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Trouble activating Apple Watch: Verification Failed

BeatCrazy

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jul 20, 2011
2,811
1,479
I realize it's Christmas morning and Apple's activation servers are probably on overload, but this still seems unnecessarily frustrating.

I got my two kids (<18 yo) Apple Watch SE + Cellular, with plans to activate via Family Setup/sharing. They each already have Apple IDs that are used on iPads regularly.

I'm able to start the pairing process using my iPhone, sign into their Apple IDs with their passwords, but I keep getting hung when Apple wants me to enter the passcode of another device. I'm given options like their iPad passcodes, or one of my Macs. After entering any of these, the watch spins for about 2 minutes and I get the error "Verification Failed - There was an error verifying the passcode of your (or insert family member name here) iPhone (or insert iPad/Mac)." Apple gives me a choice to "reset encrypted data", which I take as an offer to destroy all their existing Apple ID passwords and data - not a good option IMO.

I have even turned off Screen Time for their accounts, and both accounts use 2FA (cannot turn that off). Everything else seems to be normal, and the watches even show up under their respective appleid.apple.com device list accounts. But of course set up cannot be complete.

Is there anything else I can try?
 
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wwwiii

macrumors newbie
Jun 24, 2010
5
1
Queens, NY
Having the same problem here. And my buddy got one for his kid and they’re also having the exact same issue. Looking forward to a solution!
 
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Tuff22

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2020
6
2
Atlanta, GA
Same issue here- been trying for 2 hours
 

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axoplasm

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2020
1
2
I am stuck on the same step. If we try to reset end-to-end data on the watch we receive an error on the iPhone that reads “Could not sign in. Error deleting record.” If we click “Cancel” instead of reseting data we receive an error on the iPhone that reads “Could Not Sign In. The Operation couldn't be completed. (CDPStateError error -5307)”
 
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erictx

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2020
1
2
Same situation here. Two Apple Watch SE + Cellular and two disappointed kids. I called Apple support and they didn't know what was wrong and said to try again later.
 
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checkler

macrumors newbie
Jul 25, 2014
19
3
Same issue with my two watches. I get an error trying to verify on their other device. Glad to see it’s not just me. I was going to return the watches but I may just wait until they find a fix.
 
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Dochas

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2020
9
4
I realize it's Christmas morning and Apple's activation servers are probably on overload, but this still seems unnecessarily frustrating.

I got my two kids (<18 yo) Apple Watch SE + Cellular, with plans to activate via Family Setup/sharing. They each already have Apple IDs that are used on iPads regularly.

I'm able to start the pairing process using my iPhone, sign into their Apple IDs with their passwords, but I keep getting hung when Apple wants me to enter the passcode of another device. I'm given options like their iPad passcodes, or one of my Macs. After entering any of these, the watch spins for about 2 minutes and I get the error "Verification Failed - There was an error verifying the passcode of your (or insert family member name here) iPhone (or insert iPad/Mac)." Apple gives me a choice to "reset encrypted data", which I take as an offer to destroy all their existing Apple ID passwords and data - not a good option IMO.

I have even turned off Screen Time for their accounts, and both accounts use 2FA (cannot turn that off). Everything else seems to be normal, and the watches even show up under their respective appleid.apple.com device list accounts. But of course set up cannot be complete.

Is there anything else I can try?
I have exactly the same problem. Been trying almost the whole day. But no joy
 
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atabride

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2020
1
1
Same here, was able to activate one after two tries but the other is giving me the same error message(s). Will try again later...
 
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Jettur

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2020
1
1
I realize it's Christmas morning and Apple's activation servers are probably on overload, but this still seems unnecessarily frustrating.

I got my two kids (<18 yo) Apple Watch SE + Cellular, with plans to activate via Family Setup/sharing. They each already have Apple IDs that are used on iPads regularly.

I'm able to start the pairing process using my iPhone, sign into their Apple IDs with their passwords, but I keep getting hung when Apple wants me to enter the passcode of another device. I'm given options like their iPad passcodes, or one of my Macs. After entering any of these, the watch spins for about 2 minutes and I get the error "Verification Failed - There was an error verifying the passcode of your (or insert family member name here) iPhone (or insert iPad/Mac)." Apple gives me a choice to "reset encrypted data", which I take as an offer to destroy all their existing Apple ID passwords and data - not a good option IMO.

