So you’re trying to set up your Apple account on a new device but can’t get the verification on your phone that you need to complete your sign-in. Maybe you’re getting the same error message over and over again. Common as it is, it’s a major headache when setting up a new device.
Verification like two-factor authentication is crucial when setting up your new phone. Without it, bad actors can get a hold of your Apple ID and make purchases you never intended, change your settings, and access personal information.
At the same time, it presents a number of problems when you can’t verify Apple ID on a new device. For instance, you can't access your iCloud, where you probably store most of your photos, notes, and other personal files. You also can’t download new apps or make purchases on the apps you’ve already downloaded. All in all, you want to solve the problem quickly.
That’s where we can help. In this post, we’ll cover 2 common questions that users have when they run into Apple ID verification issues, including:
- Why isn’t my Apple ID verification code working?
- Why won’t my phone number verify my Apple ID?
5 ways to fix Apple ID phone number verification issues
There are 2 potential reasons why you can’t verify your Apple ID on your device. The problem might be on Apple’s part—a technical problem with its systems—or it might be an issue on your end, with your devices or your network. Fortunately, in either case, there are steps you can take to resolve it.
Apple has a system status checker available online that indicates which systems are up and running smoothly and which are encountering problems. The list includes features such as the App Store, Find My iPhone, and iCloud Account and Sign In. As you’ll see on the website, items in green are running properly, but others have recently resolved issues.
If you’re having trouble signing into your Apple ID on a new device, take a look at the system status checker first to see whether the problem is, in fact, on Apple’s end. It might just take a bit of time before its support team responds to the issues, but once they have, you can try again.
In other cases, the problem might be with your network. First, consider whether you’re connected to Wi-Fi or to a mobile network. Network connectivity can lead to problems signing into your Apple ID. Wi-Fi is generally better than a mobile network for connecting to your Apple ID. Make sure your connection is stable as well. An unstable connection dropping in and out can result in your phone number not verifying.
When Apple ID doesn't accept your phone number, the solution may follow the old, familiar pattern of “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” However, the particulars are different in each instance, and making sure that you follow the steps in the correct order is crucial to solving the problem. It also almost goes without saying that you should maintain your network connection throughout your efforts.
1. Update your iOS
Apple frequently offers updates to iOS, which have an impact on the functionality of certain apps and services. In some cases, you may need to update your iOS to verify your Apple ID. Updating iOS is simple.
- Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi and your phone is sufficiently charged
- Go to Settings on your device
- Check if there's an update available—you'll see it as a notification on the main settings screen
- Select Update and choose to Update Immediately
- Wait for it to update, which may take a few minutes, then your phone will automatically restart
Once you’ve updated your iOS, you can try to verify your Apple ID again on your new device. This may resolve the issue, but if not, continue with the other solutions below.
2. Sign out and back in
Sometimes, signing out and signing back in—just like turning it off and on again—can resolve issues with verifying your phone number with Apple ID.
- Go to the App Store and any other apps where you may have signed in using your Apple ID
- Log out of your Apple ID on all of these apps
- Try verifying your Apple ID again before logging back into your apps
3. Restart your device
This is the oldest trick in the book for technical problems: turn your device off, then back on again, and see if the problem persists. A simple restart might do the trick, but you might also need to do a forced restart. Here’s how to do that:
- Press and quickly release the Volume Up button
- Press and quickly release the Volume Down button
- Press and hold the side Power button
- Release the side Power button when the Apple logo appears
Once your device is back on, try logging back into your Apple ID. The verification issue may no longer persist. If it does, look at one of the other solutions. It’s possible that restarting your device may help with network connectivity issues or some of the other problems we’ve discussed.
4. Disconnect from and reconnect to your network
If network issues are the reason you can’t verify your Apple ID on your new device, then disconnecting and reconnecting to your network connection can help. In some cases, you may need to select Forget This Network and sign in again, so make sure that you have your network password handy.
- Go to Settings on your device
- Go to Wi-Fi
- Press the letter i next to your network name
- Select Forget This Network
- Go back to the Wi-Fi screen and select the network from the list of available networks
- Sign in using your WPA password
After you’ve disconnected and reconnected, try verifying your Apple ID again. It may be the only reason you couldn’t connect was a poor Wi-Fi signal, and reconnecting to the network—or perhaps connecting to another network, if possible—can be a simple solution.
If the above doesn’t work for resolving your network issues, you may have to restart your router. This may feel like an extreme step, but it solve network connectivity issues preventing you from verifying your Apple ID.
- Unplug your router or press the power button to turn it off
- Wait a moment—how long you wait is arbitrary
- Plug your router back in and press on the power button to turn it back on
- Reconnect to your network on your device
5. Try disconnecting from your VPN
VPNs are increasingly common as people want to protect their internet browsing from others. But, as anyone who’s tried to watch Netflix while using a VPN will tell you, there are certain drawbacks. If you’re using a VPN on your Apple device, this might be the reason you can’t verify your Apple ID on that device.
Fortunately, the solution here is simple: disconnect from your VPN when you want to verify your device. Open your VPN app, and most will have a large, highly visible button that you can click to connect or disconnect.
VPNs are a great way to keep your browsing private but can sometimes cause issues with identity verification. If you can’t verify your Apple ID on a new device, a VPN might be the cause, so you might have to (temporarily) disconnect to ensure your security.
A better verification option for businesses
Here, we’ve explored verification difficulties faced by consumers of a popular brand. If one of the world’s largest tech companies faces these issues, anyone can face them. And this means having the right tools to make verification a cinch for customers.
Verification using SMS is a great option. With 2 billion passwords stolen every year, SMS verification is a far safer alternative (in many cases) to simple password verification. It’s secure, easy, and affordable.
Admittedly, there are certain drawbacks to SMS verification. SIM swapping and hacking can still present security risks, and if you lose your device, you can get locked out or face intrusions into your account. But many of these issues would still be present with other verification methods, and the advantages of SMS remain.
Many businesses already have SMS verification systems in place. But these systems can be more efficient by using an application programming interface (API). APIs allow communication between different applications, simplifying the process of setting up SMS verification.
When choosing an SMS verification service, look for promises of security and reliable delivery, quick and reliable technical support, and the option to use alternate channels for verification.
Of course, you'll occasionally run into problems with SMS verification as well—most commonly the result of a weak cell signal.
Taken altogether, SMS verification options offer your customers greater security and reliability. As shown by the example of customers who can’t add a phone number to their Apple ID, it’s not a foolproof solution but does offer advantages over single-factor authentication.
Learn more about verification APIs
With a little bit of coding knowledge, setting up verification APIs follows a simple, 4-step process:
- View the code in GitHub or a zip file
- Get an API key.
- Set up the code sample locally
Simplify SMS verification with Twilio Verify
Twilio’s Verify API simplifies SMS verification. You can add two-factor authentication seamlessly to your onboarding process and login, bringing the benefits of SMS verification to your users for an enhanced experience with your business. Plus, we offer carrier-approved templates to ensure your verification messages aren't filtered out.
What’s more, Verify goes beyond SMS to allow verification by voice, email, Push, TOTP, WhatsApp, and Silent Network Authentication. When verifying user accounts, you need a reliable solution, and the Verify API offers you that reliability. Get started today with a free account.