Cannot Verify Server Identity, Fix

Several users have reported that they are unable to check their emails using the Mail app on their iOS or iPadOS devices. This article explains how you can troubleshoot if you see the “cannot verify server identity” error message. This a common problem. You may experience this issue when you are trying to check your mail on your iPad or iPhone. It appears that this problem affects both IMAP and POP users. IMAP and POP are two methods to access email from any device.

See also: Mail Cannot Save Information About Your Mailboxes Because There Isn’t Enough Space In Your Home Folder

The error message says:

“Cannot Verify Server Identity. The identity of “mail.macreports.com” cannot be verified by Mail.”

Cannot verify server identity

How to fix

It is important to follow these instructions in order. Test the Mail app between steps to see if the issue is resolved.

As the error message indicates, there may be some security certificate (SSL) issues with your e-mail provider’s mail server. Another possibility is that your email provider may have made system changes recently and this change is causing this problem.

1. Check with your email service provider (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, or your Exchange / IT admin) to see if there’s a service outage. Furthermore, check with your service provider to find out if you are using the correct settings.

See also: Yahoo Mail Not Working on iPhone or iPad

2. Make sure that the iPhone or iPad is connected to the Internet over Wi-Fi or cellular. You may want to check your Internet connection easily. Open Safari on your device and try to visit a website. If you are having connection problems, you may want to see the following articles to troubleshoot this problem:

3. Restart your device. Here is how:

  • iPhone X, 11, or later and iPad with Face ID models: Press and hold the power button (side or top) and the volume up (or down) button together until the power off slider appears. Then drag the onscreen slider. Wait until your device completely shuts down. Then press and hold the power button (side or top) until you see the Apple logo.
  • Other iPhone and iPad models: Press and hold the power (side or top) button until you see the power off slider. Then drag the slider. Wait about 30 seconds to make sure that your device is turned off. Then press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears to turn on your device.

4. Make sure that your iPad or iPhone is running the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. Here is how you can check and update your device:

  • On your device, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • If there is an update available, tap Download and Install and then follow the onscreen instructions.

5. Disable the “Use SSL” option. This may fix your problem is you are still having the problem. Here is how:

  • Tap Settings.
  • Passwords & Accounts.
  • Under the Accounts section, tap the email account that giving you this problem.
  • Tap Account.
  • Tap Advanced.
  • Under the “Incoming Settings” section, disable Use SSL.
  • Then exit Settings, and restart the Mail app and test again if this issue occurs again.

Mail Use SSL

6. Delete and add your account again. Please note that deleting your account may remove previously downloaded emails. You may want to log in to the email provider’s website if your email provider offers web-based service. If you see all the emails there, then your mails will be redownloaded again when you re-add the account.

Doing so may fix your problem as your current settings may not be correct and corrupt. Here is how:

  • On your iPhone or iPad, tap Settings > Passwords & Accounts.
  • Tap the email account that is problematic (that we will delete).
  • Tap Delete Account.

Now your account is deleted, let’s add your account again. There are two ways to add an email account:

  1. Automatic.
  2. Manual.

What you can do is to try the automatic option first since it is easier and then test your problem if you are still having the problem, and then delete the account and add your account again manually.

Here is how you can add automatically:

  • On your device, tap Settings > Passwords & Accounts.
  • Tap Add Account.
  • Tap your email account (iCloud, Microsoft Exchange, Google, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, etc).
  • Then follow the onscreen instructions.

And here is you can add your email account manually:

  • Tap Settings > Passwords & Accounts.
  • Tap Add Account.
  • Tap Other.
  • Tap Add Mail Account.
  • And follow the onscreen instructions. Make sure that you enter the email account details correctly. If you are not sure about the details, again you may want to contact your email service provider.

See this article if you are unable to open email attachments.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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3 thoughts on “Cannot Verify Server Identity, Fix”

  1. I have this issue since June. I have been battling with Apple top engineers but done everything you have suggested and more. Nothing works. It fixes it for about 10 days and it comes back. I have addressed this with my provider as this started in June after one month of a new modem and NBN being connected thinking maybe the router causing an issue but they say all ok. I am going crazy over this. Only happens when I am at home on WI-FI to my ipad, iphone and on occasions my husbands only. My desktop on ethernet is fine with hotmail just ios devices. No other ios devices that visits my home on a regular basis using my wifi has this issue.

    Reply
    • *this. like me, you’re probably with Aussie Broadband. I even had to provide their support with the solution. Which works for a month or two… and then it is back again. 🙁

      Reply
  2. You are amazing! Tried so many sites with supposed remedies after 2 hours on phone with ISP who insisted all was fine. So frustrating.

    Reply

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