Cannot Verify Server Identity on iPhone? Here’s 5 Ways to Fix It

Fixing the Cannot Verify Server Identity on iPhone Error

Seeing the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” error appear on your iPhone is unsettling, but it’s actually a common issue. For me, these pop-ups randomly came up while I was using Safari and Mail. Don’t worry—your device isn’t necessarily under attack. Here are some troubleshooting steps that helped me remove these errors for good.

Why Does the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” Error Message Keep Appearing?

Your iPhone will show a pop-up error saying “Cannot Verify Server Identity” if it’s interacting with untrusted servers, e.g., sites with expired, inconsistent, or misleading SSL certificates. However, it doesn’t automatically imply a cyberattack. Outdated calendar subscriptions, faulty email settings, inaccurate time stamps, and buggy network settings could also prevent your device from forming secure connections.

How To Fix the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” Error

Before diving into the more complex solutions, see if these quick fixes remove the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” error that keeps appearing on your iPhone:

  • Restart your iPhone: Restarting your iPhone could fix temporary software glitches and SSL certificate inconsistencies.
  • Relaunch Safari and Mail: See if verification errors still pop up after relaunching Mail and Safari—or whatever browser or email app you use.
  • Update to the latest iOS version: Install the latest iOS version available because pending software updates could trigger verification errors.

1. Unsubscribe From Calendar Events

Time needed: 10 minutes

Persistent “Cannot Verify Server” pop-ups that keep appearing on your iPhone despite whatever app you use are likely coming from Calendar. Try going through your subscriptions. One of them might have an expired SSL certificate, hence the frequent warnings.

  1. Open Settings > Calendar > Accounts.

    Checking the Subscriptions and Accounts Under Calendar

  2. Select your Calendar subscription and toggle off the Use SSL button.

    Tap the Toggle Button for Use SSL Because iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity

  3. If SSL verification errors still pop up, consider unsubscribing from the calendar event altogether. Just tap Delete Account on the same page.

    Delete Subscription Because iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity

Note icon NOTE
You could also delete unauthorized events from your Calendar app manually. Go to Calendar, sift through all your scheduled events, tap on anything you don’t recognize, and select Delete Event.

2. Adjust Your Date and Time Settings

If your iPhone is set to the wrong date and time, server verification errors can occur.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
    The Home Screen of iOS Device Settings
  2. Scroll down and select General > Date & Time.
    Checking the Date and Time Section on General iOS
  3. Toggle on the button for Set Automatically.
    Adjusting the Date and Time Because iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity
  4. Also, check if the time zone shown is accurate.

3. Clear Safari Website Data

The website data stored on Safari sometimes get corrupted. In these cases, you’ll need to clear your website data.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and scroll down to Safari.
    Tapping the Safari Section in the General iOS Settings
  2. Tap Clear History and Website Data.
    Clear the History and Website Data on Safari Because iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity
  3. Under Clear Timeframe, select how much of your website history you want to clear. You can choose Last Hour, Today, Today and yesterday, or All history.
    Choose Timeframe of How Much Web History to Delete
  4. Toggle on the Close All Tabs button to erase all your open tabs, too.
    Close All the Open Tabs in Safari Because iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity
  5. Tap Clear History to confirm the action.
    The Clear History Button on the iOS Safari Settings

4. Remove Then Add Your Google Account

Removing then adding your Google Account might clear verification errors with your email servers.

  1. Open Settings > Mail > Accounts.
    Checking the Accounts Active on iOS Settings Mail App
  2. Tap on the malfunctioning account and scroll down to Delete Account.
    Delete Account on Mail Accounts Because iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity
  3. Go back to the Accounts page and tap Add Account to bring back your Google Account.

5. Reset Your iPhone to Factory Settings

If “Cannot Verify Server” errors are still pop up on your iPhone, consider performing a factory reset. Restoring your default settings should disable any functions interfering with SSL verification. There are several ways to reset your iPhone, and the quickest way is through your iOS Settings app.

  1. Go to Settings > General and scroll down to Transfer or Reset iPhone.
    The Transfer or Reset iPhone Section on the iOS Settings
  2. Tap Reset > Reset All Settings, enter your passcode, then confirm the action. Ensure you back up all your files beforehand because this process wipes everything on your device.
    Reset All the Settings Available on iOS Because iPhone Cannot Verify Server Identity

What Is an SSL Certificate?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a digital certificate that authenticates a website’s identity to allow the establishment of an encrypted connection. An SSL certificate is a security protocol that helps create an encrypted link between a web browser and a web server.

Businesses and companies have SSL certificates added to their websites to protect their customer information and enable secure transactions. Basically, SSL certificates that were signed incorrectly, show inconsistencies with their domain names, and have expired certificates get flagged.

What Is Server Verification?

Server verification is a process wherein your iPhone checks the authenticity of web servers through your browser. It scans for potential cyberattacks. To proceed with browsing untrusted websites, tap Show More in the This Connection Is Not Private page and select visit this website. Just ensure you’re aware of the cybersecurity risks.

If the “Cannot Verify Server Identity” error still pops up on your iPhone after trying these troubleshooting steps, call Apple Support. Your device might have a hidden hardware or software issue. You could also contact your email service provider for account recovery and assistance.

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