We experimentally demonstrate optical bistability in Er3+-Yb3+ phosphate glass microspheres at 295 K. Bistability is associated with both Er3+ fluorescence and lasing behavior, and chromatic switching. The chromatic switching results from an intrinsic mechanism exploiting the thermal coupling of closely spaced energy levels, and occurs simultaneously with the intensity switching. A contrast ratio of 2.8 has been obtained for chromatic switching. The intensity switching shows ratios of 21 for 520 nm and 11 for 660 nm fluorescence emissions, and 11 for IR lasing at 1.5 μm. Concurrent with these observations, we investigate a temperature-dependent absorption of pump power, which exhibits bistable behavior. The influences of the host matrix on lasing and fluorescence mechanisms are highlighted.