In the presence of more than one stable state, assessment of stability is crucial for a proper device characterization. This is of particular importance in atomic force microscopy due to rich dynamics exhibited by the oscillating microcantilever probe that interacts with a sample. Indeed, the multistability can evolve in dramatic regime changes. This work aims at investigating the stochastic switching in which perturbations are responsible for shifts between alternative states with consequences in imaging and spectroscopy. The deceptively straightforward identification of the stability highlights noise-activated escapes. The barrier crossing from metastable wells in the atomic force microscopy leading to problematic configurations are observed in a variety of different configurations with the stochastic resonance as ultimate condition. Our analysis sheds light on the effect of combined additive noise and external excitation. The noise-induced erosion of the attractive domain shows a progressive reduction of the dynamical integrity of amplitude modulation atomic force microscopes.

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