Verification Failed error on new Apple Watch while activating

Apple ID verification error on Apple Watch

Many new Apple Watch users have trouble activating their new devices when setting up their new watch.

Users follow through the pairing process using their iPhones and sign in to their Apple IDs with their passwords, but keep getting hung when Apple wants them to enter the passcode of another device. 

Other reported errors attached to the Verification Failed message include an error connecting to the Apple ID server or connecting to iCloud, verifying your Apple Watch’s passcode, and Verifying Apple ID. This may take a few minutes.

Related reading

How to fix Apple ID verification errors on Apple Watch iPhone Watch app Verification Failed

The error “Verification Failed – There was an error verifying the passcode of your xx iPhone” pops up for some parents trying to set up the Apple Watch for their children using the Family setup.

If you click “Cancel” instead of resetting data, we receive an error on the iPhone that reads “Could Not Sign In. The Operation couldn’t be completed.”

The bottom line is that many users cannot complete the setup on their new Apple devices.

If you see the verification failed error on your Apple Watch, the chances are that the Apple servers are overloaded or having other issues.

Before setting up the new Apple Watch, check out the icloud status page by clicking on this Apple system status report.activation error apple watch

Check and see if Apple’s servers have issues with their iCloud services and device activation.

Once the server issue is resolved, you can attempt to set up your new Apple Watch process.

Restart your devices, sign out of your iCloud account, sign back in, and then attempt to complete the setup process. Please note that sometimes, it can take multiple attempts to get this issue sorted.

No detected problems with Apple Servers (all green)?

If you checked the status of Apple’s servers and didn’t see any problems there, try these things with your new or new-to-you Apple Watch.

  1. Check your iPhone’s WiFi connection. Choose a 5GHz network, if available. 
  2. Reset the network settings on your phone by going to Settings > General > Reset and choosing Reset Network Settings. Ensure you have the WiFi network’s ID and password–you need to re-enter them after the reset. Reser menu options on iPhone
  3. Sign out and back in for Settings > Apple ID > Media and Purchases. You want to make sure you use the same Apple ID for all the services. Verification problems can happen when you use different Apple IDs on your phone. Log out of App Store on iPad in Appel ID settings
  4. Restart your iPhone and your Apple Watch by powering both down, waiting a few seconds, then power up your iPhone, followed by your Apple Watch.
    1. Power off your watch by pressing and holding the side button, tapping the power icon, and then sliding to power off.
    2. If you cannot power off your watch, restart your iPhone and wait for it to power back on. Then, force restart your watch by pressing both the side button and the Digital Crown until you see the Apple logo on the watch’ screen.

Apple user support is beneficial, and you should definitely reach out to them if you continue to have this issue around activating your Apple Watch.

Previous articleBiointellisense gets regulatory clearance for its BioButton wearable
Next articleFitbit not accurately counting or tracking steps? Let’s fix it! 
Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


  1. some posts suggest changing the date and time, restoring iPhone through iTunes, or using Joyoshare UltFix, Do these methods work as well?

    • Hi Emma,

      Changing the date and time might work–plus it’s easy to do via Settings > General > Date & Time. We don’t recommend restoring your paired iPhone via Finder or iTunes–we’ve never seen that work for this watch issue.

      Regarding third-party options like the one you mention, we haven’t tested these ourselves so we can’t recommend them.

      If one of these approaches or something else works for you, please let us know so we can forward it on to our readers. Thank you!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.