When you need to access important files from your iCloud account on iPhone, iPad, or Mac and get the infamous “Verification Failed: An unknown error occurred in Apple ID” message, it must be really annoying. But thankfully there are some quick fixes you can try to resolve the verification issue of Apple ID.
iCloud is a convenient cloud storage product from Apple. To manage this iCloud account you create an Apple ID. Apple also links this ID with the physical devices and digital files on your devices. Thus, you can easily access iCloud content on different Apple devices via the Internet. No need to copy content from one device and export that to another using any external storage medium.
In iCloud or Apple ID, everything works smoothly until the “An unknown error occurred on Apple ID” issue surfaces. You can keep on trying to verify the account and the device will persistently show this error until you try the troubleshooting methods mentioned below:
How to Fix an Unknown Error Occurred in Apple ID in iOS
Find below the troubleshooting methods to fix the Apple ID verification issue:
1. Check Apple ID System Status
You can see the error due to the Apple ID services issue. Ensure that the service isn’t down when you’re trying to verify the Apple ID. Just visit the Apple System Status portal and check the status of the Apple ID service.
2. Disable VPN
If you’re using any VPN app to bypass geo-restricted websites, apps, etc., or protecting your privacy by using a virtual private network, disable that service temporarily. You’ll find VPN settings in Settings > General > VPN & Device Management.
Now go to Settings > Apple ID and tap any of the Apple ID-linked devices on the right-side panel. If you can access the device information, then you fixed the issue.
Also read: How To Use Google One VPN on iOS
3. Force Stop Settings App
If the Settings app has been up and running for quite some time and you didn’t restart it previously, a faulty system cache can cause the Apple ID verification error. Do the following:
- Go to the Home Screen of your iPhone or iPad.
- Touch the bezel at the bottom of the screen and swipe up until the middle of the screen.
- The Switch apps screen will show up where you see all the open apps.
- Find the Settings app there and swipe it up to force stop the app.
- Now, open the Settings app from Home Screen or App Drawer.
4. Check and Correct the Device Time or Time Zone
Manual date, time, and time zone can negatively impact the Apple ID sync and verification with Apple servers. To rule out the role of manual time and time zones, follow these steps:
- Open Settings and go to General.
- Now, select Date & Time option.
- Toggle on the Set Automatically feature.
5. Change the Internet Network
To rule out the involvement of a faulty or limited connection network, switch to mobile internet via 4G or 5G. If that’s not an option, change the Wi-Fi network from Settings > Wi-Fi menu. After switching the internet connection, try verifying the Apple ID. This time it should work.
6. Reset Network Settings
You can also try to reset the network settings of an iPhone, iPad Wi-Fi, or iPad + Cellular device to fix the Apple ID issue. Here are the steps you must follow:
- Open Settings and tap General.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the right-side navigation panel and choose Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Tap Reset.
- Now select Reset Network Settings.
7. Disable iCloud Backup Temporarily
If you’re seeing the “Verification Failed: An unknown error occurred in Apple ID” notification when accessing another Apple device using the same Apple ID, disable the iCloud backup on the first device. These are the steps to follow:
- Go to Settings > Apple ID screen.
- Tap the iCloud icon on the right-side menu.
- Select the iCloud Backup option.
- Toggle off the Back Up This iPhone/iPad feature.
8. Sign Out of iCloud and Sign In Again
You may also want to sign out of the Apple ID and sign in again to force a server check-in with Apple servers. Here’s how you can do this:
- Go to the Apple ID screen from the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
- At the bottom of the Apple ID screen, on the right side, you must see Sign Out.
- Tap Sign Out and confirm that using your Apple ID Password.
- Sign in again from Settings > Apple ID.
9. Update the iOS Device
If you’re not seeing the “An unknown error occurred in Apple ID” error after a recent update, then you must update your device from Settings > General > Software Update.
10. Force Restart iOS
You can try force restarting the device to fix minor software and program issues that might be causing the Apple ID verification issue. Here’s how to force a restart on iPhone or iPad devices:
- Go to the device’s Home Screen.
- Tap the volume up and then press the volume down button.
- Now, press and hold the power button until you see the Apple Logo.
