It’s not you…
Did you get a new iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or other Apple device this morning? Congratulations!
Good luck setting it up.
While a quick glance at the Apple System Status page shows that everything is working as expected, you probably already noticed that Apple ID servers are overloaded right now.
During setup, you’ll be given the option to verify your Apple ID, but just about everyone is running into an issue where it hangs at the verification step and ultimately tells you there’s a problem with the verification server.
Don’t worry, it’s not something you did, it’s just that there are so many people trying to activate their devices this morning, that Apple is having difficulty processing so many simultaneous requests. That’s going to continue throughout the morning till about noonish Eastern time as the West Coast finally wakes up and enjoys their Christmas morning.
How Do I Fix It?
Unfortunately, there’s nothing really to fix here, but you do have three options.
1) Keep Trying
If you’re persistent, you can keep hammering the verification step over and over again. Eventually, you’ll be able to connect to the server and things will be OK. Then you can proceed as normal. But be warned, this is the most frustrating of the three options and could take a long time.
2) Setup as a New Device
If you want to start using your device immediately and don’t care about pulling over your settings and contacts, you can just set it up as a new device. Then later today, when everything dies down, you can go into the Settings app and sign in with your ID to get everything set the way you like it.
3) Do Nothing
The easiest thing to do, though, is to do nothing. Put the device back in the box and wait till this afternoon or this evening to set things up. It’s my preferred way to deal with Apple ID outages like this. It’s the least frustrating, and you can take your time and make sure your device is set up exactly the way you want it.