The infrared-to-visible frequency upconversion was investigated in Er 3+-doped Ga10Ge25S65 glass and in the transparent glass-ceramic obtained by heat-treatment of the glass above its glass-transition temperature. Continuous-wave and pulsed lasers operating at 980 nm and 1480 nm were used as excitation sources. The green (2H 11/2 → 4I15/2; 4S3/2 → 4I15/2) and red (4F9/2 → 4I15/2) photoluminescence (PL) signals due to the Er3+ ions were characterized. The PL decay times were influenced by energy transfer among Er3+ ions, by cross-relaxation processes and by energy transfer from the Er3+ ions to the host material. The PL from the Er3+ ions hosted in the crystalline phase was distinguished only when the glass-ceramic was excited by the 1480 nm pulsed laser. The excitation pathways responsible for the green and red PL bands are discussed to explain the differences between the spectra observed under continuous-wave and pulsed excitation. © 2013 American Institute of Physics.