigate to the Password and Security are to get a verification code.

EMAILS ON IOS SHOWING SERVER IDENTITY ERROR

To fix this problem in the Mail app, all you have to do is:

  1. Remove the email that’s giving the issue by going to Settings > Mails and then open the Accounts tab. Tap on the email you want to delete, find the ‘Delete Account’ option at the bottom, and confirm your action.
  2. Hard Reset your iPhone by holding down both the Power and Home button for 10 seconds or until you see the Apple logo. Let go and wait for the device to boot up.
  3. Go to Settings > Mails and then open the ‘Accounts’ tab again, tap on ‘Add Account’ and then add the old email address that you deleted earlier.
  4. Turn off the device (pressing down the power button and use the Power Off slider) and turn it back on.

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This fixed the server identity error for me when viewing one of the emails I received in the Mails app. If that doesn’t work for you, here are a few more suggestions:

  • Use the email’s dedicated app. For example, if it’s a Gmail account then download the Gmail app from the App Store
  • Delete the server from your Outgoing Mail Server in the Settings app. Once you re-add the email, it will show a popup for you to “Verify Server”
  • Update to the latest Apple firmware (Settings > General > Software Update)

THIS ISSUE APPEARS ON THE SAFARI BROWSER, TOO!

Many of you came here because the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” is displaying on your Safari app instead of the Mails app. Both of these issues are similar, and they have the same error message.

For Safari it shows something like this:

  • Safari cannot verify the identity of “ph.yahoo.com”. Review the certificate details to continue.

To troubleshoot this:

  1. Tap ‘Cancel’ on the prompt and then go to Settings > Safari
  2. Scroll all the way to the bottom and tap on ‘Clear History and Website Data’ and then confirm the next prompt
  3. Restart your iPhone or iPad
  4. And that should perform the trick. The next time you visit the same web page again, it shouldn’t show the server verification error

If you still need help, watch the YouTube video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCTyenvr2RM&t=1s

RESTARTING THE IPHONE

Before you choose the restart option to fix the error message, you want to make sure that there are no glitches that may ultimately be preventing your phone from operating as it would normally. You can then turn off the device or hard reboot the iPhone.

Wait a few minutes before turning the device back on. To test if this method worked, open the Mail app. This method also works if you run across the cannot verify server identity error on your iPad.

DISABLE SSL

If you still find that your problem has not been solved and you are still having issues, you will need to go back into the Settings in the app again and look for Passwords and Accounts.

Click the Mail application that is an issue for you and then tap on the account that is registered with the app on the mobile device. Under the Advanced settings, you will be able to disable the Use SSL feature.

SSL is used to keep all sensitive information and data encrypted when it is sent over the internet. It is a way to ensure that only the intended recipient will be able to access the information.

To disable the Use SSL feature, tap Settings, go to Passwords and Accounts, and under the accounts option, you will choose the email account that is giving you the issue.

Tap on the account, go to advanced, and under the option of Incoming Settings, you can disable SSL. You then exit the settings and restart your mail app. Test again to see if the issue has been fixed. If not, try one of the many other solutions we have offered.

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