There was an error connecting to the Apple ID server

I recently had an issue with my iMac - namely when I tried to open the App Store, it demanded I log in, and then returned the error “There was an error connecting to the Apple ID server.” late 2015 iMac 5K, macOS 10.14.5 Mojave, Ubiquiti Amplifi with firmware version 3.1.0.

I did the normal things - rebooted, force-closed the App Store app, logged out of my account on the App Store and tried logging in again (same error, obviously). And I also went through all the results in the Google that I could find.

Nothing worked.

I also tried logging into appleid.apple.com. It’d let me log in, but returned an error in Safari saying the server disconnected when it tried to load my Apple ID details (devices, account etc.)

So! It was a network error of some sort. I had a look at the Apple system status dashboard to make sure AppleID was working (it was). I tried going to appleid.apple.com with my iPhone and there were no issues.

I have a Ubiquiti Amplifi wifi router, this may be an important note here, but I can’t be sure, since I don’t think the wifi was the issue. These are the steps I went through which eventually fixed the issue.

  • Over plain wifi, the iMac couldn’t connect, but it could by connecting through…
  • an iPhone hotspot over 4G
  • an iPhone hotspot that was in turn connected to my my local VPN (and thus the wifi network)
  • ethernet connected directly to the Ubiquiti Amplify router.

So it wasn’t the wifi, wasn’t the router, wasn’t the iMac (because it could connect over alternative connections). The fact it could connect through ethernet but not wifi was especially confusing. The only real difference in the two was the IP address of each - the ethernet had a dynamic DHCP IP address, while the wifi had a static IP lease.

So I removed the wifi static IP lease from the Amplifi and restarted everything. And it worked. No issues connecting over wifi via the App Store or appleid.apple.com.

Why? I have no idea. Hopefully this helps someone else out there sort this out on their machine, because it was a frustrating, expletive-filled hour of trouble-shooting for me to work it out.

Yorrike @yorrike