How to Fix an Unknown Error Occurred in Apple ID in macOS
Since iCloud and Apple ID follow the same protocol for verification on iOS and macOS, you can perform most of the above-mentioned troubleshooting on your MacBook or iMac to resolve the “Verification Failed: An unknown error occurred in Apple ID” issue. Find below the methods that are specific to macOS. Also, I’ll explain some steps for the above methods if those are different in macOS.
1. Deactivate macOS VPN Services
If you use a VPN service for privacy and security reasons, you must disable that by following these steps:
- Click the Apple menu icon and then choose System Preferences.
- Find the Network icon in the list that follows and click on it.
- There should be Ethernet or Wi-Fi in the list of networks on the left-side panel. If there are any VPN configurations, delete those.
- Now, reboot the MacBook or iMac and try logging in to apps that need Apple ID verification.
Also read: The best free VPNs for Mac, iPhone and iPad
2. Sign Out and Sign In to iCloud
- Go to the Apple menu and then click System Preferences (Monterey) or System Settings (Ventura).
- Click the Apple ID icon on the top right corner of the window.
- Inside the Apple ID window, click the Overview menu on the left-side panel.
- Select Sign out.
- Once signed out, sign back in from the same window.
- You may need to authenticate the sign-in from another Apple device.
3. Try Resetting the Apple ID Passcode
- From the Apple menu icon, choose System Preferences and then select Apple ID.
- In the Apple ID screen, click Password & Security on the left-side navigation pane.
- Click Change Password.
- Enter your macOS password or PIN.
- Type in the New Password and retype in the Verify box.
- Click Change to save the changes made.
This should trigger a password refresh across all Apple devices signed in using the same Apple ID. In most cases, the “An unknown error occurred Apple ID” resolves in this step.
4. Use Automatic Date and Time Settings
If you need to change the date, time, time zone, etc., for app development or online research work, you must reset those settings. This will trigger a quick sync of your macOS with the Apple servers. That should resolve the Apple ID verification error. Here’s how it’s done:
- Go to System Preferences from the Apple menu icon.
- Now, select Date & Time tool.
- Click the padlock at the bottom left corner to unlock the tool by entering your MacBook or iMac PIN/Passcode.
- Click the Time Zone tab and ensure you’re in the correct time zone.
- Now, go back to Date & Time and checkmark the automatic time settings.
As soon as the time syncs with the Internet time of your ISP, you should be able to verify your Apple ID or use apps that sync with your Apple ID.
5. Update macOS
If there are any pending updates for your MacBook or iMac, don’t wait for the macOS to automatically update the device when it’s idle. Update the device manually by following these steps:
- Click the Apple menu and then choose System Preferences.
- Now, you must see the Software Update (cogwheel icon) option. Click on it.
- If you didn’t upgrade to macOS Ventura, then you’ll see two different updates:
- macOS Ventura 13 major software upgrade
- Other updates for the existing operating system
- If you don’t want to upgrade to Ventura yet, click the More Info link to apply existing OS updates.
6. Start Up macOS in Safe Mode
You can start up the device in safe mode to find out if any third-party app is causing the Apple ID verification error or not. Here’s how one does it:
- For Intel-based Mac, restart or turn on the device and immediately press the Shift key until you see the sign in page. Continue with sign-in. You might need to sign in twice. You’ll see the Safe Boot text on the Mac menu bar on the first or second log-in.
- For MacBook or iMac made on Apple Chip, shut down the device. Long press the power on button until the Loading startup options text is visible. Now, select the macOS installation disk and long press the Shift key until you see the Continue in Safe Mode button.
Find more about safe mode here: Reboot macOS Into Safe Mode
Now, try any Apple app that forces Apple ID verification and see if the issue got resolved or not. If the problem doesn’t appear, uninstall recently installed third-party apps.
Though the Verification Failed: An unknown error occurred in Apple ID error is pretty irritating, you can easily fix this when following the above troubleshooting methods. Any of the above methods can work for you so try them in the order they appear.
Don’t forget to mention in the comment box below which method worked for you. Also, if you know of any other fix for the “An unknown error occurred in Apple ID” issue on Apple devices, don’t just keep it to yourself. Let others know by commenting below.