I have even turned off Screen Time for their accounts, and both accounts use 2FA (cannot turn that off). Everything else seems to be normal, and the watches even show up under their respective appleid.apple.com device list accounts. But of course set up cannot be complete.

Is there anything else I can try?
Same thing for me setting up a new Apple Watch SE for my 9yo (doesn’t have his own phone). Called Apple and after an hour they told me their servers are busy and just try again later.
I eventually got the watch activated and working, except it wouldn’t allow talk-to-text for some reason. I did some research which said to restart the watch, which I did, and then entered the passcode that was previously working and it no longer worked. UGH.
So I did a reset on the watch and now I’m right back to square one again where it can’t verify the passcode to activate the watch.

EDIT: I now was able to get past the code mismatch and the watch prompts me to activate the cellular plan. When it goes to verify with AT&T it says my eSIM was deleted or is missing. On hold with AT&T...
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Aug 1, 2010
3,951
4,400
Same here. Have tried several times throughout the day and keep getting the verification error.

Seems to be specific to the Family Member setup. My 13 yr old’s SE activated off of his iPhone no problem. Got it added to our Verizon without having any issues as well. But my 10 year old we’re setting up as a family member and when we get to the part where it asks us to enter the unlock code from his iPad, it errors out.
 
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Dochas

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2020
9
4
Same here. Have tried several times throughout the day and keep getting the verification error.

Seems to be specific to the Family Member setup. My 13 yr old’s SE activated off of his iPhone no problem. Got it added to our Verizon without having any issues as well. But my 10 year old we’re setting up as a family member and when we get to the part where it asks us to enter the unlock code from his iPad, it errors out.
Could be. I am trying to set it up in family mode. Wonder why it works for one and not the other
 
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lzj

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2020
7
3
Same here. Have tried several times throughout the day and keep getting the verification error.

Seems to be specific to the Family Member setup. My 13 yr old’s SE activated off of his iPhone no problem. Got it added to our Verizon without having any issues as well. But my 10 year old we’re setting up as a family member and when we get to the part where it asks us to enter the unlock code from his iPad, it errors out.
Ditto! Hubby activated his no problem.. the 10 yr old's keeps erroring out via the family mode. Keeps saying her device passcode (to verify) is incorrect. It's not. siiiigh
 
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mcdawg

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2015
133
349
Same thing here.

Trying to set up 3 Apple Watches for my kids. Password verification is broken, so they’re still nothing more than little paperweights.

Damn, Apple, you’re a total mess.
 
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afschmitt

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2008
2
0
Same thing. Two kids without phones trying to activate via Family mode. Apple is asking for their iPad passcodes. I deleted encrypted data, removed passcodes from iPads, restarted everything. Signed them out of iCloud. Nothing works.
 
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Evildude683

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2012
143
1
Republic of Texas
Same issue here, good to know everyone is having the same issue. I have been frustrated and trying to get this fixed thinking it was an issue on the kids profile or something. Will probably carry on enjoying what's left of my Christmas day and try again sometime during the weekend.
 
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spiderman0616

macrumors 68040
Aug 1, 2010
3,951
4,400
Same issue here, good to know everyone is having the same issue. I have been frustrated and trying to get this fixed thinking it was an issue on the kids profile or something. Will probably carry on enjoying what's left of my Christmas day and try again sometime during the weekend.
Yep--I told my son we'll try in the morning. I didn't want sit too long trying to figure out something I can't possibly fix.
 
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EasternSun

macrumors newbie
Dec 25, 2020
5
4
Arlington, VA
Like many on this thread, we were able to get one of our kids Watch SEs to authenticate after two tries, but our other child's watch has been hanging up all day on the passcode. Wish we'd seen this thread earlier as we've tried pretty much everything possible finally concluding it was probably a faulty Watch. We'll try again tomorrow but will check the Apple System Status page for the iCloud Account & Sign-in Issue and this forum beforehand. Good luck, everyone!
 
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