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How to fix “cannot verify server identity” error

“Cannot Verify Server Identity” is a common error in iPhone and other iOS devices. Below we will cover how to fix this error on your iPhone / iPad.



What is the error Cannot Verify Server Identity?

When an iPhone tries to connect to a mail server securely, it’ll fetch the server’s “SSL certificate” and check if it is reliable.

If it finds the certificate changed, or not matching the domain name, or not signed by a well-known company, it’ll mark the cert as unreliable.

At that point, the secure connection fails, and iPhone or the device will show the error “Cannot Verify Server Identity“.

Unfortunately, the error can appear when using 1-grid mail servers. It even pops up with popular mail servers like eas.outlook.com, imap.gmail.com, etc. too. 


Solution:- Changing your Mail Server Name

Many hosting companies provide the mail server name as “mail.website-name.com”. Whereas, the certificate of the mail server will be in the format “mail.server-name.com”. When configuring iPhone users put in their mail server as “mail.website-name.com”, but when iPhone fetches the certificate, it sees the name “mail.server-name.com” printed in it. iPhone plays it safe and marks the certificate as unreliable. Below we will cover how to update the hostname to your mail server name.



Step 1 – Launch Settings


If you have re-arranged your home screen and Settings is not readily visible, you may swipe right and begin typing “Settings” into the search field to launch the app.


Step 2 – Open the Email Account

  • In the Settings app, navigate to Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  • Tap the account name to view the account.





Step 3- Open Account Settings


  • On the main screen for your email account, tap on the email address near the top of the screen next to Account to access the account’s settings. 
  • From there, you will be able to edit the incoming and outgoing server settings as well as update the account password and port information.




Step 4 –  Edit Account Settings

  • Incoming Mail Server – Change the incoming mail server from “mail.domain.co.za” name to server name e.g. “winmails02.hostserv.co.za”




*** All other settings remain the same 


  •  Outgoing Mail Server  – Change the outgoing mail server from “mail.domain.co.za” name to server name e.g. “winmails02.hostserv.co.za”




  • Tap Account in the top-left corner to go back to it, and then tap the server name under Outgoing Mail Server to bring up the SMTP page.
  • On the mail server page, tap on the name of your mail server to access its settings.




***All other settings remain the same


Updated on March 7, 2023

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