A fix for the “Verification Failed” error on the Apple AppStore
The “Verification Failed” error scenario
Here’s the situation. I’ve lived in multiple countries. Since Apple only allow payment methods of the same country as with the Apple IDs, I have had to register multiple Apple IDs for some local apps.
This had never been a major issue for a long time as I’ve always been able to update all my apps that was bought using those different Apple IDs, even when I’m only signed on to my main Apple ID on the AppStore.
But as of iPadOS 13.1 (still persistent with the latest 13.2.3 as of this writing), I’ve not been able to verify my other Apple ID when trying to update my apps. I have to actually log out of my main Apple ID, then log in with the Apple ID that I’ve bought the app with to update those apps. Then if I re-login again with my main Apple ID on the App Store, the same problem remains.
At first, I could not figure out what was wrong since I was pretty sure I entered the right password every time it asked for a password. Then i remembered that on my iPhone, I get redirected to the Settings app to enter the verification code from the older two-step verification system that the AppleID was configured for.
As all my devices are signed on with my main Apple ID on which iCloud is used, I have never thought if I could have configured any of my devices that can be used as the trusted device for my other secondary Apple IDs. I have also always thought that I have to keep using the older 2-step verification process which relies on SMS codes.
The fix to the “Verification Failed” error
Recently, I figured out that it is actually possible to set up two-factor authentication (2FA) for multiple Apple IDs on the same device. You can’t do this on the https://appleid.apple.com site. However, you can do this directly on an iOS or MacOS device.
In this article, I have the step by step screenshots of how I set up my two additional Apple IDs with Two-Factor Authentication on my main iPhone. [Enable Two-Factor Authentication for multiple Apple IDs on a single device]
TL;DR? Go to Settings, and add your other Apple IDs as a new iCloud account in the Accounts and Password section. You don’t have to enable the Contacts, Calendar, etc sync if you don’t need it. Then once you’ve signed on the Apple ID on your device, you can then enable Two-Factor Authentication in the Password & Security settings of the Apple ID. You can also convert the older Two-Step Verification mode if you’ve set that up for your Apple ID in the past.
Once you have gotten Two-Factor Authentication enabled, you should no longer get the “Verification Failed” error any more. I was able to now get redirected to Settings to enter the verification code when I update apps that I’ve bought on a different Apple ID at the AppStore. I no longer need to log out and in with the different Apple IDs I have.
So it does seem like Apple is starting to neglect testing for support with Apple IDs that are still stuck with the older Two-Step Verification mode. Or at least, not test it as robustly as with the newer Two-Factor Authentication mode. Also, I’ve only caught this problem on the iPadOS thus far. Personally, I still think that this is a bug that Apple should fix, but on the other hand, we all should actually update all our Apple IDs with the newer security mode too. Ah well. 😄