It was expected that ITV4 would replace the existing Men & Motors channel in the same way Granada Plus was rebranded into ITV3, until ITV plc stated that the two channels would run alongside each other, forcing the ITV News Channel on Freeview to timeshare with ITV4. ITV replaced the failing News Channel with CITV. Both channels were on Freeview until ITV plc took Men & Motors off Freeview (although it remained on other platforms for some time until April 2010) and replaced it with the live quiz channel ITV Play. Some programming from Men & Motors were transferred to ITV4. ITV4 was the first channel to use the new on-screen look that was rolled out across the rest of ITV plc's channels on 16 January 2006. Red Bee Media designed the new logos and presentation for the entire corporation that saw the end of the yellow and blue squared look designed for ITV, ITV2 and the cube look for ITV3. An ITV annual report revealed that an old style logo was designed for the channel but was never used on air.
ITV4 was launched on UPC Ireland in the Republic of Ireland on 4 January 2010, marking the first time the channel has been officially available in the country. The channel had already been (and remains) available to Irish viewers on free-to-air satellite for some time, however it has not been listed in the Skyelectronic programme guide since its removal on 25 January 2006. On 1 April 2011, ITV4 was removed from UPC Ireland along with ITV2 and ITV3 due to the expiry of a carriage agreement between UPC and ITV. UPC Ireland claim that ITV is not in a position to renegotiate the deal because ITV had struck a deal with another channel provider to provide it with exclusive rights to air certain content from the channels. Conversely, UPC Ireland also claims to have been in discussions right up to the last moment in order to continue broadcasting the channels. ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 were restored to the UPC Ireland line-up on 20 December 2011. TV3 and its sister channel 3e already hold carriage agreement to air certain ITV content within the Republic of Ireland, alternatively UTV is available within the Republic. ITV2 is available along with ITV3 and ITV4 within Switzerland, all three channels are available on SwisscomTV and UPC Cablecom.
ITV4's launch night was on Freeview channel 30. Although it was broadcast on the Astra 2D satellite used by Sky, so users could manually tune it in. It was launched on Sky channel 120, after ITV2 and ITV3 in the listings, on 7 November. Prior to this date, some sporting content was simulcast on Men & Motors in an ITV4 on M&M strand.
In late October 2008, it was announced that a timeshifted (+1) version of ITV4 would be launched by the end of the year. ITV4 +1 was launched on Sky on 1 December 2008, on Freesat on 9 December 2008 and on Virgin Media on 25 March 2010. It was removed from Sky on 11 January 2011, due to the launch of ITV +1 taking up space on the EPG; the channel continued to be available on Freesat and Virgin Media. On 31 May 2012, ITV4 +1 returned to Sky, to channel 225, moving ITV2 HD to 226, ITV3 HD to 227 and ITV4 HD to 295. The channels moved to 206, 207, 208 and 228 on 3 July 2012 to make space for new channels. In February 2014, ITV4 +1 gained an EPG slot on the Freeview platform (channel 54), however broadcasting hours are only 04:00 till 06:00 for now. The channel timeshares with other ITV Digital channels CITV, ITV3 +1 and JML Store (formerly The Store). Also, ITV4 Plus launched on 24 March 2014, as a placeholder channel for ITVBe and ITV Encore. ITV4 Plus closed on 7 May 2014. On 20 May 2014, ITV4 +1 moved to channel 26 on Freeview, moving to 62 on 1 September 2014 following the launch of an ITVBe placeholder.
In line with the corporate rebranding of ITV, ITV4 received a new look on 14 January 2013. The channel adopted a "slate grey" logo and became the "home of sport and cult classics". Channel promotion includes pub factoids and idents featuring viewer nominated "dreams come true".