- 'is suggested by his appearance (suitably entitled) in a scene of the festival of Min at the Ramesses III temple at Karnak, which may have been completed by Year 22 [of his father's reign]. (the date is mentioned in the poem inscribed there)'
- "only Ramesses IV and Ramesses VIII remain as candidates [for the son of Tyti]. Given that Ramesses VIII only reigned briefly some 25 years after his father’s death, it is hardly likely that the decoration of QV52, with the mwt-nsw (i.e. king's mother) title intimately mixed with Tyti’s other titles, could have been delayed this late to refer to him. This leaves Ramesses IV as the only credible primary 'subject' of the mwt-nsw title in the tomb. As for which--if any--of the other sons of Ramesses III were borne to Tyti, no unequivocal data is available, other than the fact that Amenhirkhopeshef B, buried in QV55, was ms n Hmt-nTr mwt-nTr Hmt-nsw-wrt, paralleling Tyti's titles so closely that he may with some confidence be proposed as her son."
At the start of his reign, the pharaoh initiated a substantial building campaign program on the scale of Ramesses II by doubling the size of the work gangs at Deir el-Medina to a total of 120 men and dispatching numerous expeditions to the stone quarries of Wadi Hammamat and the turquoise mines of the Sinai. The Great Rock stela of Ramesses IV at Wadi Hammamat records that the largest expedition—dated to his Year 3, third month of Shemu day 27—consisted of 8,368 men alone including 5,000 soldiers, 2,000 personnel of the Amun temples, 800 Apiru and 130 stonemasons and quarrymen under the personal command of the High Priest of Amun, Ramessesnakht. The scribes who composed the text also noted that this figure included 900 men "who are dead and omitted from this list." Consequently, once this omitted figure is included to the tally of 8,368 men who served in the Year 3 quarry expedition, a total of 900 men out of an original expedition of 8,368 men perished during this endeavour for a mortality rate of 10.7%. Some of the stones which were dragged 60 miles to the Nile from Wadi Hammamat weighed 40 tons or more. Other Egyptian quarries including Aswan were located much closer to the Nile which enabled them to use barges to transport stones long distances.
Part of the king's program included the extensive enlargement of his father's Temple of Khonsu at Karnak and the construction of a large mortuary temple near the Temple of Hatshepsut. Ramesses IV also sent several expeditions to the turquoise mines the Sinai; a total of four expeditions are known prior to his fourth year. The Serabit el-Khadim stela of the Royal Butler Sobekhotep states: "Year 3, third month of Shomu. His Majesty sent his favoured and beloved one, the confident of his lord, the Overseer of the Treasury of Silver and Gold, Chief of the Secrets of the august Palace, Sobekhotep, justified, to bring for him all that his heart desired of turquoise (on) his fourth expedition." This expedition dates to either Ramesses III or IV's reign since Sobekhotep is attested in office until at least the reign of Ramesses V. Ramesses IV's final venture to the turquoise mines of the Sinai is documented by the stela of a senior army scribe named Panufer. Panufer states that this expedition's mission was both to procure turquoise and to establish a cult chapel of king Ramesses IV at the Hathor temple of Serabit el-Khadim. The stela reads:
- Year 5, second month of Shomu [ie: summer]. The sending by His
build the Mansion of Millions of Years of Ramesses IV in the temple of Hathor, Lady of Turquoise, by Panefer, the Scribe of the Commands of the Army, son of Pairy, justified.
- "The first was a straightforward march from a Delta base, such as Memphis, east south-east and then south into Sinai. Surviving a march in this inhospitable land would have presented formidable logistical obstacles, perhaps forcing an alternative route to be adopted. This would involve a departure from the Delta to a site near the modern port of Suez. From here they could have proceeded by boat to the ports of Abu Zenima or El-Markha on the west coast of the Sinai peninsula and from there it is a short journey inland of only a day or two to the actual site of Serabit el-Khadim."
The most important document to survive from this pharaoh's rule is Papyrus Harris I, which honours the life of his father, Ramesses III, by listing the latter's many accomplishments and gifts to the temples of Egypt, and the Turin papyrus, the earliest known geologic map. Ramesses IV was perhaps the last New Kingdom king to engage in large-scale monumental building after his father as "there was a marked decline in temple building even during the longer reigns of Ramesses IX and VI. The only apparent exception was the attempt of Ramesses V and VI to continue the vast and uncompleted mortuary temple of Ramesses IV at the Assasif."
After a short reign of about six and a half years, Ramesses IV died and was buried in tomb KV2 in the Valley of the Kings. His mummy was found in the royal cache of Amenhotep II's tomb KV35 in 1898. His chief wife is Queen Duatentopet or Tentopet or Male who was buried in QV74. His son, Ramesses V, would succeed him to the throne.